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It’s not a good situation if you forgot who your car insurance is with, but the issue can be fixed pretty quickly. The best ways to figure out are by either finding your insurance card, checking your credit card statements or by contacting your state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV).
If you’re thinking of switching your auto insurance company as well, it’s worth getting quotes from various companies to find the best coverage and prices. We’ve ranked the best car insurance companies to reveal which ones have strong deals and high-quality services.
There’s no need to panic if you forgot who your car insurance is with. Below, we’ll outline a few steps that should make it relatively painless to discover which company is currently providing coverage for your vehicle.
Search the Glove Compartment
Your first step if you’ve forgotten your current car insurance provider is to check for an insurance card in your vehicle’s glove compartment. Most people keep their insurance information in that spot, so it’s an obvious place to begin your search.
If you’re unsure of which company provides your auto insurance policy, look through all paperwork and cards that are stored in the glove box. Check the expiration dates on the documents you find, though, as old policies will likely no longer apply.
Check Your Car Insurance Payments
Check your recent car insurance payments if you can’t find your card or any information on your insurance provider. If you have automatic payments set up for your credit card or bank account, there should be a record of your recent transactions. With how banks are digitally set up today, you’ll likely be able to access several years’ worth of statements.
If you see regular payments going to a car insurance company, call it to check your coverage status. After some verification, the insurer should be able to tell you the details of your auto policy. If you can’t find payments for car insurance, you may need to consider whether you’ve currently got a lapse in coverage.
Remember that you may have bundled an auto policy with homeowners or life insurance. It’s worth checking with those insurance providers to see whether you’ve also got car coverage through them.
Check With Your Lender, If Applicable
If you got the vehicle through a lender, your car insurance information is most likely already on file. The next step in that case is to call your lender to ask about the details of your policy.
Get in Touch With the DMV
Another option you could choose if you forgot who your car insurance is with is reaching out to your state’s DMV. The government should have a record of who provides your policy, but keep in mind that there could be steep penalties if the DMV finds out that your car is uninsured.
Do I Need To Purchase Auto Insurance?
While forgetting your car insurance provider isn’t impossible to overcome, you could face some real issues if you don’t have coverage whatsoever. Below are some reasons why you must buy car insurance in every single circumstance:
It’s Illegal To Drive Uninsured
In almost every state, it’s required by law to at least carry minimum coverage car insurance. Those who get caught driving without auto insurance could face severe legal consequences. These penalties can include getting a misdemeanor conviction on your driving record, being slapped with a sizable fine or even having your vehicle impounded.
It Protects Your Finances
Auto insurance protects you financially in the event of an accident. If you cause an accident and don’t have insurance, you could be sued for damages that you can’t afford. These potential expenses could include damages to other people’s vehicles, other property and medical bills.
Even cheap car insurance costs more than driving uninsured, but that completely changes once you get pulled over or end up in an accident. It’s not worth the risk, so don’t drive unless you’re at least carrying minimum coverage.
You’ll Gain Peace of Mind
Knowing that you have car insurance coverage will likely provide you with some peace of mind. There’s far less reason to worry since damages will be covered in the event of a crash and you don’t need to consider the penalties of being an uninsured motorist.
Why Should I Find Out My Car Insurance Provider?
There’s a multitude of reasons why it’s important to know which company provides insurance coverage for your car. Below are a few of the most critical ones:
To Prevent a Lapse in Coverage
It’s common for motorists to forget who their car insurance is with and other details such as their chosen types of coverage. Drivers can also easily forget when their current insurance plan expires, leaving them at risk of becoming uninsured after the cancellation of their policy.
Even if you paid for your policy in full or signed up for your policy to auto-renew, it’s important to know which provider covers your car. That way, they’ll be able to update information or extend coverage when that time inevitably comes around. Otherwise, you could end up with a bad driving record even if you’ve never had any moving violations while on the road.
