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Proving You Have Auto Insurance

If a police officer ever pulls you over for a roadside chat, a piece of paper in your vehicle's glove box may help decide how much this encounter will cost you.

Almost every state – aside from New Hampshire – requires drivers to carry liability insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Liability insurance doesn't cover you and your vehicle if you cause an accident. Instead, it's for other peoples' injuries and property damage.

Most states also require you to carry some sort of proof that you have insurance, the III noted. For many drivers, that proof is a piece of paper they carry in the glove box. However, new rules across the country may allow you to offer a new type of proof you have insurance.

Options for showing proof of insurance

For many people, the most familiar document that shows they're following the insurance law is the small piece of paper, about the size of a credit card, which lists basic details about their coverage.

According to, which compiles information from state motor vehicle departments, other options that may suffice include:

  • The declarations page that your insurance company sends you when you obtain coverage. It offers a summary of the coverage your policy offers.

  • A signed copy of an insurance binder. Usually, this is a temporary document to use when you've applied for coverage, but haven't received it yet.

  • A signed copy of a letter from your insurance company that provides information about your coverage.

  • If you're unsure about the type of insurance proof your state requires, call your insurance company or check your state's motor vehicle agency.

  • A number of insurance providers offer apps that you can install on your devices. These can allow you to display your insurance proof, and in some cases perform other insurance-related tasks, like paying your premiums and taking photos at an accident. Check your state laws or ask your insurance agent if electronic proof is acceptable in your state.

    According to Insurance Journal, at least 30 states now allow you to carry proof of auto insurance on your smartphone or other electronic device.

    Additionally, roughly 13 percent of drivers don't have auto insurance, according to the III. If you're motoring without coverage – or would simply like to explore better rates – you can quickly find great options through CoverHound, a leading provider of insurance quotes for drivers in the U.S.

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