What is proof of insurance?
<lingo>Proof of insurance is documentation that proves you have active and valid insurance on your vehicle. It is sometimes referred to as POI or as a binder. Proof of insurance is provided to the insured by the issuing insurance company. Most people’s proof of insurance is in the form of a paper card, which is often called an insurance identification card. The proof of insurance card (or other POI documentation) must be kept inside the insured vehicle at all times. If multiple vehicles are insured under the same insurance policy, each vehicle will be issued its own proof of insurance.</lingo>
Proof of insurance clearly and briefly explained
There is important information listed on your proof of insurance, including:
- The year and make of the insured vehicle
- The issuing insurance company’s name
- The insured’s name and address
- The policy number
- Validity dates/renewal dates for the policy
Insurance companies usually issue two copies of proof of insurance per insured vehicle. One should be kept at home in your important personal documents. The other must be kept inside the insured vehicle. It is general practice to store the latter copy in the glovebox of your vehicle along with your vehicle’s registration.
<twitter>Some states are beginning to allow electronic proofs of insurance to be used interchangeably with paper proofs of insurance.</twitter>
If you are pulled over for a traffic violation, the officer who pulled you over will ask for three things: Your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. This is generally the only time you will need to show your proof of insurance. Though in some cases, you may need to show proof of insurance at the DMV or Secretary of State, to lenders, when making an insurance claim, or when exchanging information with another driver after an accident.
It is important to remember that in most cases, there are no substitutes for your proof of insurance, and you cannot use a copy of this document in the same way as the original. If you misplace your proof of insurance, ask your insurance company to issue you another one. With that said, some states are beginning to allow electronic proofs of insurance to be used interchangeably with paper proofs of insurance.