When you purchase insurance, you’re given proof of insurance—a digital or physical document that proves you have active insurance coverage. This document is typically kept in your glove box, so you have it on hand if you get pulled over. If you don’t have proof of insurance when you’re stopped, you could face consequences like fines or a suspension. Learn the importance of proof of insurance and how to get it so you’re covered on the road.

What Is Proof of Insurance?

Sometimes known as an insurance ID card or binder, proof of insurance is a document that verifies that your car is insured. This document typically includes valuable information about your insurance policy, including your policy number, name, insurance company and their contact information, and expiration date. Most proof of insurance documents are a card designed to be kept in your glove box. However, electronic proof of insurance cards are also popular options.

Why Do You Need Proof of Insurance?

Driving without insurance is illegal in almost all 50 states. As a result, proof of insurance is required to do exactly that—prove you have insurance when you need it. If you’re pulled over without your proof of insurance card, but you do have coverage, you may be penalized with a small fine and asked to send proof of insurance to the authorities within a certain timeframe. If you can’t present proof of insurance when you’re pulled over, you could face serious consequences, such as fines, a license suspension, or, although rare, even jail time.

Additionally, if you’re ever involved in an accident, you’ll need to provide proof of insurance to the other driver as well as the police. You also need proof of insurance if you register your vehicle or renew your license at the DMV. Lastly, if you plan on leasing a car, most leasing companies require proof of insurance for their vehicles.

How to Get Proof of Insurance

Getting proof of insurance is a quick and straightforward process. Here are a few different ways you can secure your insurance card after purchasing a policy:

  • Have your card mailed. The most common way that insurance companies distribute proof of insurance cards is by mailing it to you.
  • Print it yourself. Find your insurance card on your company’s website or mobile app and print out a copy to keep in your glove box. You can also ask your insurance agent to send you an email with your card if you can’t find it online.
  • Download your insurer’s mobile app. Download and log in to your company’s mobile app, navigate to the proof of insurance section, and save your insurance card on your phone for easy access.

Proof of insurance is a legal requirement in most states, so double-check that it’s in your glove box or on your phone before you hit the road. Getting pulled over by the police or getting into an accident without insurance can jeopardize your financial future and your driving record. If you’re looking for an affordable policy, look no further than The General. We can get you a car insurance quote in under two minutes and help you secure proof of insurance in under 10.