How do you find insurance records from a previous owner of a car?

You can find the car insurance records from a previous owner of a vehicle by contacting the local DMV or your state's Department of Insurance. You can also pay an agency like CarFax to research the car insurance records from a previous owner's account. To save money on your own car insurance rates, start comparing quotes today. Enter your ZIP code below to get started.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 4, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • You can request a copy of the most recent title transfer of the car in question. With this information, you may be able to contact the previous owner and ask for insurance records
  • You can also check a CarFax report for the information you desire
  • Keep in mind, if you’re requesting the report to make sure you get the same auto insurance rates, many factors go into your rates and the previous owner’s premium is irrelevant to your situation

How do you find auto insurance records from a previous owner of a car? First of all, why would you need to take this action?

First of all, why would you need to take this action?

In theory, this action would be to ensure affordable car insurance rate in the upcoming year. If you are planning to buy a second-hand car, naturally, you want a fair price on your insurance premiums.

It might help to find out the history of the previous car owner so you can present this information to the insurance company. You might also need such information in the event of an accident so that you can avoid delay in processing claims.

Before we go on with this discussion, understand that federal and state laws currently protect insurance records under most circumstances.

Usually, there is no reason for a current owner to be invasive and request the previous owner’s insurance company documents.

Either way, read on to learn all about finding previous auto insurance records and then use our free tool to save money by doing a car insurance comparison!

The Most Important Sources of Information

Requesting these documents may prove difficult if the car has already been sold by the previous owner. However, here are a few ideas you can try:

  • Contact the local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and request a copy of the most recent title transfer of the vehicle in question. Expect to pay a small fee, usually less than $20. This report will give the basic contact information of the current and previous car owners. In some cases, it may include insurance information.
  • If the document doesn’t contain insurance record information, use the DMV information to contact the previous owner by phone.
  • Contact the Department of Insurance for your state. Don’t think that the previous owner will be reluctant to provide this information. He or she might be perfectly willing to give you these documents, provided there isn’t any sensitive financial information included.

The owner will probably reveal the name of the insurance company. With this information, you can contact the insurance company’s customer service number. Just look online or in the yellow pages.

Request that the company provide this information along with a copy of the previous owner’s insurance coverage. You can also ask for paid or requested claims.

For your own legal protection, only request the information that you have a right to-namely, the car you want to buy at the moment.

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Other Options to Consider

If these sources don’t yield results, look into a professional agency like CarFax. These agencies are privately owned and they maintain a large database on numerous cars. Their database keeps records of car insurance and auto insurance records.

For just a few dollars, you can request past insurance and repair information of a vehicle using the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).

There are some dealers in the market that actually keep a record of all old cars, as well as their leasers’ names and insurance information. This is because most car dealers require proof of full coverage insurance.

Bear in mind, even if you do find other opportunities to gather this information, you should check with your State Department for a review of state law.

Your state may have specific laws stating what insurance information can be disclosed to a third party. If there is no law against acquiring this information, your point of contact will be the insurance agent or perhaps a customer service representative of the insurance carrier.

In the worst-case scenario, you could seek litigation to obtain these records or perhaps even file a complaint with the State Department if the carrier refuses to help you.

What Good Can Come from Outdated Insurance Information?

In the end, remember that just because a previous owner enjoyed a discount on a car doesn’t mean you are entitled to the same deal. That previous coverage was granted to the previous owner, and the car model was only one factor considered.

The car insurance company considered all aspects of this person’s profile, including credit, accident history, age, demographic, location and the amount of insurance desired. Therefore, except in rare cases of human error, the previous owner’s insurance record is largely irrelevant.

The insurance coverage you pay for is always directly related to the person driving and not the car itself. You are the one paying for the right to drive.

Your car has no say in the matter (unless you happen to be driving Kitt from Knight Rider). When you buy a new or used car, the value of the vehicle will be assessed on the car’s current state, not the previous history of the vehicle.

If you are looking for a better deal on car insurance, remember that many more factors contribute to the creation of a new insurance policy.

Rather than waste time researching old records, try shopping for a difference insurance carrier online. You can use our free tool right now and get fast online car insurance quotes!

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