How to Identify a Car Insurance Company by Its Policy Number

Last Updated on October 4, 2023

Many people don’t know what to do when they get in an auto accident. It’s understandable, especially considering it can be a very emotional time for both drivers involved. Maybe both of you were in a rush to leave, especially if the accident wasn’t very major.

What are you supposed to do if your only information of the other driver is their auto insurance policy number? Is there a way to identify which insurance company they use by the policy number? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about identifying a car insurance company by its policy number.

What Information Should You Get After an Accident?

First, knowing what information you should ideally get if you are involved in an accident is important. Assuming the other person is fully cooperating, it’s best to obtain:

  • The person’s full name
  • At least 1, if not 2, phone numbers
  • Address
  • Driver’s license number
  • Vehicle information
  • License plate number
  • Insurance information, including
    • Name of the company
    • Contact information of the company
    • Policy number

If you have your phone with you (who doesn’t these days!), then you could ask for permission to take a picture of the other person’s driver’s license and insurance card. At least write as much of this information down as you can.

It’s always a great idea to get the police involved, even in minor accidents. The police will look up the other person’s information and file a police report. You can give the police report number to your insurance company, and they will be able to see all the information relating to the accident and the drivers involved.

What If You Only Have the Policy Number?

That is what would happen in an ideal scenario. But if you’ve already had the claim and a policy number is all you have, it’s not impossible to find out who the driver is and proceed with the claim. Difficult, but not impossible.

Every auto insurance company has a different structure for numbering their auto policies. And there isn’t an encyclopedia of insurance numbers out there, which means it will be impossible to learn every company’s structure unless your hobby is memorizing policy numbers.

You can first try to see if the other policy number looks exactly like yours. For example, if you have an 8-digit number and are insured with Progressive, and the other driver has an 8-digit policy number, chances are pretty good that they are also with Progressive.

Not all auto policies are just numbers. Many are prefaced with one, two, or three letters, such as Safeco (K1111111) or Liberty Mutual (AOX-111-111111-1111).

What Do Car Insurance Policy Numbers Look Like?

The following table shows the policy number formats and some example policy numbers for the major insurance companies in the US.

InsurerPolicy Number FormatExample Policy Number(s)
AAAStart with a series of three letters, and then 9 digits.AUT 012345678
AARP11 digits total with a "PHZ" in the middle and one space.55 PHZ123456
Allstate3 digits, a space, 3 digits, a space, 3 digits. (9 digits total)998 404 051
American FamilyString of numbers (and maybe two letters). 10 digits.10AB987654
Auto Club Group Insurance1 digit, a space, 7 digits, a space, 2 digits. (10 digits total)9 8765432 10
Automobile Club of Southern California12 characters with no spaces.CAA012345678
Esurance4 letters (usually starting with "PA"), a dash (-), 7 digits.PAAL-1234567
GEICOString of numbers. 10 digits.0123456789
GMACEither 10 or 13 characters long. Numbers and letters included.SAN1234567
Liberty MutualThree letters, a dash (-), three digits, a dash (-), 6 digits, a dash (-), 2 digits.ADC-321-987654-12
National General10 characters long. Start with the number 2.2009999999
Nationwide4 numbers and 1 letter, a space, 6 numbers.1234B 567890
ProgressiveString of 9 digits, OR
8 digits, a dash (-), 1 digit. (9 digits total)
SafecoOne letter followed by string of numbers.K1111111
The Hartford10 digits total with a "PH" and two spaces in the middle.31 PH 123456
Travelers9 digits, a space, 3 digits, a space, 1 digit. (13 digits total)123456789 101 3
USAAUSAA account number followed by the letter "U" and a string of digits.12345 67 89U 7101 7

As you can see, there isn’t a standard type of auto insurance policy number. They can be any combination of numbers and digits, with some letters thrown in as well.

You can try to call your insurance company and ask them if they know. If you’re with a direct carrier with a call center, your chances are pretty slim that anyone will be able to help you.

If you’re with an independent insurance agent, then read on!

Ask Around Local Agencies

If the two policy numbers don’t match and your own insurance company can’t help, your best place to go next is a local independent insurance agent. Independent agents represent many companies (often more than ten) and have experience working with competing companies.

There is a good chance that the independent agent will be able to recognize the company or help you look up the policy number. If they do, you can inform your insurance company and proceed with the claim.

Other Options for Identifying Insurance Company Policy Numbers

If an independent agent can’t identify the policy number, you could try calling a few insurance companies directly and asking them. Since you are blindly picking companies, this approach likely won’t result in any success. You could at least try the 5 or 10 largest auto insurers in the country.

If this still doesn’t work, then it’s worth a shot to go to the local DMV and see if they can help you. Due to privacy laws, it’s all but certain that they will not give you any information, but it’s worth a shot if all else has failed.

Gather the Information First

Hopefully, you’re able to identify the company with just the policy number and proceed with your claim. But the best thing to do is to prevent this situation from happening in the future.

When involved in an accident, always gather as much information from the other driver as possible.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Andrew Flueckiger
Andrew Flueckiger Andrew Flueckiger is an experienced insurance agent with experience in sales, management, leadership, and marketing. A graduate of Indiana University, Andrew is a licensed insurance agent specializing in personal and commercial insurance. Andrew not only holds a wealth of insurance industry knowledge and expertise, in 2016, he also obtained the Certified Insurance Counselor designation.
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