The proof of insurance is the documentation from your insurer that shows that you have an active insurance policy that meets state requirements. It is used when you are stopped, have an accident, rent a vehicle, or ask you to show it in another way. The proof of insurance is usually an identification card, printed or electronic, provided by your insurer. No, vehicle registration and car insurance are not the same thing, but they are related.
Showing proof of insurance that meets your state's minimum requirements is part of the BMV or DMV vehicle registration process. Additional steps include providing proof of ownership (car title), passing a vehicle inspection, and paying any fees. You don't have to transfer your insurance to your new car right away. Since most insurers offer a grace period to update your policy with your new vehicle, your dealer will usually only need proof of insurance before giving you the keys.
Even if you don't have car insurance, you can start a policy before you buy your car if you know the vehicle identification number. Nearly every state requires drivers to have car insurance. The dealer will ask for proof of your auto insurance policy. Please contact your insurance company beforehand to add the new vehicle to your policy.
If you're buying a car for the first time, you should be able to get auto insurance for a new car quickly. You can give the insurance company the vehicle identification number (VIN) at the dealer to end coverage. New Hampshire is the only state that doesn't require car insurance. However, drivers who choose not to purchase auto insurance must show that they have sufficient funds to meet the state's financial responsibility requirements (PDF) in the event that they cause an accident.
Failure to comply with state requirements may result in the suspension of your license and registration. In the insurance world, claims are commonly referred to as losses, and the amount of losses a particular brand and model has can affect the cost of insuring. With most insurance companies, you'll be able to get proof of car insurance immediately after buying a policy. For example, Progressive allows 30 days, which means that if you file a claim within that period, your new car will continue to be covered in the same way as your old vehicle.
Comprehensive car insurance and collision insurance are also common types of car insurance coverage, although no state requires them. While it's always good to have paper copies available as a backup, you can rest easy knowing that your digital insurance card is sufficient in case you need to show proof of insurance. Most states require minimum auto insurance and vehicle registration coverage, so it's important to have proof of insurance and registration when driving. The main reason car insurance is mandatory in almost every state is because of your personal liability (liability) if you cause an accident.
Keep in mind that other factors may affect your car insurance rate if you're starting a new car insurance policy. You may need to present proof of insurance to your landlord, mortgage lender, or condo association, but you usually won't need an insurance card for property insurance policies. When you buy a car at the dealership, whether new or used, there are specific documents you need to buy a car from a dealer, such as a driver's license, proof of car insurance, and payment for your purchase. If you're currently insured with another insurance company, you can simply start a new policy with your new car.
If you don't have physical damage coverage and your new car is stolen, wrecked, or damaged in an accident because of you, you won't receive money from your insurance company. Yes, you can show proof of insurance on your phone at the DMV or BMV in every state that accepts proof of digital insurance.