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. As 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.
What Drivers Should Be Ready To Do If They Are Pulled Over
It’s likely to happen, so advise your children what to do when pulled over by police.
Nobody wants to get pulled over. Getting pulled over can be stressful and scary for drivers. If new to this situation, consider following these steps when you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror:
Montanas Minimum Liability Insurance Law For Motor Vehicles
Montana law requires that a motor vehicle operated on public roads be insured by a liability insurance policy that meets the states minimum coverage limits in Montana Code Annotated 61-6-103:
$25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident and subject to the limit for one person $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident and$20,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.
Under Montana law, motorists stopped for a traffic violation or involvement in a motor vehicle collision are required to show proof of insurance to law enforcement, in addition to displaying their driver license and vehicle registration.
In order to help enforce this law, the Montana Legislature enacted legislation that authorized creation of an online motor vehicle liability insurance verification system. MCA 61-6-157 directs the Montana Department of Justice to establish a motor vehicle insurance verification system capable of confirming that vehicle owners and operators on Montana roadways are in compliance with vehicle liability policy requirements. The Montana Insurance Verification System was implemented to fulfill this requirement.
Read Also: How Much Does It Cost To Be A Police Officer
Automated License Plate Recognition Systems
The use of ALPR cameras, allows police to quickly and easily identify drivers who do not have valid insurance. By running a vehicles license plate, police can determine whether or not the vehicle is properly insured.
This saves time for police and drivers when they stop for routine traffic stops. ALPR is useful to catch fugitives, traffic ticket violators, speeders, and car thieves. In addition to finding uninsured motorists. ALPRs are mountable on police cars. But they are usually useful at high-traffic intersections and toll booths to catch more criminals.
The Steep Price Of Driving Without Auto Insurance
As police heighten their efforts to identify uninsured drivers, you might wonder just how much getting caught without coverage would cost. First-time convictions often run in the $500 to $1,000 range, and may go as high as $5,000 in West Virginia. There could also be hundreds of dollars in fees associated with reinstating a suspended license or registration.
Yet perhaps the most damaging consequence is the increased cost of future car insurance. In some cases, insurers might not write you a policy at all, Hageli says. But if they do, theyll charge a lot.
If you cant get traditional auto insurance because of an uninsured-driving conviction, you might need to buy high-risk car insurance instead. As youd expect, these policies tend to carry higher rates than standard plans.
See what you could save on car insurance
Easily compare personalized rates to see how much switching car insurance could save you.
You May Like: Why I Want To Become A Police Officer
Can I Report An Accident After 24 Hours
Yes, you can report an accident after 24 hours. Many insurance companies are not open on the weekend. This essentially allows you to be able to wait up to 48 hours before contacting your insurance company about an accident if your accident occurs on the weekend. Also, if you report an accident after 24 hours, during a regular work week, you might be penalized. In fact, your insurance company might not accept your claim whatsoever. This is why it is extremely important to make sure that you report any car accident that you have within a 24-hour timeframe after it occurs.
It Depends On Your State
Different states have different insurance systems. In some states, law enforcement officers can simply check your license plates or drivers license to verify your car insurance.
In other states, law enforcement has special equipment in their vehicles to verify an insurance policy.
DMV policies vary between states. In some states, the DMV immediately notifies the police when a car insurance policy is canceled. In other states, insurance policies may or may not alert the DMV about policy non-renewal.
33 states, for example, have a database of uninsured drivers. In these states, insurers track data about which drivers are uninsured and which drivers are actively insured.
However, even in states that have a database of uninsured drivers, most insurers do not give police instant access to this database. Police cannot instantly check this database after pulling over a vehicle, for example. Instead, police officers must call the 1-800 number on a drivers insurance card to verify.
In other states, the process is more high tech. Approximately 10 states use automatic license plate recognition cameras to detect uninsured drivers. In these states, police run your plates automatically after you are pulled over, and the system checks whether or not you are insured. This allows the police officer to check and verify insurance more easily. Instead of manually checking each driver, the police officer can check hundreds of drivers in one shift.
You May Like: Where Do I Get My Police Report
How Do Cops Receive Insurance Information About Your Car
Most states now have electronic insurance verification systems to keep track of insurance status by license plate number. This means police can simply run your license plate through a computer system in their cars to verify your insurance.
These systems allow police to quickly identify if:
- Youre driving without insurance
- Your insurance policy is expired
- Youre carrying an accurate, up-to-date insurance card
Because insurance companies communicate with the Department of Motor Vehicles when your insurance status changes, and to share data at regular intervals, the information police have access to with electronic verification systems will always be the most up-to-date.
What You Are Obligated To Do
- You must pull over when instructed.
- You must show police your licence, registration and insurance information when asked.
- If the police suspect you have been drinking alcohol, they can make you take a roadside breathalyzer test or a physical sobriety test, such as walking in a straight line. You must obey these commands.
Also Check: How To Become A Police Officer In Los Angeles
How Long Do You Have To Report An Accident To Insurance
After you been an accident, youre likely to be stressed. However, when you make a claim it is important to make sure that the accident is fresh in your mind. This will allow you to be able to accurately tell your insurance company what happened in the accident. Unfortunately, you really dont have long before you need to report the accident to your insurance company. If you fail to report your accident within 24 hours, you can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident. If this occurs, you can face jail time, license suspension and fines.