In Case You Get Get Pulled Over
One of the most common instances when you’ll need to provide your insurance information is when you get pulled over by the police. In most states, you must always have your driver’s license and insurance card with you when behind the wheel. You’ll be fined if you don’t have your insurance card with you and could face severe penalties if you lack coverage outright.
When You Need to Make a Claim
If you’re ever involved in an accident and need to file a claim, it’s critical that you know the name of your car insurance company. The first step in filing a claim is to notify your insurance provider so that they can start the claims process. If you don’t have this information, it could delay the filing of your insurance claim and could cause additional stress during an already difficult time.
When Applying for an Auto Loan
Your lender will likely ask for your car insurance information if you’re ever in the market for an auto loan. They’ll need to know that you have coverage in place to make sure that their vehicle is protected if it gets involved in an accident.
How To Keep Track of Car Insurance Details
It’s critical that you keep track of your current policy, its coverage limits and its expiration date. Below are a few tips that make it hard to forget who your car insurance is with:
Keep Your Insurance Card in Your Car
Most states require drivers to have their insurance cards with them at all times while driving. Keep it in your glove compartment or in another accessible spot in your car. That way, you can quickly grab your insurance information if you’re ever pulled over or need to make a claim.
It’s not enough to have any insurance card that shares the vehicle identification number (VIN) on your car. You must have one that proves that your car has auto insurance coverage right now. In other words, your insurance card can’t have expired to show legitimate proof of insurance on that one car.
Keep a Digital Copy of Your Insurance Card on Your Phone
These days, there’s little reason to not keep a digital copy of your car insurance card on your phone. Most insurers offer apps that allow you to access your card in any situation. If you can’t find your card, you can simply pull up the app and have the information you need in seconds.
Note that not every state accepts electronic proof of insurance. Make sure to keep a physical copy on hand in case you’re in a state like New Mexico, where digital copies won’t suffice.
Put Your Auto Insurer’s Contact Information in Your Phone
If you ever need to make a claim or have other insurance-related questions, it’s best to have your car insurance agency’s up-to-date contact information. That way, you can quickly get in touch with an insurance agent and get the answers you need.
Give Your Insurance Details to a Family Member
Drivers who struggle to keep track of their insurance documents could ask a family member to write down the details of their coverage plan. While a new car insurance policy would still be your responsibility, a phone call to a family member could provide a second line of defense.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
Even if you forgot who your car insurance is with, it’s far better than not having coverage at all. It’s critical that you pick up an auto coverage policy in order to follow state laws and to keep yourself financially protected in the event of a car accident.
We’d recommend GEICO, USAA and Progressive as top options for auto insurance. Make sure to get multiple car insurance quotes, though, to make sure that you find your ideal provider.
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GEICO is one of the most well-known insurance companies in the U.S. It’s known for having low rates, relatively consistent customer service standards and extensive coverage. Policyholders with GEICO can take advantage of discounts such as for having new vehicles, for being good drivers and for taking defensive driving courses.
USAA is a superb option for military families because it offers some of the industry’s lowest rates alongside an impressive level of customer service. Keep in mind that coverage is only available for military members, veterans and their families.
High-risk drivers turn to Progressive for its wide variety of coverages that can be tailored to fit nearly any driver’s needs. The company is known to readily accept those with speeding tickets, at-fault accidents and DUIs on their driving records. That’s somewhat rare among top providers.
What if I can’t remember my insurance company’s name?
If you forgot who your car insurance is with, check your credit and debit card along with your bank statements for insurers’ names. You can also contact your state’s DMV for help if you’re still having trouble finding this insurance information, though there could be penalties if you’re found to currently be an uninsured driver.
What if I can’t remember my policy number?
If you can’t remember your car insurance policy number, you should be able to find it on your insurance card or in an online account. If you’re still having trouble, try contacting your car insurance company directly and letting them walk you through the process.
What happens if I can’t present proof of insurance?
If you can’t present proof of insurance, you may be subject to a fine or your vehicle registration could be suspended. In some states, you could even face jail time. It’s important to always have up-to-date auto insurance information on hand to avoid legal penalties.