A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 19, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • If you are involved in an accident, you should request insurance and contact information from the other driver right away
  • You can also make a request of a police officer for insurance information on someone involved in an accident with you. You may need to provide their license plate number if you can
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles in your state can provide insurance information on a driver if you have a valid reason for making the request, such as being involved in a car accident

If you are involved in an accident with another driver, you will probably want to find out right away if that driver has car insurance and what the details of their policy are.

No matter the severity of the car accident, you should involve the police right away so that you can obtain a copy of the police report to use in requesting information on the other driver’s auto insurance coverage.

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Should you ask the other driver if they have insurance immediately after a car accident?

The best-case scenario when you are involved in a car accident is to communicate with the other driver directly and ask to see their proof of insurance card and driver’s license so you can take down their information.

This should be your first option. When two or more drivers are involved in an accident, they should exchange their insurance information. You can use your phone to take pictures of the other driver’s insurance details (the driver’s name, contact information, and license plate number of the vehicle, the name of the insurance company, the insurance policy number). Also, be ready to share your insurance information to the other driver.

It is never a bad idea to call the police right away after an accident, especially if someone appears to be injured. This way, the responding police officer will be able to obtain all of the relevant information regarding the other driver’s auto insurance policy.

You should contact the police if the other driver refuses to give your insurance information or if he/she is verbally aggressive. No matter the nature of the auto accident, the responding police officer will ask to see a copy of the drivers’ licenses and insurance cards for all of the parties involved. In almost every single state, drivers are required to maintain at least the minimum auto insurance coverage.

You’re legally required to report an accident if someone is injured or killed or if the property damage liability exceeds $1000.

Some states also require drivers to keep a copy of proof of insurance with them or in their vehicle. There can be penalties, including revocation of a driver’s license, for failure to comply with this state law.

In the event that you are the victim of a hit and run accident, it is even more important that you contact the police right away to file an accident report.

The official crash report will include information about the accident, road conditions at the time, the names and vehicle types of the drivers involved, and confirmation that each driver has the required amount of liability insurance,

It may be possible for you to see the driver license plate number of the driver involved in the incident. With this information, the police will be able to investigate the incident and track down the appropriate insurance information for the other driver.

There are severe criminal penalties for leaving the scene of a car accident across all states, which is another reason why involving the police right away is a good idea.

In addition to contacting the police, you should also contact your insurance company right away after an accident to put them on notice and start gathering evidence for your claim.

Your insurance company may be able to track down information on the other driver involved in the accident through their insurance company.

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What if the other driver does not have insurance?

Often times, the other driver involved in a car accident is reluctant to disclose insurance information because they are not covered by an auto insurance policy. Even though it is against the state law to drive without car insurance, many drivers still try to get away with driving without car insurance.

It is very likely that if the other driver was not responsible enough to carry the required auto insurance policy to drive, then he is also probably not independently wealthy enough to pay for any damage caused in an accident out of pocket.

If you find out that the other driver in an accident does not have insurance coverage, you may seek to file an auto insurance claim through your uninsured motorist coverage policy.

This is a supplemental policy that helps to pay your medical bills or damage to your vehicle in the event of an accident involving another at-fault driver who does not have liability coverage.

Along the same lines, it may be the case that the other driver has insurance, but the policy limits of his insurance are too low to cover the total amount of damage that you sustained in an accident for which the other driver was at fault.

In this case, underinsured motorist coverage could make up the difference for you in covering your car repair bills and medical bills.

For example, if your total damages are $50,000 in an accident caused by another driver, and the other driver’s maximum liability limits are $25,000, then you would need to cover the remaining $25,000.

Underinsured motorist coverage would help take care of the remaining $25,000 up to the limits of your own policy.

When deciding what type of car insurance or coverage amounts that are best for you and your family, you should take into account the possibility that another driver in an accident may not be insured or may not have sufficient coverage to cover your damages in an accident.

Without having uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, you would be required to pay out of pocket for your expenses. If you are not able to cover this gap through your own personal assets, then the benefit of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can come in handy for you.

When do you need the other driver’s car insurance information?

The most likely reason you need to find out car insurance information for another driver is that you have been involved in a car accident with them.

If this is the case, do not delay in either requesting the information directly from the other driver or filing a report with the police for the accident.

You will be able to use the police report to obtain auto insurance information from the Department of Motor Vehicles for your state. The more accurate information you have on the other driver, the easier it will be to obtain auto insurance information for the other driver.

Why do you need to know the insurance status of the other driver?

The insurance status of other drivers involved in a motor vehicle collision is relevant to your case to determine the available options for compensation of your damages. Even though you can file a claim through your insurance company, you should also contact a lawyer to check if you can file an accident claim with the insurer of the at-fault driver.

The lawyer will evaluate your case, injuries, and losses to determine the overall damages in the accident (cost of repairs, medical costs)

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