How To Find Out If A Car Has Insurance
When it comes to finding out if a vehicle is insured, there are few things you can easily check to find insurance details. After that, the search may get a bit more complicated.
Either way, the more information you have about the vehicle, the better. If possible, track down the:
- VIN number
- License plate
If you have access to the vehicle and the owners’ financial records, which would be possible if you inherited a vehicle or dealing with an elderly relative’s finances for them, you may be able to determine if the car is insured quickly.
Here are a couple of places to check:
When Will My Details Appear On The Mid
It depends on a few factors. If your insurance documents are not showing up on the MID, it is worth checking them over and making sure that there are no mistakes in them. Honest and minor errors in your documentation can prevent your details from being updated correctly.
Your details can sometimes take as long as 7 days to appear on the MID. If your details have not been updated on the database, it can sometimes be worth getting in touch with your insurer.
This time delay often means that a new policy wont show up immediately, despite being covered.
How To Read Your Auto Insurance Policy
Auto insurance policies are confusing and boring documents filled with legal jargon that can be an absolute nightmare to read. Your policy is a legal contract binding the insurance company to perform specific actions under certain circumstances for an agreed upon price. Insurers want the contract to be as specific as possible, which is why policies are so detailed and written in legalese.
Resist the temptation to gloss over your insurance, because understanding your insurance policy can help avoid costly coverage gaps or frustration with your insurer after an accident. As the saying goes: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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Can Police Check If You Have Insurance By Running Your Plates
Posted on behalf of Jay Trucks and Associates on in Auto Accidents
Having car insurance in Michigan is required. Drivers must meet the minimum insurance requirements to operate a vehicle on the road. Having valid car insurance coverage is also something the police check for. But how do officers know if you have insurance? In addition to carrying proof of your no-fault insurance, the police can run your plates to get updated information on your insurance status.
Below, Jay Trucks discusses the tools used by the police to check a drivers insurance status, what happens when false information is provided or you are found driving without insurance, as well as how license plate insurance detection benefits both officers and drivers.
If you need legal help or are unsure of your coverage limits in the event of a car accident, one of our licensed attorneys is here to offer assistance. We offer an initial consultation at no cost or risk to you.
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Police Officers In Michigan Can See If You Have Car Insurance Before You Show Proof Of It
Police in Michigan are using an easy way to check whether a motor vehicle is properly insured.
Michigan State Police and other agencies can tell whether most vehicles are insured by running a license plate number through an in-car computer.
Were kind of excited about it, given its ability to help us target fraudulent insurance or people, frankly, who are driving around with no insurance, which is dangerous for everybody, said Sargent Amy Dehner, a legislative liaison with the Michigan State Police.
State law still requires drivers carry proof of insurance.
Insurance companies have to send information to the secretary of states office twice a month already. While that practice had been in place for some time, officials say the information wasn’t previously immediately available through the Law Enforcement Information Network, or LEIN. Now, that information is available to cops when they run your plate.
Michigan State Police officers dont treat it as a primary reason for a stop but its a really good reason to take a close look at what youre being handed at the window, Dehner said.
Dehner says theyve been able to crack down on people using fake insurance cards or who were conned into buying a policy from a fake insurer.
Things that could be made on a home computer, things that people were buying on Craigslist, fake insurance storefronts, Dehner said. She says this change was made after officials from the Secretary of States office recommended it.
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A Police Officer Can Give You A Speeding Ticket Based On Their Visual Observations Alone
Believe it or not, a police officer doesn’t need to use a speed gun in order to determine whether or not you’re driving above the speed limit. Rather, New York attorney Michael Kramer notes that “it has been held that the opinion evidence of a police officer, uncorroborated by any other mechanical device, will be sufficient to sustain a speeding conviction.” Yes, you read that right: So long as the court finds that an officer is qualified to gauge speed visually, then their testimony against you is enough to make a speeding ticket valid.
You Have The Right To Look At Any Search Warrants
If the cops ever show up at your house and claim to have a search warrant, you can exercise your right to actually read said warrant. “You’re welcome to read at your leisure,” Christopher Hawk, a retired member of the police force, noted on Quora. “If the warrant turns out to be defective, you have remedies available through the court system. Evidence can be thrown out, civil suits can be brought against the department, etc.” Just bear in mind that the police don’t have to wait for you to read the warrant before entering your home.
