Is it a bad idea to give your Social Security number when shopping for auto insurance?

It is not a bad idea to give your Social Security number when shopping for auto insurance. Laws and professional standards are in place to protect the privacy of individual drivers so your information can be defended against cyber-crime. Sharing your SSN helps an insurance company draw up accurate information and provide you with a customized policy; however, refusing to share your SSN allows an insurance company to raise your rates drastically.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati.com. ...

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2021

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Can't-Miss Facts

  • Most, if not all, insurance companies require drivers to share their SSN with them
  • Your SSN provides crucial information that your insurance company uses to calculate your rates
  • Insurance companies work hard to protect the privacy of their clients

With cyber crime growing ever more prevalent, it’s not a surprise that drivers are looking to protect themselves while shopping online for an auto insurance quote.

Keeping personal information like your Social Security number close to the vest is usually the best policy to avoid identity theft.

Cautious individuals who still want the convenience of online shopping may be no strangers to typing “no SSN auto insurance near me” or “how to get auto insurance without an SSN” into their search engine.

But, if you want to buy auto insurance, is it a bad idea to give your Social Security number when shopping for auto insurance? It isn’t really, and most, if not all, insurance companies will require that you share your SSN when you finalize a purchase with them.

Before learning more about if it is a bad idea to give your Social Security number when shopping for auto insurance, enter your ZIP code into our free tool to start comparing quotes today.

Why do insurance companies need your SSN?

If you need an auto insurance quote, is it a bad idea to give your Social Security number when shopping for auto insurance? Sharing your information with an insurance company can actually you get the best coverage as your insurance company will know what best suits your needs.

When you begin to process an auto quote online, you’ll need to fill out some information about your vehicle and yourself. There will be questions that only you know the answer to, like your address, how often do you drive the vehicle in question, and if the vehicle is primarily used for leisure.

Now, when you enter your SSN, the insurance company can get accurate information on your:

  • Driving record
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Gender
  • Credit score

All of these pieces of information play an important role in the calculations of your auto insurance rates, and providing your SSN is the easiest way to pull up all of your vital information.

It may seem odd for your insurance company to know what your credit score is, but your rates are greatly affected by your credit (in all states except California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts). For example, if you have a low credit score, your rates could be quite high.

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Is it safe to share your SSN with an insurance company?

One of the primary fears that people have about sharing their SSN is that they will become a victim to identity theft. Luckily, insurance companies are required by law to do everything they can to protect their clients’ information.

For example, when it comes to personal data protection in California, the State of California Department of Justice reports that all insurance companies must adhere to the California Consumer Privacy Act, which includes certain requirements related to consumer privacy rights.

But that’s not the only law that protects insured drivers. Here’s a list of some of the laws and professional standards that are dedicated to protecting insurance clients:

  • The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act
  • The Sarbanes–Oxley Act (SOX)
  • The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

Read on for the details of these laws and how they protect drivers.

How do these laws protect insured drivers?

The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act is, as reported by the Federal Trade Commission, a federal law that requires a clear explanation of an insurance company’s information-sharing practices to its clients.

This Act also requires insurance companies to be aware of their employees’ activities in order to protect all sensitive data about their clients.

As explained by Cornell Law School, the Sarbanes–Oxley Act aims to prevent fraudulent actions and protect financial records. In order to meet SOX requirements, an insurance company must keep track of every communication and financial operation it undertakes.

And last but not least is the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. The American Bar Association reports that the PCI DSS is a set of standards decided upon by American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard, and Visa, Inc.

This standard was created in order to guarantee the security of credit card processing. Insurance providers, as is the case with all other merchants processing credit cards, must be PCI DSS compliant as soon as they accept any payments via credit cards.

Can drivers get a car insurance quote without an SSN?

As you now know, sharing your SSN with insurance companies is a key way for them to learn about you as a driver. Now, if you have a bad driving record and need lower auto insurance rates, is it a bad idea to give your Social Security number when shopping for auto insurance?

While it may seem ideal to get a quote without letting your insurance company get a hold of your SSN, the repercussions of not sharing this vital piece of information far outweigh the benefits.

What happens if a driver refuses to share their SSN?

If you are determined to get insurance but still want to retain as much privacy as possible, you may be wondering what insurance companies will insure you without an SSN; however, auto insurance companies that don’t require an SSN don’t really exist.

While some companies may still sell you a policy, no insurance company is forced to provide coverage to any driver who refuses to share information. Even if a company does decide to sell you a policy, you could fall victim to what’s known as non-disclosure penalty.

This penalty for not sharing your SSN lets your insurance company hike your premiums as high as 50% above the regular rate.

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Sharing Your Social Security Number When Shopping for Auto Insurance: The Bottom Line

Is it a bad idea to give your Social Security number when shopping for auto insurance to an auto insurance company? It is not. Laws and professional standards are in place to protect the privacy of individual drivers so your information can be defended against cyber-crime.

Sharing your SSN helps your insurance company draw up accurate information so you can have a policy that is customized to your needs; however, refusing to share your SSN greatly limits the number of companies that will work with you and could raise your rates drastically.

Now that you know more about if it is a bad idea to give your Social Security number when shopping for auto insurance, enter your ZIP code to start comparing free quotes today.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

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