VIN Numbers: Why Do I Need my VIN # For Car Insurance

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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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4 Comments

  1. VIN Doesn't Match's Gravatar VIN Doesn't Match
    January 11, 2008    

    Whenever I start a new car insurance policy I encounter the same thing every time, regardless of company. A few weeks after I purchase the policy I get a letter in the email stating that the VIN number on file does not match the VIN number the DMV has. When looking at the paper, it certainly doesn’t.

    Somewhere in the company someone has typed in my VIN wrong, and now I have to spend time calling to correct it when it was originally correct. I know this because the agent can see exactly what type of vehicle it is.

  2. VIN wrong HA's Gravatar VIN wrong HA
    January 13, 2008    

    that’s funny. I see the same thing with my auto insurance. It seems that most of these insurance companies just don’t get it right when signing customers up for new policies.

  3. vinnumber's Gravatar vinnumber
    January 14, 2008    

    hahaha…they always do that! I don’t get how they can mess it up when they ask for the number and it returns a vehicle in their system…sounds like a correct vin to me.

  4. Danny's Gravatar Danny
    October 16, 2010    

    It’s JUST a Quote! They haven’t been hired to insure me yet! So why the VIN number thing? All the insurance company needs to give me a quote is my DL number, the year make and modle car that they are going to insure,my driving record,my age, so why the VIN number? This is why when people are looking for a quote online they STOP when the insurance company start digging for unessary info. They dont want to have to get up and go look up this info just for a QUOTE.

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