What is a car insurance policy number?

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Your car insurance policy number may be more important than you think. Car insurance companies will use your policy number to locate your account. Knowing where to find it is important since you may need it to access critical account information. You may also need to give it to your insurer, police or a fellow driver in the event of a car accident.

What is a car insurance policy number?

Every insurance policy has an identification number assigned to it when it is created. This identification is called the insurance policy number and will be attached to nearly all paperwork related to your policy.

The insurance policy number serves as a unique identifier, differentiating each insurance policy from others. Another way of looking at it is that each insurance policy has a number and no two numbers are the same.

You can find your policy number on your insurance card or on bills and statements associated with your insurance account. Your account number will typically be between nine and 13 digits.

Who needs their car insurance policy number?

Anyone who holds an auto insurance policy benefits 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 may be a good idea. 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. By keeping proof of insurance in your vehicle, you won’t have to panic searching for your policy number if you get in an accident.

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 find it in several ways.

  • Check your insurance card: Your proof of insurance card will have your policy number listed. The format for an auto insurance policy number is usually nine to 13 digits long and looks similar to this: “Policy # [your 9-13 digit number here]”
  • Go through your premium bills: Premium statements often have the policy number printed on them. Both paper and digital statements typically have your policy number listed in a similar format as on your insurance card.
  • Look at your insurance declarations page: When purchasing your policy, the insurance company should provide paperwork detailing your policy’s coverage options. This paperwork will often 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.

What to do if you lost your policy number

Knowing your policy number is important so that you can give it to the policyholders, your insurance company or another driver when necessary. If you lose your policy number, you can contact your insurer to retrieve it. Your policy number is permanently attached to your auto insurance policy. As long as your coverage remains active, your insurance company will be able to find it for you.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

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 can 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.

Where should I keep my car insurance policy number?

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 all states except New Mexico, drivers are explicitly permitted to carry their proof of insurance electronically on a smartphone, as afforded by state law. Even so, you may want to have a paper backup copy in case your phone dies while you’re on the road.

What happens if I tell someone my policy number?

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 look up your policy information. However, even with access to your policy number, they won’t be able to alter it without your permission.

Written by
Joshua Cox-Steib
Joshua Cox-Steib has two years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, Coverage.com, Thesimpledollar.com, Reviews.com, and more. His work has also been featured on such sites as Msn.com and BBB.org. His insurance writing career has spanned across multiple product lines, with a primary focus on auto insurance, life insurance, and home insurance.
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Insurance Editor