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Ask the Car Insurance Expert

Q

Why do some insurers want to know my VIN when I’m getting a car insurance quote?

A

Many car insurance companies will want your vehicle identification number (VIN) when you’re applying for a car insurance quote so that they can automatically pull up the specifics of your vehicle.  The more the auto insurer knows about your vehicle, the more accurate your car insurance quote will be.

Car insurance companies know that you may forget the exact model and other vehicle-specific details that can make a difference in your car insurance premium.

Auto insurance companies decode the VIN and know in an instant things such as who made the car and the vehicle's model, body style, engine type and transmission type.

If you don’t have your car’s VIN handy, then most insurance companies will allow you to input the data on your vehicle yourself, and knows that it will have to double-check the information once the VIN is provided.

And your VIN must be provided once you are ready to purchase a car insurance policy.  Your car insurance company will also use the VIN to make sure the car isn’t listed as stolen or has a branded (salvage) title. 

Also, many states require car insurance companies to provide VINs to the department of motor vehicles, along with your insurance policy number, so that the state can spot uninsured vehicles. This is why it’s important to make sure that the VIN listed on your policy matches your vehicle.

Last updated: Sep. 10, 2014