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 15, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • Think of a car insurance policy number like an account number
  • The policy number is a unique identifier to link you to your insurance carrier
  • Every car insurance provider will have a different format for how they do policy numbers

You go through the process of purchasing a car insurance policy from a carrier. You then get this document that has all of this information on it, and all of these numbers; that is your actual car insurance policy.

One such piece of information there is that of your policy number. At its face, this number looks very meaningless, but it is the number that basically encapsulates your car insurance policy for your carrier and yourself.

Knowing where this number is and what it signifies is very important.

The trick with a car insurance policy number is that no two carriers do them the exact same way.

Every car insurance carrier is going to have a different way of going about generating insurance policy numbers, why they write them certain ways, make them look like they do, and so on.

As a consumer, it is more important to understand the concept and reason for a policy number rather than trying to decipher every single digit in it, because the reason behind each will vary from one insurance carrier to the next.

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The Policy Identifier

The easiest way to think of your policy number in the context of the relationship between you and your insurer is that it is a unique identifier. Think of your policy number as an account number basically.

This is the number that is going to link you, your covered automobiles, the coverage you have, and everything in-between with what you are paying your carrier to provide, that being the actual insurance.

The format and length of the policy number are going to vary widely based on the insurance carrier that you go with. Some insurance carriers will have very simple and short policy numbers, while others may have policy numbers that are much longer.

Some may embed the year that the policy is in effect into the policy number, as well as other detail which the insurer will understand, but you as a consumer really may not. This is perfectly fine as long as you know it identifies you with your actual policy.

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When You Are in an Accident

When you get into a car accident, what you want to do is to have that policy number handy so that you can give this to the other party or whoever requests it.

Rather than saying you have ABC Insurance and moving on, you can give your insurance carrier and the actual policy number that you have as well.

With this number, it is going to be that much easier to make a claim to be indemnified for your loss.

Having the unique number can help link you up immediately with the coverage that you are paying your premium in exchange for.

The Regulatory Factor

The department of motor vehicles (DMV) is also going to have to verify from time to time that you have the required car insurance in your state.

In order to do this, they may also need your car insurance policy number. When they have the policy number they can quickly and easily reach out to your insurance carrier to make sure that your policy is still in force and valid.

The car insurance policy number may seem like a fairly random string of letters and numbers, but it is important to both you and your carrier.

When you have a policy number it is the unique identifier that is going to link you to your carrier so that the coverage you are paying for is given to you, when needed.

When you go to buy a car insurance policy be sure to ask about what to expect the policy number to look like so you know where to find it on your policy and what it represents.

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