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Do I Need My Details To Be On The Mid To Drive
No. If you have insurance cover, you can drive.
You dont necessarily need your insurance to show on the MID. If you are buying one-day car insurance or one-hour car insurance, your insurance may already have run out by the time the database has been updated.
If the police were to pull you over because your details are not on the database, you will need to prove to them that you are insured. The documents that you receive from your insurer are enough to do this. Show the police officer your proof of insurance, and explain that the MID must not have been updated yet.
The only occasion that your vehicle doesnt need insurance or appears on the motor insurance database is when youve registered your vehicle as off the road with a Statutory Off Road Notification . If you have done this, you shouldnt be driving it in the first place, though.
Can The Police Stop You For No Insurance Based On A Computer Check Of Your Plates
Though police can tell if you have insurance by running your plates, the Michigan Vehicle Code does not address this issue. The Michigan State Police has stated the information will not be used as a primary basis for a vehicle stop, but each police department may have its own policy. The Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld a stop for no insurance based on a LEIN check.
In its published opinion in People v. Mazzie , the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the police could make a traffic stop based on LEIN information showing that a vehicle in question was not insured as required by Michigan law. The judges stated:
The LEIN information gave the police at least a reasonable suspicion that defendant was operating his vehicle without insurance and, therefore, the stop and detention to check for valid insurance was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.
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What Happens If I’m Caught For Being Uninsured
It’s illegal to drive without car insurance. If your vehicle is uninsured and the police catch you, they can:
- Issue 6 points on your license
- Issue a fine of £300
- Seize your vehicle
Cases brought to court can result in the vehicle being destroyed and the driver receiving an unlimited fine as well as a driving ban.
The Trucker In The Next Lane
Elevated SUVs and even 18-wheelers give officers a bird’s-eye view of a driver’s hands. If they appear to be texting, it’s citation time.
Last year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo committed $1 million toward putting modified Chevy Tahoes on the road that sit higher than other vehicles. He also raised the fines associated with texting and driving. First-time offenders are hit with a fee of between $50 and $150 as well as a whopping five points on their licenses.
The high-riding SUVs worked: New York State troopers handed out 5,553 distracted driving tickets in a two-month period last summer, compared with 924 in the same period a year earlier.
Cops in Tennessee are going even higher, cruising 18-wheelers to peer into passenger cars. They radio their findings to troopers in patrol cars who do the actual ticketing.
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Police Officers Can Legally Lie To You About Having Evidence
If a policer officer tells you that they found your DNA at the scene of the crime, they may not necessarily be telling the truthand that’s perfectly within their rights. Time and time again this issue has come up in court casesand every time it does, the judges ultimately side with the cops, noting that deliberate deception is fair game so long as it’s not likely to produce a false confession.
What Happens If You Get Into An Accident Without Insurance In Ontario
This is perhaps one of the worst situations you can be in if you are driving without an active policy. If you are involved in an accident, you will be held personally responsible for all the repairs to your vehicle as well as any medical bills. Depending on the amount of damage or type of injuries, this could be a significant cost to you.
You will can also be fines or face charges if you are found to be held responsible for an at-fault accident.
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How To Check Insurance On A Used Car
The vehicle identification number or VIN gives vital details of a car. This is a series of 17 characters with letters and digits. The VIN identifies a specific model of auto. This code is unique to each vehicle.
You may want to know if a car was ever involved in a collision. You may want to check if that car was ever damaged by a flood. This will brand the car as non-repairable. As a car gets flooded till the dash bottom it damages many parts. Such a car gets branded as non-repairable. All provinces prohibit from using such a car on the roads. You may not want to buy such a car. These are some vital factors that could affect your decision to buy that used car.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada also keeps a database of information. They know about reported used cars that were non-repairable. It is free to use this service. This effort protects insurance consumers from fraud. This database has all details of the car based on its VIN. The member insurance companies support IBC to maintain this database.
