When a driver causes an accident and doesn’t have insurance, they may have to pay for damages or medical bills out of pocket. They could also end up being sued, have their license suspended, or even go to jail, depending on certain factors.
So, if you’re ever in doubt about whether you or someone else is prepared for an accident, there’s a quick way to verify auto insurance coverage. We’ve prepared this helpful guide containing answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about confirming insurance coverage.
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How You Can Verify Insurance Coverage
If you want to verify that another driver has car insurance, you can use a few methods. Here are the most common ones:
Gather Pertinent Information about the Driver
Before verifying insurance coverage, you must gather pertinent information about the driver and vehicle. This includes:
- Driver’s name: To ensure you don’t make mistakes in spelling the driver’s name, it is best to ask for the driver’s license.
- Contact information: In addition to the driver’s name, you will need their contact information. This includes their mailing address, email address and phone number.
- Driver’s license number: The driver’s license number is usually on the front or back of the driver’s license itself.
- License plate number: You will need this to identify the car.
- Insurance company name: To verify insurance coverage, you will need to know which company the driver is insured with.
- Insurance policy number: The insurance company uses this to identify the driver’s policy.
It’s crucial to get this information to verify insurance coverage. This way, you won’t be pressed for time to get it after an accident. It will also allow you to record the driver’s details if they try to give you false insurance information.
The best way to get this information is by asking the driver for their insurance card. Most drivers will be happy to provide you with this information. Still, you can always call the police if the driver is uncooperative. Once you have the necessary information, you can contact the insurance company to verify coverage.
Check with the DMV
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a record of all drivers in the state and whether they have car insurance. For this method to reap optimal results, you need to provide your contact information and reasons for requesting the driver’s insurance status. The DMV will then send you a notice informing you if the driver is insured or not.
You could request information from the state DMV if you get into an accident with another vehicle. If you require the name of the insurance company, give the license plate number to the DMV to gain access to that information. You must have the police report and other required documents to get this information from the DMV.
Contact Your Insurance Company
This is another great way to verify insurance coverage. If you have comprehensive or collision coverage, your insurer will help you repair or replace your vehicle regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Your insurance provider will also go after the other driver’s insurer to get reimbursement for the damages.
Verifying insurance coverage doesn’t have to be a difficult task. By following the steps above, you can get access to the information you need to ensure that you are protected in case of an accident.
Instances When You Should Verify Insurance Coverage
You should take the time to verify insurance coverage if:
- You are involved in a hit-and-run accident: In these cases, getting the other driver’s insurance information is imperative so your insurer can go after them for reimbursement.
- The other driver doesn’t have car insurance: If you find yourself in this situation, you should contact your insurance company to file a claim.
- You are borrowing a car: Before you borrow a car, you should always ensure that the driver has car insurance.
- You are renting a car: When renting a car, be sure to check with your insurer to see if their policy covers you. You can also purchase additional coverage from the rental car company.
- You own a business: If you own a business, you should verify that your employees have car insurance. This way, you will have protection if one of your employees gets into an accident while driving on company business.
- You are divorcing: If you are going through a divorce, you should verify that your ex-spouse has car insurance.
- Another parent is driving students: If you are a parent, you should verify that the other parent has car insurance if they are driving your children.
- You are involved in a traffic accident: Regardless of who is at fault, it’s always a good idea to verify that both parties have car insurance. This way, you will have ample protection no matter what.
These are just a few instances when you should take the time to verify insurance coverage. By doing so, you can protect yourself and your loved ones in the event of an accident.
The Dangers of Driving without Car Insurance
There are many dangers associated with driving without car insurance. To help hammer home its importance, here are a few of its dangers:
You Could Be Slapped with a Fine
In most of the U.S., driving without car insurance is illegal. You could be subject to a fine if caught driving without insurance. The fine will vary from state to state, but it ranges anywhere between $500 and $1,500.
You Could Have Your License Suspended
If caught driving without insurance, you could also have your license suspended. This means you will not be able to drive until you legally obtain car insurance.
You Could Face Legal Consequences
If you cause an accident while driving without insurance, the other party may sue you to recover damages. This can lead to a lot of financial stress and even bankruptcy.
Your Vehicle Registration Could Be Suspended or Revoked
Your vehicle registration could be suspended or revoked if you are caught driving without insurance. You will not legally be able to drive your vehicle until you obtain car insurance.
