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Car insurance can be a confusing world to navigate with so many different policies, coverage options and terms to understand. One essential piece of information you’ll need to keep track of is your car insurance policy number. This unique identifier is like a fingerprint for your insurance policy, and it’s crucial in various situations, from reporting accidents to communicating with your insurance company. In this guide, Bankrate’s team will break down everything you need to know about car insurance policy numbers. Whether you’re a seasoned driver or a new policyholder, understanding your auto insurance policy number is essential for managing your car insurance effectively.

What is a car insurance policy number?

One key component of your auto insurance coverage is your policy number, a unique identifier that ties you to your specific coverage details. If you’ve ever glanced at your insurance card or paid a bill, you’ve likely come across this important number.

A car insurance policy number is a unique code associated with your auto insurance policy. Think of it as a Social Security number for your car insurance — it’s how your insurer keeps track of your specific policy amidst the millions they manage. This number, generally ranging between nine and 13 digits, could be a combination of numbers and letters.

Your policy number is vital in situations such as reporting an accident, getting stopped by the police, or when discussing your policy with your insurance company. It’s your unique identifier, allowing your insurance company to quickly access your policy details.
You can typically find your policy number on your insurance card, often labeled as “Policy #” or “Policy ID.” It should also appear on your billing statements, policy declarations page and possibly in your online insurance portal or mobile app (if your insurance company offers one). If you ever misplace your policy number, you can usually retrieve it by logging into your insurance account online, checking relevant documents or reaching out to your insurance agent.

When do you need your car insurance policy number?

Anyone with an auto insurance policy may benefit from knowing their car insurance policy number. In many cases, you can look up your policy number if you forget it. However, suppose you’ve just been in a car accident. In that case, you may need to provide the other drivers with your auto insurance information. This information includes your car insurance policy number. You may also need to get the other driver’s policy number, just as you may need to provide yours.

Keeping proof of insurance in your vehicle is legally required in most states. Proof of insurance could be an insurance ID card, certificate of insurance form, or even your policy – although it may have several pages. Each of these documents will include your insurance policy number. Keeping proof of insurance in your vehicle and knowing how to easily access it may save you time and reduce stress if you are involved in an accident or traffic stop.

Here is a list of some situations when you may need to have your car insurance policy number handy:

  • Your vehicle is involved in an accident: You will commonly share your policy number with the other vehicle’s driver as well as the police if they write an accident report. This exchange of insurance information helps both parties involved in the accident file the necessary paperwork for their claims with their respective insurance companies.
  • You are pulled over by police: In most states, the police typically ask for proof of insurance as part of a traffic stop. Being able to hand them your insurance policy number along with your license and registration should help expedite your time spent in a traffic stop if you do happen to get pulled over.
  • You are speaking to your insurance company: Your insurance policy number allows your carrier to quickly locate the details of your policy. You will likely need your policy number when contacting your insurance company or using their digital tools to file a claim, manage your policy or pay a bill.

How to find your car insurance policy number

In addition to outlining your coverage options, the policy documents you receive when setting up your policy should also contain your auto policy number. Beyond that, insurance policy numbers are generally attached to all paperwork associated with that policy. Thankfully, this means that you can typically find it in several ways.

  • Check your insurance card: Your proof of insurance card will have your policy number listed. This number is usually featured prominently in the first few lines of the card.
  • Go through your premium statements: Both paper and digital statements typically have your policy number listed in a similar format as on your insurance card. Some carriers have separate billing and policy account numbers, so double-check to make sure you differentiate the premium account number from your policy number, if applicable.
  • Look at your insurance declarations page: When purchasing your policy, the insurance company should provide paperwork detailing your policy’s coverage types and limits. This is also called a declarations page and will typically have the auto policy number printed on it.
  • Log into your account: If you have an online account with your insurance company, you can likely find your policy number. Go to the company website and log into your account. Once you are logged in, you may see your policy number listed with your account information.
  • Contact your insurance agent: You can always contact your insurance agent during your carrier’s business hours. Inform them of who you are and request your policy number. They may require some proof of identification, so be ready just in case.

How to find someone else’s car insurance policy number

You can find someone else’s auto policy number in a few different ways. If you’re involved in an accident, the other driver will likely give you their insurance information. If they fail to share their policy number, you could file a police report or contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

  • File a police report: If you have a legal cause, like being the victim of a hit-and-run, you may file a police report and request to be informed of whether or not the vehicle was insured. This represents a valid reason because, in this case, the insurance of that vehicle may be liable for damages done to yours.
  • Contact the DMV: If you have a valid reason to know whether a car is insured, but it isn’t a police matter, you can sometimes get that information from the DMV. The DMV will want to know your reasons and will need as much information on the vehicle as you can provide. If you know the car’s VIN (vehicle identification number), the process may go much smoother.

Frequently asked questions

    • The best car insurance company will be different for each person based on individual needs and characteristics. To find the best provider for you, it may be helpful to compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies to see which one would be cheapest. You may also want to speak to a licensed insurance agent who can advise you on which companies could accommodate your policy needs.
    • State laws often require that proof of insurance is kept in your vehicle. Your proof of auto insurance should have your policy number printed on it. If you lose this, you can request a new copy from your insurer. In many states, drivers are required to carry proof of insurance, whether a paper copy or an electronic copy on their smartphone. This requirement is in addition to other minimum coverage requirements determined by each state.
    • If you’re involved in an accident with another driver, they may need your auto policy number. You may also have to share your policy number with the police. If you have other drivers on your car insurance, they should have access to the number as well in case they are involved in an incident. Sharing your policy number with someone else means they may be able to file a claim against your policy or request policy information. However, even with access to your policy number, they won’t be able to alter it without your permission.
    • If you’ve lost your policy number, there are a few things you can do to find it. If you have an online account or the mobile app on your phone, you can log in to retrieve your policy number. You can also contact your insurance agent or company to get it. Your policy number should also be located on your ID card, policy renewal documents and any insurance bills you receive in the mail.
    • Although this can vary by insurer and policy type, generally multiple vehicles can be insured on the same policy. However, you will typically have different policy numbers for each of your covered vehicles. This helps for several reasons. First, having a unique policy number helps to reference each respective vehicle, its coverage amounts and any claims tied to it. The base policy number will often stay the same with a rotational number added which changes to reference each individual vehicle.