Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

Full Bio →

Written by

Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: May 3, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right car insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our car insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different car insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Key takeaways...

  • When you purchase auto insurance, you’re free to cancel your insurance at any time during the period so that you can buy more affordable coverage with another carrier
  • If you switch your insurance or you have to buy coverage elsewhere after an out-of-state move, it’s important to keep your files so that you can show that you have had continuous coverage
  • If you’re looking for proof that you were insured by another company in the past, look through your files for your old declarations pages. These pages show the policy period and will give you contact information for the carrier
  • When you don’t have old insurance paperwork, you can call the state treasurer or the customer service center at the DMV. You should give your old license plate number or your VIN and they may be able to tell you which companies have reported coverage in the past
  • If you’ve filed claims through previous carriers, you can find out which insurer paid out on the claim by running your own C.L.U.E. report

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, use this guide to learn where and how to find that information.

Keep Your Insurance 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 be 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 time, 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.

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Why else might you need to know about your former auto insurance company?

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 auto insurance providers give their customers a continuous insurance discount if they can show that they haven’t had any lapses in coverage. If you do have a gap in coverage, this could lead to an insurance rate increase.

Being organized can really pay off in the future.

Most states require drivers to have liability insurance coverage at the least, so any lapse of insurance indicates you may have broken the law.

If you get into an accident or you’re pulled over by a police officer and you don’t have valid insurance, it could result in a driver license and vehicle registration suspension and additional penalties like expensive fees.

If you’re involved in an uninsured accident, the other driver could even take legal action against you.

How do you order a 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 LexisNexis. When you’re buying insurance, the new carrier will order this C.L.U.E. report to look for chargeable claims in your driving history.

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 send you a copy of the report they’ve ordered. If you order the report on your own, you may have to pay a fee.

To get your C.L.U.E. report, simply visit the LexisNexis website and fill out the application form. You can submit the form online or fill it out and send it through the mail.

When you receive your copy of the report, review the information it contains for accuracy. If you find something on the report that isn’t correct, you should contact the Customer Service team at LexisNexis by calling (888) 497-0011. Let them know what specific item(s) is incorrect and why. They will walk you through the process of correcting any inaccuracies.

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.

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How do you find the most affordable auto insurance 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% or more.

Enter your zip code below to compare car insurance rates from top companies in your area!