VIN Numbers: Why Do I Need my VIN # For Car Insurance
Q: Why do I need my VIN number when I’m applying for car insurance. Does it really matter what the VIN numbers are if it’s the correct year make and model?
AIS Answer: Insurance companies are very specific businesses and they want to know EXACTLY which car they are insuring. Since 1980 manufacturers have used a standard method of assigning a VIN number (vehicle identification number) to each vehicle and those 17 numbers and letters mean the difference between one car and another, even if it’s the same make and model.
Just like your drivers license number and social security number, the VIN identifies each vehicle individually. If you were to get into an accident, the VIN on file needs to match up with the VIN that the insurance company is insuring. Insurance companies and the DMV both rely on VIN’s to help identify vehicles, this not only helps catalog and record the vehicles and track ownership history – but helps eliminate auto insurance fraud and theft.
Sometimes you’ll find when you get an initial quote for auto insurance you don’t need to have the VIN number on hand. For instance you can get a quote on prospective vehicles and not necessarily have the VIN number, it happens all the time especially when you’re comparing which vehicle to buy. However, you cannot get an auto insurance policy without a correct VIN number.
For those that don’t know where to locate their VIN number, you can look at your title or registration and see a 17 character set of words and numbers. If you don’t have your registration for some reason, you can usually find the VIN number in the front dash by the window on the drivers side and in the door jambs.
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