What Is a Proof of Insurance Card? Do I Need One?
Last Updated on March 4, 2020
In New York, every driver is required to have a certain amount of car insurance coverage. You’ll need liability coverage for property damage and bodily injury if you are found at fault in an accident. However, it’s not enough just to have insurance – you need to be able to prove that you have a policy in the event you are pulled over by the police. This is where a “proof of insurance” card comes in. Here’s what you need to know about proof of insurance cards and why you need to have one.
What Is on a Proof of Insurance Card?
A proof of insurance card is a document released by your car insurance provider indicating that you have the requisite amount of car insurance coverage for your state. It also contains key information about your policy that you might need in the event you get in an accident or need to file some sort of claim. Your insurance card will contain your name and address, the insurance company’s name, your policy number and renewal dates, and information about your vehicle’s make and model.
Where Can I Get a Proof of Insurance Card?
It’s very easy to get a proof of insurance card. When you purchase or renew your car insurance, the insurer should automatically send one to you in the mail. This will usually come in a larger package with information about your car insurance policy. If you lose your proof of insurance card, it’s very easy to get a new one – just contact your insurance agent or the company’s customer service line. People lose their proof of insurance all the time, so companies are used to printing new ones. Be sure to contact your insurance company as soon as the proof of insurance is lost to avoid getting caught without one out on the road. Many companies now offer proof of insurance cards online and via their apps as well. If your company offers this option, you can go online, log in, and print out your insurance card from home. In some cases, you may even be able to carry a digital card on your smartphone, which reduces your chances of losing the card.
Why Do I Need a Proof of Insurance Card?
It’s incredibly important to always have your proof of insurance card with you while you are driving. There are a number of reasons why this is so important. The main reason why it is crucial is that it is the only thing that can actually prove you have insurance. You are legally required to carry proof of insurance while you are driving, and you cannot use anything else as a substitute for this important information.
There are many situations in which you would need to have proof of insurance. These include:
- Anytime you get into an accident. The other party involved in the accident will want to see your proof of insurance, and you should ask for theirs as well. Your proof of insurance has important information about your policy that the other party can use to file an insurance claim. This information can also be helpful when filing a police report about the accident.
- When you renew your license plate at the DMV. You should always have your proof of insurance card with you when you go to the DMV, just in case. They will typically ask for it when you renew your license plate and vehicle registration. Every state including New York legally requires their drivers to be registered.
- When you are pulled over by a police officer. Regardless of why you are pulled over, your police officer is going to want to see your proof of insurance in addition to your identification. You could receive a significant fine if you don’t provide appropriate registration, so tread carefully.
These are just a few of the situations where you could be asked for your proof of insurance card. You should always have it with you in the car, no matter where you’re going or what you’re going to be doing. You don’t want to be caught without proof of insurance card in the unlikely event you get into an accident. Most insurance companies will give you two insurance cards per car when you sign up for your policy. You can use the second card to take with you to the DMV to provide proof of insurance.
What Is an SR-22?
Some high-risk drivers are required to carry an SR-22 in addition to their traditional proof of insurance. An SR-22 is a certification form that your insurance company files with the state to prove that you have insurance. Drivers may require an SR-22 if they have been convicted of a DUI or have a long history of car accidents. If you require an SR-22, it can be tricky to get insurance. There are some insurance companies that specialize in SR-22 policies, but you’ll typically pay more for them than the average driver. It’s important for everyone to carry proof of insurance while driving, but it’s particularly important for SR-22 drivers, who could face serious legal consequences if they are caught without their SR-22 proof.
You should never drive without your proof of insurance card. If you’ve lost your insurance card, be sure to call your insurer right away to get a replacement.