Your Vehicle Could Be Impounded
If you are caught driving without insurance, your vehicle could be impounded. This means that you will have to pay to get your car out of impound, and you may also be subject to a fine.
These are just a few dangers of driving without car insurance. As you can see, it’s vital to ensure you are always adequately insured.
What Kind of Insurance Coverage Do You Need?
There are many different types of auto insurance coverage available. The coverage you need depends on various factors, such as your driving record, vehicle type and personal finances.
Here are a few of the most common types of insurance coverage:
Liability coverage is always for the other driver, and will only apply if you cause an accident. But, that doesn’t mean liability insurance isn’t beneficial for you.
There are two types of liability coverage:
- Bodily injury liability: Pays for the injuries to the other driver in the event of an accident that you are found legally at fault for.
- Property damage liability: Pays for the damages to the other driver’s car and relevant properties in the event of an accident you caused.
How it helps you: In some ways, liability can provide financial protection for you and your passengers. You’re less likely to get sued if you have this coverage, and it would be way more expensive to pay for another person’s bills out of pocket.
Is it legally required? Most states mandate drivers to have at least the minimum level of liability coverage, so it is crucial to be familiar with the requirements in your state.
When you purchase auto insurance, you can add collision coverage.
What it covers: This type of coverage gives protection for you if your vehicle is damaged in a collision with another vehicle or object. Your provider will pay for the repairs to your car up to the auto insurance policy limit. If the automobile is totaled in a collision, the company will pay you the actual cash value of your car minus the deductible.
Is it legally required? Collision coverage is not required by law, but may be required by your lender if you finance or lease your vehicle.
Comprehensive coverage is another important type of insurance that is widely recommended, because it helps protect your vehicle from things that are not related to road collisions.
What it covers: Comprehensive coverage will cover damages that come from environmental factors, such as severe weather, theft, vandalism and other environmental factors. For example, if a tree were to fall onto your car, comprehensive insurance would cover it.
Is it legally required? Comprehensive coverage is not required by law, but may be required by your lender if you finance or lease your vehicle.
This coverage is a type of insurance that helps to protect you financially if you are in an incident with a driver who does not have insurance at all or does not have enough insurance to pay for the costs of the accident.
- What it covers: Your insurer will step in and help recompense for indemnities, medical bills and other expenses up to your policy’s limit.
- Why you should consider it: This coverage is significant in states with a high percentage of drivers who do not carry insurance. Even if you are a careful driver, it only takes one accident with an uninsured driver to cause financial challenges.
Is it legally required? Uninsured motorist coverage is legally required in many states, and not legally required in others.
These are just a few of the most common types of car insurance coverage. Be sure to talk to your insurance agent to determine which coverage is suitable for you.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
Having enough information about what insurance providers offer is crucial. With our comparison tool, you can be sure to find the best possible coverage for your needs at a price that fits your budget. To help ensure you’re making a sound decision, here is some vital information about renowned insurance providers like GEICO, Progressive and State Farm.
GEICO: Best Overall
GEICO sits atop the throne with the title of best overall insurance provider. Aside from having a score of 9.1 out of 10 in our comprehensive review, the company also boasts of a robust industry standing, a convenient mobile app and discounts such as:
- Air bag discount
- Anti-lock brakes discount
- Anti-theft system discount
- Daytime running lights discount
- Seat belt use discount
Progressive: Best for High-Risk Drivers
Progressive is another insurance provider with high marks for its coverage and price. It gained a 9.1 rating and gives clients discounts for:
- Online quote
- Sign online
- Automatic payment
Read more: Progressive insurance review
State Farm: Best for Student Drivers
State Farm is another outstanding provider, earning a 9.1 out of 10. It is renowned for its coverage and price and gives clients discounts for:
- Driver training discount
- Multiple auto discount
- Multiple line discount
- Student away at school discount
- Passive restraint discount
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FAQ: Quick Way to Verify Auto Insurance Coverage
What's the quickest way to verify insurance coverage?
The quickest way to verify this is to call the insurance company directly and ask for proof of insurance. Most companies will be able to provide this information quickly and easily. You can also ask for a copy of the policy itself, which will contain all the relevant information about the coverage.
What types of car insurance are there?
There are many different types of car insurance, but some of the most common include liability, collision, comprehensive and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
What is the best type of car insurance for me?
The best type of car insurance for you depends on many factors, including your driving record, the type of car you drive, your budget and your personal preferences.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system considers market share, coverage, auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.