Is Your Car Insured? Here's How to Find Out

A woman is driving through a wooded area.
••• Tom Werner / Getty Images

At some time in your life, you might find yourself not knowing if you have car insurance. This might be the case if you're going through a divorce or taking over a loved one's finances. You might not even know what carrier you have.

It's vital to know whether you have current car insurance, even if you don't need to file a claim. In most states, having car insurance is the law. It's also best to keep your car insured because you never know when an accident will happen. Most states also require proof to renew your license plate and registration. Learn how to find out whether your car is insured.

Key Takeaways

  • Car insurance is important, so if you're not sure whether you have it, there are a few ways you can find out.
  • You can take a look at financial statements or look in the car, as many people keep insurance information inside the vehicle.
  • Getting a new insurance quote, checking the Secretary of State's office, or calling common carriers can also help you figure it out.

Review Your Statements

If you're taking over the finances for a family member and can't find car insurance information, review their bank statements. Look for payments to common carriers like GEICO or State Farm. If they've paid monthly, it will be fairly easy. If they pay every six months or make yearly payments, you may need to go through the accounts for the last year or more.

Look in Your Car

Check your registration. Many states list the carrier and your account number on a vehicle's registration. This could be one of the best ways to see if you have an active policy.

Search your car. The visor, the center console, and the glove box are the most common places to store insurance cards. Some people like to put them in the car manual inside the glove box. There should almost always be a current proof of insurance card in one of these places in states where you're required to have insurance.

Your state DMV might be able to help you. Many states require insurance companies to keep them informed about insurance policy changes. The office nearest you may be able to tell you who the carrier is or was.

Finding this card is a quick way to know if you have car insurance. It should give you the carrier’s name and the name of the agency that services the policy. Call the carrier or agency to figure out whether your account is up to date.

Get a New Insurance Quote

Getting a quote can also help you find out if you have car insurance. Agents can run a CLUE report that tells them your current carrier, and it can also tell them if a policy has lapsed. However, not all show up in a CLUE report, so this may not work 100% of the time.

Tell the agent you're talking to about the situation. Let them know you might have a current policy but that you need help finding out. The agent might be able to tell you what carrier you have; call it and request a copy of your declarations page and proof of insurance.

You should be able to get the information over the phone, so you know what they cover. However, it's still vital to ask for a copy of the declarations page, so you have it.

Check With the Secretary of State Office

Many Secretary of State offices track car insurance coverage. Some states, like Texas, even track your policy to make sure it is up to date. Call or go to your local Secretary of State office and ask about your car insurance. It doesn't hurt to ask, and it could save you the time and effort of looking through piles of paper trying to find the car insurance information.

Virginia and New Hampshire are the only states that don't require auto insurance. In Virginia, you have to pay $500 to drive without insurance. In New Hampshire, insurance is only required in certain circumstances; but if you're at fault in an accident, your license will be suspended until you pay for damages.

Call Common Carriers

Many drivers get insurance through popular firms like Progressive and Allstate. If you can't find any paperwork in your car or home, contact some agents and ask whether they have an auto policy out for you or your loved one.

If you've found a homeowners or renters policy, contact the company listed. Most companies offer discounts for buying multiple policies; there's a chance that your loved one bought your car insurance from the same company your other policy is with.

There is nothing wrong with not knowing if you have car insurance. In fact, it happens more than you might think. If you've gone through a divorce or a loved one's death, you might need to learn about your family finances. A little digging can help you figure out if you have car insurance. If you don't, it's time to shop around and collect a few quotes for a new car insurance policy.

Article Sources

  1. Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. "TexasSure."

  2. Virginia DMV. "Insurance Requirements."

  3. Justia. "New Hampshire Revised Statutes Title XXI."