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Not everyone who owns a car keeps their auto insurance with the same company for their entire life. While there are consumers in the marketplace that are extremely loyal to their insurance company, a majority of people who choose not to shop around are overpaying by an average of $368 per year.
This is why it’s crucial that you price insurance premiums and switch carriers when you’re able to save money.
When you switch carriers either to save money, it’s in your best interest to hold onto all of your old documents for more than just a few months. Some states will audit you and other times you need to show proof of continuous coverage to insurers.
Enter your zip code above for car insurance rates from multiple companies! If you don’t remember where you bought insurance, here’s how to find the information:
It’s Best to Keep Your Documents For At Least Three Years
One way to avoid having to be a detective to find out where you were previously insured is to keep your old documents either saved in the cloud electronically or filed away in your filing cabinet.
Some insurance experts say that you can discard old documents after the term is up, but it’s better to safe and keep your documents for at least one to two years.
If you save a copy of your old declarations page, you’ll have the company name and your old policy number.
Since you can easily access the documents, you can always show the state that you’ve maintained constant coverage that’s required by law.
Some of the times, the DMV will audit you months or years after they believe you’ve had a lapse. If you can’t show that you were really covered, the state can suspend your tags.
Insurance Companies May Ask for a Copy of Your Old Insurance
Being audited by the DMV isn’t the only reason that you need to keep your old documents.
Having your declarations pages on file could help you save money on future premiums. Many insurers give their customers discounts if they can show that they haven’t had any lapses in coverage.
Being organized can really pay off in the future.
Order Your C.L.U.E. Report to Find Old Insurance Information
Another option to locate previous car insurance information is to order your Claims Loss Underwriting Exchange report through LexiNexis. When you’re buying insurance, the new carrier will order the C.L.U.E. report to look for chargeable claims.
Not only does the report show if you’ve had at-fault losses, it also shows the carrier you were insured with and what your policy number was at the time.
Since the report contains your own personal information, you’re entitled to order the report or request that the insurer ordering your report send you a copy. If you order the report on your own, you may have to pay a fee.
Contact the State to Find Out Which Insurance Companies Have Reported Coverage on Your Car
Almost all states have mandatory auto insurance requirements. Since you have to comply with the law when you own a car, the state often verifies that residents are complying with mandatory laws.
Some states have electronic verification programs in place where all insurers must electronically send proof of coverage in real time. Others do random audits.
Since the Department of Transportation in the state keeps insurance information in each registration record, you may be able to call the DMV and ask for previous insurance information.
You may need to provide the car’s VIN and the license plate number to verify that you’re the vehicle owner. Some states also have online systems where you can check insurance information.
Always Shop Around for Coverage
You have the right to buy insurance that you can afford. That’s why you should always shop around to find low rates on a broad auto insurance policy. If you don’t shop around, you could be stuck paying inflated rates for less coverage.
Shopping around doesn’t have to take up all of your free time. If you want a more convenient option to compare insurance, use a brokerage-style online quote comparison tool.
With this type of tool, you can plug in your zip code and your vehicle information to get instant quotes that could save you 20 percent or more.