What Is A Proof Of Insurance Card? How Do I Get One?
Having a car insurance plan is required in every state in the country, and if you get into an automobile accident or pulled over for a traffic violation, you will likely need to provide proof of insurance to either the police and/or the person that you are involved in an accident with. There are other reasons that you will likely need to show proof of insurance, including registering your vehicle at the DMV. If you have questions about proof of insurance, the answers are here.
What is Proof of Insurance?
When people purchase an automobile insurance policy, there are many reasons that they will need to provide proof that your car is insured. Some states, like Michigan, have a government database that works with insurance companies to let the police know if you have automobile insurance. In Michigan, a police officer can pull you over for no other reason than you not having a car insurance policy. If they put your license plate into their database, and determine that you do not have insurance, you may get pulled over.
Each state has different laws regarding insurance, and have done things in different ways. Many states do not utilize an electronic database, a physical card is needed instead. A proof of insurance card will have all of the pertinent information needed to provide your current insurance information to another driver or police officer. Your policy number will be on the card, as well as your address, the make, model, and year of your vehicle, the expiration and renewal dates for the policy, the name of your automobile insurance provider, and a line for your signature.
In a few states, there are other ways that proof of insurance can be provided, and some even require drivers to put a sticker signifying proof of insurance on their license plate. In these cases, the stickers help to let police officers know both the year and month your car insurance policy will expire.
Do I Need Proof of Insurance?
The short answer is yes. You will need proof of insurance to drive legally on public roads in the United States. New Hampshire does have some unique elements to its driving laws, and is the only state where car insurance is not required in some circumstances. Most states have a minimum requirement of liability insurance coverage. This does not cover expenses pertaining to you directly or your automobile or property, but rather helps pay for the cost of other people's medical, property, or vehicle expenses if you are at fault in an accident that causes damage to them.
It is also highly likely that you will need proof of automobile insurance in order to register your vehicle. Lastly, if you are pulled over and do not have proof of automobile insurance, you are likely to get a ticket. While ticket costs can vary from one state to the next, most states have fines of over $100 on the first offense, and in many cases the penalties are higher.
Of course, if you get into an automobile accident you will need to provide a proof of insurance card to the other driver so that they can contact your car insurance company if needed. This should also be used to record driver information. If you get into an automobile accident and the other person is at fault, you will likely want to call 911, as well as get the other driver's insurance information. Liability automobile insurance, as well as collision insurance coverage, comprehensive insurance coverage, and the other types of insurance coverages that are available are designed to help protect you and other people from large medical expenses I can have a huge impact on finances.
How Do I Get Proof of Insurance?
Getting proof of insurance is an easy process. After you buy a car insurance plan, the automobile insurance provider will provide proof of insurance to you in one of a number of forms. Sometimes proof of insurance is provided on a small piece of paper designed to fit into a wallet, and other times it is a little bit thicker card. If you obtain a car insurance policy online, it is likely that your car insurance company can email the plan to you, which you can then print out. In addition to sending you this information, you will also receive an insurance declaration page and other policy information via either email or mail.
Can I Use Electronic Proof of Insurance?
Most states have already moved towards allowing people to provide their proof of insurance electronically, but not all states have. Take the time to research your state to determine if using electronic proof of insurance is an option. It is likely still a good idea to get a physical copy of your insurance policy, in case your phone or tablet dies and you need it.
Proof of insurance is essential to have and can save you a lot of money. Not only is coverage incredibly important, but it's also the law.