Do You Need Proof of Auto Insurance?
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Drivers who need instant proof of insurance are those drivers who were found driving without coverage and need it to reinstate their driver’s license or vehicle registration. There is also a law stating that all drivers need some kind of proof of financial responsibility when they drive. This financial responsibility is often in the form of auto insurance and the “proof card” needs to be in the car at all times so it is available upon request of any traffic officer.
Because all states require financial responsibility and car insurance is the most popular form of it, it’s important to know the type of liability that is essential for all drivers to carry, as dictated by state law. Bodily injury liability and property damage liability are the two that are required in every state. They take care of the other driver’s injuries and repair costs, up to the amount purchased. In some states, more insurance is required such as uninsured motorist and personal injury protection coverage. Uninsured motorist liability protects the policyholder and members by enforcing their insurance carrier to pay for damages inflicted upon them and/or their property by the motorist without insurance. Personal injury protection is a type of medical coverage offered by most auto insurers, which will pay for a list of things including lost wages, accident-related injuries, and pedestrians struck. State legislation believes it to be in the best interest of each driver to have this law in effect.
When a driver finds themselves in a situation involving a traffic stop or accident, the officer in attendance will usually request proof of insurance in addition to the driver’s license and vehicle registration. If the driver does not have this proof of insurance, consequences will follow. They may not be quite so stern if the driver can prove they have current auto insurance and simply forgot their card, but the penalties will definitely be severe when the officer knows the driver was operating the vehicle without insurance.
Another situation where this proof of insurance card may be needed is when you purchase a new vehicle with a loan. The bank loaning the money for your new purchase will require that the new car you purchase be covered with “full coverage” or comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to the state minimum requirements. These additional coverage options are in place to protect the car’s cash value if something should happen to it. The bank wants to be sure that in the event the car is totaled or damaged it will be replaced or repaired in a manner that will guarantee the bank doesn’t lose money on the car. Before the bank will agree to loan out the money, the driver purchasing the car needs to show them there is already an auto insurance policy in place to protect the vehicle as soon as it is purchased. The proof of insurance card will have the necessary information the bank will need to show such insurance.
Because each state has different requirements regarding auto coverage law, each state will also carry different penalties. Some of these penalties include fines and the suspension of the driver’s license and/or suspension of the vehicle registration. Another factor is how often a driver is found guilty of breaking this law. Subsequent offenses will lead to more fines and jail time.
In some states, insurance companies and State Departments of Motor Vehicles communicate with each other. Insurers notify Motor Departments when policies are canceled and not renewed. In some cases, it is justifiable because the former policyholder has moved out of state. If the policyholder can prove this, no action will be taken. In other cases, when the policyholder failed to renew the policy and didn’t start a new policy by choice, the law will come looking for the reason why there is not a new policy in place and will most likely give fines.
An SR-22 is another form of proof of insurance, but this is specifically assigned to drivers who are considered very high risk, have been involved in a large number of accidents, or have been convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Sometimes, people who have been caught driving without car insurance are mandated to also have an SR-22 in addition to a new insurance policy. It is not additional insurance for your vehicle, but a form that is filled out by your insurer and then sent to the State Motor Department where it is kept as part of your driving record. It is not to replace a policy, but to be used as an additional way to ensure this driver has insurance now. It is also a type of “tag” with the SR-22 to let anyone who views his record know that s/he has not been 100% compliant with the laws.
Need Proof Now?
For any driver who needs proof of insurance right now and does not have the time to search individual car insurance companies, make a purchase and wait for a company to mail the proof, you should check out our comparison tool feature to receive free quotes from a list of local insurance companies. You can compare the rates and the companies who provide them and make your decision to purchase the policy right there on the site. In many instances, you will be granted with the ability to print off your own proof of insurance card from your printer. You could also have it faxed to you from our offices if you don’t have access to a printer or would prefer this method. There is also a choice to download the policy and proof card to your computer to print the proof of insurance card later. All of these methods can be used in court to reinstate your driver’s license or vehicle registration, and if you don’t need it right away, you can go “traditional” and request the card to be sent my mail.
All drivers need to have a proof of auto insurance form or card in their vehicle at all times. If you do not have insurance at this time, use our comparison tool to find a policy that will work for you and give you the means to have this card in your possession.