And They Can Trick You Into Giving Them Your Dna
If you don’t want the police to have your DNA on file, then don’t accept a cup of coffee or water from them. According to Nicholas J. Moore, Esq., a San Diego trial attorney, it is well within the police officer’s rights to obtain DNA samples from anything you touchand “a positive DNA match to an active crime scene is usually sufficient for an arrest and a charge.”
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What Are Special Reasons For Driving Without Insurance
So-called special reason arguments can sometimes be used to reduce the severity of your punishment.
It could be argued that, while being technically guilty of driving without insurance, there are mitigating circumstances.
Examples of this include :
- An insurance provider cancelling a policy without notifying the holder
- No policy being in force, due to faults on the behalf of the provider
- A person being informed that they can drive the vehicle legally
- A person having a genuine reason to believe they are insured
What You Need To Know About Clue Reports
Unfortunately, theres virtually no way to hide your accident information from car insurance companies. This is because they use a database called CLUE to track driver information, including anything that would be filed in a police report. CLUE is run by a company called LexisNexis, and there is a similar report called A-PLUS thats run by a company called Verisk, although it isnt used as often. The database tracks claims that have been paid or denied by your own insurance company, as well as any inquiries someone else has filed about you. This information can get into the database in any number of ways some auto repair shops even have access to it.
Insurers will normally only check your CLUE report after you have become a customer, but they can adjust your rates if there is information in the report you have failed to disclose to them. You can request a copy of the report from the company for free, so you can stay informed about what information is in it.
Every company processes insurance claims differently, so even though they all have the same information, you have options when it comes to coverage. Your driving history will be used to determine how much of a risk you are to insure. Some providers are more strict than others, so dont be afraid to shop around for insurance.
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When You Dont Need Vehicle Insurance
The law says that you must normally have at least third party motor insurance if you drive or own a vehicle. You must also have insurance if you leave it parked on the street, on your driveway or in your garage.
The police can check on the spot if your vehicle is insured using the Motor Insurance Database. If it isnt they can seize it immediately, even if you then arrange insurance at the roadside. Youll have to produce a certificate of insurance and pay charges to get your vehicle back. If you dont, the police can dispose of your car 14 days later. If they sell it, you can claim money back from the sale.
However, there are situations when it’s legal for your vehicle to be uninsured. This page tells you about situations where you don’t need to have motor insurance.
You don’t need motor insurance if:
- you have a valid Statutory Off Road Notification
- your vehicle has been kept off a public road since before 1 February 1998
- your vehicle has been scrapped, stolen or exported and you have given notice of this
- your vehicle is between dealers or is being held in stock by an authorised dealer.
If your vehicle appears not to be insured you will get a letter from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau warning you to insure your vehicle or to check your insurance company has entered the correct details onto their database. If you are insured you should contact your insurer at once.
Does Comprehensive Insurance Insure Me To Drive Any Vehicle
While DOC cover is included in many comprehensive policies, its always subject to terms and conditions, including age and experience, so its always best to check your policy details first.
Many people have fallen foul of the law in the belief that their comprehensive insurance covers them to drive another vehicle owned by someone else.
The owner of the car has also committed an offence if theyve allowed their vehicle to be used by an uninsured driver, and you may both receive points and a fine.
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Is Information Always Accurate When Cops Scan A License Plate
ALPR technology has been around for decades. Similar to other advanced technology, such as cell phones, ALPRs started off producing somewhat dicey results. However, as technology has improved, these scanners have become more powerful and accurate.
, ALPR devices are estimated to read license plates correctly about 97% of the time.
And Now The Texting Detector
The police soon may have a new tool in their arsenal when it comes to detecting drivers who can’t put their phones down.
A Virginia company called ComSonics is developing a radar gun-like device that detects the radio frequencies that are emitted from a vehicle when someone is using a cellphone. “Cable repairmen use similar means to find where a cable is damaged by looking for frequencies leaking in a transmission,” Malcolm McIntyre of ComSonics told The Virginian-Pilot newspaper.
The company claims that the gun can tell the difference between a text and a phone call.
How soon the gun will be in the hands of police officers is anyone’s guess. Bret V. Harrison, director of repair services at ComSonics, told Insurance.com that the device is still early in its development process.
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