If you’ve ever wondered, “How can I check if a car is insured?” you’re not alone. Unfortunately, not everyone is trustworthy after an accident. Some drivers may provide false information or simply flee the scene of the collision. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to verify if a car has insurance coverage, this comprehensive guide is for you. Keep reading to learn the main steps you should take to determine if a vehicle is insured, and also discover the importance of having sufficient coverage like collision insurance in case you cannot obtain the necessary information.
Various Methods to Check Another Driver’s Car Insurance
If you’re looking to find out if a driver has car insurance coverage, you can request this information if you have a valid reason. One way to obtain this information is by providing the license plate number and an incident report to a police officer, just as you would for a hit-and-run incident. Another option is to approach your local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), but keep in mind that they may require your personal information and reasons for the request, and providing false information could result in your application being denied. Additionally, if you want to find the insurance company using a license plate number without involving the police, you can visit the DMV and inquire about the driver’s insurance company using the license plate number. In case the at-fault driver goes missing and cannot be contacted after admitting fault, you may approach the insurance company directly. However, be prepared with the police report and other documents to demonstrate that you have a genuine reason for needing the policy details.
Dealing with an Uninsured Driver
If the other person involved in the accident doesn’t have auto insurance, the first thing you should do is contact the police. They can serve as credible witnesses to support your claim that the other driver had no insurance. This situation commonly occurs in hit-and-run incidents, and the police can be instrumental in helping to identify the culprit. Moreover, the police are knowledgeable about how to check if a car is insured through the car insurance database. When parking lot accidents occur, many individuals wonder if the police investigate hit-and-runs in parking lots. In cases where the damages are significant, the police will conduct an investigation to determine who caused the accident. Make sure you are aware of the timeframe for police investigating hit-and-runs, as receiving your police report promptly allows you to initiate an insurance claim sooner. If the other driver doesn’t have auto insurance, you’ll need to file a claim with your own insurer. Filing an auto insurance claim against another driver is usually straightforward, but it’s important to gather as much information about the accident as possible. Providing photos, police reports, and any available witnesses can expedite the claim process. Importantly, do not accept money from the other driver if you were not involved in a hit-and-run, as the costs of the accident could far exceed the amount offered.
Auto Insurance Coverage for Hit-and-Run Accidents
The specific coverage that applies to hit-and-run accidents depends on the state you reside in, as coverage laws may vary. This can lead to confusion regarding liability coverage for hit-and-runs. However, in the United States, uninsured motorist coverage typically covers hit-and-run accidents. Aside from collision coverage, the other mentioned coverages are not major auto insurance coverages, which means adding them to your existing policy is generally more affordable. We strongly recommend having some of these coverages, as the cost of an accident can be astronomical, particularly if it involves a fatality. According to the Center for Disease Control, motor vehicle deaths result in an annual loss of $44 billion. Even when no one is killed, less severe accidents can cost drivers thousands of dollars. It’s worth noting that standard auto insurance policies cover engine repairs if your car’s engine is damaged in an accident, although normal wear and tear are not included.
Consequences of an Uninsured Vehicle in a Traffic Accident
If your vehicle is uninsured and you or someone else is driving it without insurance and gets involved in a traffic accident, your license and registration will be suspended, and you will have to pay fines and penalties. Therefore, if you are uncertain about your vehicle’s insurance coverage and want to confirm whether it is insured, it is advisable to check with the DMV to ensure that the necessary information is on file. Remember that if your vehicle is uninsured, the DMV will revoke your driver’s license and vehicle registration for at least one year in the event of an accident involving uninsured driving.
Options when Uninsured Motorist Coverage is Absent
If you lack uninsured motorist coverage, you can choose to take the at-fault driver to court and sue them for the expenses incurred. However, this approach can be time-consuming and costly, with no guarantee of winning a settlement. In such cases, you may end up having to pay for any injuries out of pocket.
By following the guidelines we’ve provided, you can confidently handle accidents involving uninsured drivers and file insurance claims effectively. It’s crucial to have the correct auto insurance information for yourself and all other parties involved in a collision. We hope this quick guide on how to determine if someone has auto insurance coverage after an accident has been helpful. Whether you’re considering shopping for car insurance or simply seeking lower rates after paying accident-related bills, you can use our free tool below to discover affordable car insurance rates from various companies in your area.
- Center for Disease Control: Motor Vehicle Safety Costs (source)