Proof of Insurance
The laws in most states require that you purchase some type of auto insurance. Although each state has its own requirements, you will need some form of minimum liability coverage. After purchasing car insurance, your provider will give you a small card indicating your auto coverage
Why You Need Proof of Insurance
Most states require that you carry your proof of car insurance in your vehicle at all times. When you receive your insurance information card, immediately place it in an accessible location inside your vehicle, such as your glove box or visor. Some companies may even provide you with a card holder to help you stay organized. Your proof of insurance is an important document that you must carry when driving your vehicle.
If you're pulled over by a police officer and don't have your proof of auto insurance, the officer can give you a ticket AND impound your vehicle. More drastically, if you're involved in an accident, you'll need to exchange insurance information to the other motorist.
Proof of car insurance shows that you meet your state's minimum auto insurance requirements. The card you receive from your insurance carrier proves you have the coverage you need under your state's financial responsibility laws.
Additionally, most states require you to show proof of insurance when you register your vehicle, or take a behind-the-wheel test. Keep in mind, if you let your auto insurance lapse, most states require your insurance carrier to notify the state DMV, which could lead to the cancellation of your vehicle registration.
Where to Get Proof of Vehicle Insurance
Insurance providers typically mail your proof of insurance along with other details related to your coverage after purchasing a policy. Many insurance companies also give you the option of logging onto their website to download and print your card, rather than wait for it to arrive by mail.
When your coverage period expires, you'll need to obtain a new insurance card with your updated policy information and coverage dates. If you've been on-time with your payments, your insurance carrier will usually provide you with your new registration card before your old policy expires.
Proof of Automobile Insurance Alternatives
In most instances, there is no alternative to your insurance card. Most states require that you carry the card in your vehicle at all times.
However, some insurance companies offer mobile apps for your smartphone where you can access your current proof and show it to your state's department of motor vehicles or a police officer. Keep in mind that not all states allow you to use your mobile device to show your proof of insurance.