Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Auto insurance policies usually come with nine or 10 digit account numbers
  • A policy number makes identifying and referencing a policy easy
  • Do not confuse the policy number with the NAICS and the VIN numbers

Account numbers are numerical substitutes for a person’s actual identity, and they make a lot of things easier when it comes to keeping up with your information.

On an auto insurance policy, a policy number is issued to identify a particular policy with specific coverage intended to insure a specific person or persons. Confusion is reduced when a simple number reflects a policy.

Knowing the exact amount of digits on an insurance policy’s number is important. This way, a mistake does not arise and the wrong number is not given when asked. Depending on the circumstances, it may be vital to present the right number without delay.

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The Amount of the Numbers

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Someone asking “How many digits are present in a car insurance policy?” might receive an ambiguous response. The number is going to vary based on the state the policy was purchased and the provider of the insurance coverage.

Not every insurance company issues the same number of digits although the usual number is nine or 10.

Each policy may contain a unique number specific to the insurance provider at the beginning of the digit list. In one state, a particular insurance company might issue policies that all begin with the number “2”.

Doing this makes it easier for authorities and others to identify the company that sold and is maintaining the active status of the policy.

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Memorizing the Policy Number

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Memorizing an auto insurance policy number would not hurt, but most people do not do so because they are rarely required to state the number.

The two most common times the number needs to be recalled are when an accident has occurred or when contacting the insurance company for information or action on a policy.

And the policy number does not need to be recalled from memory.

Those who cannot remember the number need not fret. As the Arizona Department of Insurance points out, the number is prominently displayed on the insurance card a driver keeps in the glove compartment.

Perhaps keeping a copy of the insurance identification document on a hard drive would be a good idea as well. After all, the card has a lot of important things on it.

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The Info on the Card

Quite a bit of information is depicted on the face of the insurance document. Name and address are easy to see. The same applies to the effective date and the expiration date of the policy.

Beware of driving with an expired insurance card as this could be a violation of the law.

The year, make, and model of the car are going to be displayed along with phone numbers associated with the policy. There may even be warnings on the card.

An admonishment to avoid revealing any limited of liability coverage to anyone is also prominently printed on insurance identifications issued by one major insurer.

And then there are some numbers.

Three Unique Numbers

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There may be three unique numbers on the card: the policy number, the NAIC code, and the VIN.

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code is designed by the federal government to classify the insurance company for various purposes. The number is one way to identify the insurance company to the department of motor vehicles when registering the car as is required in the state of Pennsylvania.

The VIN is a vehicle identification number, which identifies the driver’s car. Obviously, these are not the numbers one should give when asked for a policy number.

Mercifully, the insurance identification card clearly notes “Policy Number” behind the number right next to it or right above it. Familiarizing yourself with the policy number and where it appears makes it less likely to give the wrong number out when asked for it under stressful conditions.

And do not feel annoyed that another number has to be managed. The number has value.

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The Reasons for Using a Number

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A car insurance policy number makes things easier. Calling up an insurance company and repeating the name, address, phone number, and the like can be a bit cumbersome.

Also, there are many people with a similar or exact name in the same region. Researching and pulling up an account based on the policy number cuts down on the chances of a mix-up.

Granted, additional information may be asked to confirm the identity of the person calling. Such information will already be on the screen. The representative from the insurance company just requires the policy’s number to most easily pull up all data regarding a policy.

Anyone who wishes to ask questions about a policy or conduct other activity should have the number nearby. Depending on the website setup for a particular provider, certain actions can be performed by simply typing the policy number into a designated section online.

For example, someone who chooses to pay a premium without entering an email and password can do so by just entering the policy number and one or two other identifying items.

The first step to acquiring a policy number is to buy a policy. Choosing the policy number is not possible, but choosing an insurance provider is. Thorough comparison shopping should lead to getting the best policy with the best price to meet your needs.

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