Are car inspections required?

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Car inspections are a requirement in some states prior to registering a car
  • Even if your state does not mandate that you need an inspection, your insurance carrier may
  • It is always a good idea to have your car inspected periodically to ensure that it is safe to drive


Every state requires car insurance. Inspections, however, are only required for certain reasons in certain states.

Car inspections are valuable to have to reduce the number of accidents that occur due to poorly maintained vehicles.

Statistics show that, if car inspections are required, fewer cars will be a hazard on the road due to faulty brakes, broken windshield wipers, or burnt out turn signals.

Another way car inspections are helpful is in reducing overall costs of car insurance premiums. Car insurance rates are based on a number of factors, including the cost of car insurance fraud. If less fraud occurs, then car insurance premiums can be lower.

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Car Insurance Inspection to Reduce Accidents

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Vehicle safety is critical whenever you take your car on the road. They way you drive is critical, but so is the condition of your car.

Before you get into your car, you should always walk around the vehicle and do a quick visual inspection.

Some of the things to look for are flat tires or broken lights.

If you see something wrong with your car, do not drive it unless you know the car is in a safe condition to drive. Driving an unsafe car, even for just a few blocks, is not worth risking an accident and someone’s life.

Since vehicle safety is such an important factor in reducing the number of accidents that occur on a daily basis, several states have mandated car insurance inspection rules.

In these states, you are unable to register your car unless you have an inspection done first. Without a passing inspection report and registered vehicle, you cannot get car insurance.

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Car Insurance Inspection to Reduce Fraud

Every day, car insurance fraud occurs and increases the cost of car insurance premiums. By requiring inspections, the chance of fraud is greatly reduced, and the cost of premiums can be lowered.

Typically, brand new cars do not require car insurance inspections.

However, if you buy a used car and want to insure it for comprehensive and collision, then you may need to get a car inspection before getting car insurance.

Car insurance companies do not assume that everyone is going to try insurance fraud.

However, in order to reduce the risk of insurance fraud, just requiring everyone to get an inspection prior to insurance helps keep everyone honest.

If you buy a used car and add comprehensive coverage without an inspection then call to submit a claim for a dent a few weeks later, the insurance company may not cover the damage.

The car insurance company would have to pay your claim even if it is fraudulent, and the more claims it has like that, the higher everyone’s premiums will be.

A simple inspection prior to insuring your car will reveal if there are any problems that won’t be covered by your new insurance policy. That way, if your car is dent free at the time of the inspection but it gets a dent a few weeks later, you have a justifiable claim for the car insurance company to pay.

Certified car inspections are done at numerous places, such as gas stations or inspection stations. If your state or car insurance company requires an inspection, they can provide you with a list of approved inspection locations.

Determining Whether You Need a Car Insurance Inspection

A mechanic making car repairs.

If you are not sure if you need a car insurance inspection, check with both your DMV and your insurance company.

Just because your state does not require an inspection doesn’t mean your car insurance company does not require an inspection to cover you for comprehensive car insurance or collision car insurance.

When you buy a car from a dealer, then you may receive inspection advice from the dealer.

However, it is best to confirm the facts with the state and your car insurance company. It is also important to read the fine print of your car insurance policy.

Imagine you buy a used car, apply for insurance, pay your premium, and think everything is fine. However, your policy is contingent upon sending in an approved inspection document.

If you are involved in an accident or your car gets damaged in a hit and run, your car insurance company will not cover your claim.

Keeping a well-maintained car is important for your car’s overall condition and the safety of you and others on the road. Getting a car insurance inspection is a good idea whether it is required or not. Car insurance inspections can help keep car insurance premiums lower.

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