You probably already take care of your banking errands on your phone (thanks, mobile check deposits!). And we’d guess that the vast majority of you show a TSA agent a digital version of your boarding pass. Maybe you’ve even used the Uber or Lyft apps to snag a ride. But have you presented a police officer with any digital insurance cards to show proof of insurance yet?
Of course not, you might say. (We certainly hope it’s been a while since your last traffic stop.) But if keeping that little piece of paper proving you’re insured a.) at the ready and b.) not expired has until now been the bane of your existence, rest assured: Soon, you probably won’t have to worry about it—ever again.
What is a digital insurance card?
Digital ID cards include the same information as traditional paper copies, but if you own a smart phone it’s basically impossible to lose your proof of insurance.
“This can help you avoid a ticket for not having proof of insurance in your car or carrying an expired copy if you happen to get pulled over,” said Neil Richardson, licensed insurance agent at The Zebra.
Which states allow them?
The insurance business, slowly but surely, is adapting to changing patterns in e-commerce, and that’s good news for the trees of the world and customers alike. The top 15 insurance companies in the country (listed below) all offer digital insurance cards. Some have fancy apps and others pretty bare bones mobile sites, but either way, there are now 48 states (count ’em!) which accept digital insurance cards as proof of insurance.
Which states don’t? According to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Washington, D.C. do not allow digital insurance card use.
The List of All 50 States + DC: Which States Accept Digital Insurance Cards?
(Those with a check mark ✔
are fancy, huh accept digital insurance cards)
New Hampshire ✔
New Jersey ✔
New Mexico ✗
New York ✔
North Carolina ✔
North Dakota ✔
Rhode Island ✔
South Carolina ✔
South Dakota ✔
West Virginia ✔
“For people living in Connecticut, New Mexico, and Washington, DC, the hope is that future legislation will support digital insurance cards and lead to added convenience during traffic stops for both the driver and the police officer involved,” Richardson said. “This would also lead to a decrease in frivolous tickets for simply not having a copy kept in your vehicle.”
A quickly changing landscape
You might want to bookmark this page if you’re still in a state that doesn’t accept digital cards, because the changeover is happening rapidly. In fact, as of April 2013, less than half of the states had enacted legislation allowing for digital, instead of paper cards, according to Lifehacker. And look where we are now! Shh, hear that? It’s the sound of progress.
More good news: Your insurance company likely already offers digital cards
We checked into the top 15 insurance companies in the country according to net premiums written, and every single one of them offers a digital insurance card. If you work with a company not listed here, give your agent a call or Google them—we bet you’ll get good news.
The Top 15 (in order of net premium sold; links are to pages about their digital insurance card offerings)
Allstate (including Esurance)
Farmers Insurance Group (including 21st Century)
Auto Club Exchange Group (aka AAA)
*Updated May 19, 2017