What Is a Car Insurance Policy Number and Where to Find it?

You want to make a claim with your insurance company, but you don't know the policy number or where to find it. Luckily for you, we've got the answer right here!

Car Insurance Policy Number

We need numbers to identify many things and our car insurance policies are no different. Every provider offers clients a car insurance policy number to identify the coverage. Why do you need this number and where would you find it?

In this guide, we examine the purposes of the policy number from your car insurance company. We also show you where to find the number when you need it the most. 

What is a Car Insurance Policy Number?

The car insurance policy number is a unique set of digits that are given to you by the provider. These numbers are used to identify your coverage through the company. When you call or contact the provider, you will need to know this policy number to access your coverage.

Many people don’t think about this policy number until it is needed. Then, it becomes a mad scramble to figure out where it is. 

When is the Car Insurance Policy Number Needed?

1. After an Accident

The most common time to use your insurance information is when there’s been a car accident. When you hit another car or someone hits yours, insurance information should be exchanged. You will need policy numbers from both drivers to ensure the claims are paid.

If police come to the scene and file a report, the insurance information will also be listed on this paperwork. Even after a minor accident, it makes sense to have a police report which backs up the facts of what happened. With a police report, there’s no confusion as to what happened later on. 

RELATED: 15 Most Common Causes of Car Accidents

2. Stopped by Cops

If you’ve ever been pulled over by the police, you probably already know the drill. You are going to be asked for your driver’s license, registration of the car and the insurance card. 

It’s the job of the police to check that everything is legal and up to date. Each state has different laws, so this could be handled in various ways depending on where you live. 

RELATED: Why Do Police Touch the Back of Your Car When They Pull You Over?

3. Talking to Insurance Company

If you reach out to your insurance company, you will need your policy number. With this number, the person you contact knows that you are the policyholder. 

You won’t be able to make any changes or cancel the policy without this identifying number. However, if you’ve lost it, the provider might be able to look you up another way, with something such as your social security number. 

4. Routine Inspection

In some states, an inspection is needed to get yearly registration. When the car is taken to the mechanic for an inspection, the mechanic will likely need to see proof of your insurance.

Of course, there are some states with different laws that don’t require an inspection. That’s why it’s best to check local laws to see what’s needed in your area. 

How to Find Your Car Insurance Policy Number

1. On the Insurance Card

Probably the handiest way to find your insurance policy number is on the insurance card received from the provider. When you sign up for a policy, cards are sent to you, either through email or snail mail. These cards are to be kept in your car at all times.

If you look on the card, you will find all of your pertinent information, including the policy number. Typically, it’s a long line of digits preceded by “Policy #.”

2. On Insurance Declarations Page

If you don’t have your insurance cards with you, it’s also possible to find the number through the paperwork given to you when you signed up. Specifically, you want to look at the declarations page.

This page outlines the policy coverage and shows your policy number. It’s probably listed near the top corner of the page. 

3. Listed on Your Bills

The bills that are sent to you from the provider will also have your policy number listed. You can find it printed on both digital and paper bills.

The format will be the same as what is found on the insurance cards. Therefore, you could look at your past bills or log online to see a previous bill. 

4. In Your Online Account

If you are going to log in online, you could get your policy number without looking at a bill. Just use the username and password you set up to access the account.

Once you get in, there should be a section showing your account information. In this section, your policy number should be listed. 

5. Call Your Insurance Provider

If all else fails, you can call the insurance company or chat with them online. Once you get a hold of an agent or representative, you can ask for the policy number.

Of course, they aren’t going to freely give out the information. You will have to prove your identity somehow before the information is given. 

Insurance Policy Number vs. VIN Number

As a car owner, you encounter many different numbers, so there could be some confusion about what each one is. Two that can get confused are the insurance policy number and the car’s VIN. The VIN stands for the vehicle identification number. It’s basically the serial number of your vehicle, but there are a lot of differences between this and the insurance policy number, even if they look similar. 

Generally speaking, the insurance policy number might be somewhere between eight and 13 characters long, although there are some exceptions. On the other hand, all modern VINs are 17 characters long. If it isn’t 17 characters in length, it’s probably because your vehicle was manufactured before 1981, when the VIN was shorter. 

Additionally, the VIN is found on your vehicle. It can be found on the placard inside the driver’s side door or on the dashboard near the driver’s side windshield. It will also be found on your insurance paperwork, along with your policy number. 

The VIN is going to be specific to your car, while a policy number from the insurance company can cover multiple vehicles if you are covering more than one. Still, you will need both the VIN and insurance policy number when you go to get the car registered in your state.

READ MORE: Where Can You Find the VIN on Your Car?

Do I Ever Need Someone Else’s Insurance Policy Number?

In general, you aren’t going to carry around someone else’s policy number. The only time you really need it is if you have been in an accident with them. In this case, you should get a copy of the insurance information from them or have it written down in the police report. Even if you aren’t at fault during the accident, it’s best to include your information as well, making it easier for the two insurance companies to work out the agreement. 

If you don’t have a police report filed, you want to take a picture of the other driver’s insurance card. Writing it down isn’t reliable as you might not be able to read it later or it could get smudged. You should also get the other driver’s name and phone number. To start the claim, you will need this information.