When applying for auto insurance, whether a standard personal policy or an SR-22 policy, you'll need to provide certain documents. Here are the documents an auto insurer is likely to ask for.
All Driver’s Licenses
In addition to your driver's license, an insurance company will also want to see the driver's licenses of anyone who is going to drive the insured vehicle regularly. You don't need a copy of a friend's driver's license if they only occasionally borrow your vehicle when theirs breaks down. Expect to send in copies of your spouse's and children's licenses, though.
Insurers use driver's licenses for two main purposes. First, licenses serve as proof that you and other household members are legally approved to operate motor vehicles. Second, the number on each person's license is used to check each household member's driving record.
While you'll likely need to furnish driver's licenses of any drivers in your household, the licenses don't have to be in-state licenses. If you've recently moved to South Carolina, for example, you don't need to wait until you have a new, in-state license to send in copies of people's licenses. Out-of-state licenses can serve as proof and be used to check driving records.
All Drivers' Social Security Numbers
You'll also need to provide your own Social Security number, and you might be asked for the Social Security numbers of household members who drive. Insurers use Social Security numbers to check applicant's credit scores, which many insurers consider when calculating auto insurance premiums.
Anytime you provide Social Security numbers, you should do so carefully. Instead of carrying your Social Security card on you, memorize the number so you can recite it when the number is needed. For family members' numbers, the most convenient and secure option is to call them and ask for their Social Security number when the numbers are needed.
(Massachusetts, California and Hawaii prohibit considering driver's credit scores, but South Carolina and the other 47 remaining states don't have laws against this practice.)
Your Vehicle's Registration
Like driver's licenses, vehicle registrations serve two purposes in insurance applications. Insurers use vehicle registrations to confirm ownership of a vehicle and to check the vehicle's vehicle identification number (VIN). A vehicle's VIN is a number that's unique to the vehicle and is used to track the particular vehicle's history.
The VIN is on the registration and physically on the vehicle, usually in several places. Insurance companies will pull the number from the registration since it's the easiest way to get the number.
Your Checking Account's Details
Technically speaking, you don't have to know your checking account's details to purchase auto insurance. Knowing the account number and routing number will help expedite the final steps of actually purchasing insurance, though. You'll have the information needed to set up automatic payments through your checking account.
As an added benefit, you may be able to get a discount by setting up automatic payments through your checking accounts. Many insurers offer discounts to policyholders who set up automatic payments, but sometimes the payments must be set up as electronic funds transfers (EFTs). EFTs are set up through checking accounts (and not via credit cards).
There are two easy ways to look up your checking account's details. You can either bring a voided check, which has these details on it, or use your smartphone to log in to your checking account when at your insurance agent's office. Once logged in to your account, you'll see the needed information somewhere on your account page.
For help finding and purchasing an auto insurance policy, contact us at Rowell Insurance Agency.