What Is In A Crash Report
An official crash report provides information about accident causes, road conditions during the collision, vehicle types, and names of passengers and drivers. A police officer will also confirm that drivers have liability insurance. You or your injury lawyer will be able to get a copy of the report to help you identify who is at fault in the collision for the insurance company.
What Happens With An Underinsured or Uninsured Driver?
You will need to file a claim with your insurer if the other driver doesn’t have insurance. You will need evidence you are not at fault. Use pictures, police reports, and witness reports for evidence. The insurance company will investigate the accident and determine fault. The claim you file with your insurer will use your uninsured motorist coverage policy to reimburse you.
You May Like: How To Ask Police A Question
When You Should Call The Police After A Car Accident
If you have any doubt about whether you should call the police after a car crash, it’s better to err on the side of caution and file a police report. Most states require drivers to call the police in certain situations, including:
- when anyone is injured, or
- property damage exceeds the state’s threshold.
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.
Read Also: How To Write A Police Report
What Are The State Insurance Laws
Insurance laws, limit requirements, and systems vary by state. Some states have mandatory insurance laws where theres no choice but to have auto insurance to pay for vehicle damages.
Other states have a different type of law called a financial responsibility law.
In this state, carrying auto insurance is just one of the options to satisfy the law.
How License Plate Insurance Detection Helps Drivers
State-imposed car insurance requirements arent in place to drain your bank account or put you in an orange jumpsuit.
In fact, car insurance requirements are designed to provide you and your fellow drivers with financial assistance in the event of an accident. With plate scanning systems, cops can ensure all drivers are covered, which can help you save both time and money.
With electronic insurance detection, police can:
- Get you back on the road more quickly Because officers can access your insurance information before they approach your car, they spend less time reviewing and confirming your insurance status during a traffic stop.
- Ensure fewer risky drivers A recent study showed that uninsured drivers exhibit riskier behavior and are about 36% more likely to cause an accident than an insured driver.
- Drive down your insurance rates The number of uninsured drivers in your location is a factor that can drive up your own insurance costs, so efforts to detect and decrease non-compliance are in your best interest.
Also Check: Can You Get A Police Report Online
Let Us Help You File Your Claim
Your best chance at a favorable outcome to your accident claim is by having evidence that proves another driver is responsible for an accident that caused your injuries.
Our attorneys are prepared to help you prove another drivers negligence, even if you did not file a police report.
Learn how. Call today at
Free Car Insurance Comparison
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.
Written byLaura Berry Former Insurance Agent
Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida.Jo…
Also Check: How To Become A Police K9 Handler
What If I Have A Clean Driving Record
When you have a completely clean record, then youre in a position to receive better rates compared to drivers with poor or moderate driving histories . Huzzah!
If that sounds like you, then check out these other potential car insurance discountsplus some factors that can nudge your rates in the right direction:
- Multi-car discount.
- Occupational discount .
- Driving primarily for leisure rather than for work.
- Farmer discount .
- Driver training.
Thats how insurers check driving records and what they look for when they get those records. Your driving history is the single biggest factor that underwriters consider for your auto insurance rates. Keep an eye on your records and stay out of collisions to get the best rates in the long term!
Seriously, what else can you do in 3 minutes?
Boil half an egg?
Do You Have To Be Pulled Over To Get Caught Being Uninsured
Can police check your car insurance even if you arent pulled over? Officers may now have more power to check insurance data, but its still possible that you could get caught with no insurance without even knowing it.
In states with electronic reporting requirements, carriers that are licensed to do business in the state are legally required to notify the DMV when policies terminate, renew, or begin.
This helps keep the state informed and can help them take action if needed. If no insurance is reported, the DMV will send out a notice. If you dont respond, you could face:
- Registration suspension
- SR-22 requirements
- Vehicle impoundment if caught driving on invalid plates
As you can see, state officials and peace officers are much more informed than you might think. In the past, it was easy to drive uninsured. Now, its cheaper to carry coverage than it is to break the law.
Also Check: How To Obtain A Police Report In Georgia
Do The Police Always Call Your Insurer
Certainly, not all the time. Usually, a police officer will not call your insurance company to verify your information. The police officer will accept your documentation as proof of insurance if it shows that you have a policy from your insurer and that policy is active within the specified dates.
However, if the officer has reason to suspect you of insurance fraud, he or she may contact your insurer to confirm the validity of your policy. In the event that youve falsified your credentials, you could face serious consequences. Occasionally, the cop will call your insurance company to double-check the information. The officer may believe you if you have proof that you have an active insurance policy.
Why Is It Important That Cops Can Check If Your Vehicle Is Insured
The idea is that people will be so afraid of being pulled over by the police and facing the harsh fines and other law enforcement techniques that are in place in various states that they will simply not drive if their car is not insured. It is important that police can catch this as it can help reduce accidents as well as ensuring that the community as a whole is cared for. The point of this is that it will make the roads far safer for all road users. It gives people a deterrent against driving without insurance because of the harsh penalties associated with driving without insurance.
Recommended Reading: Can Police Enforce Custody Order