What is a car insurance binder?

opening glove compartment

A car insurance binder is a temporary form of insurance. If your normal car insurance policy is still being processed, an insurance binder allows you to drive legally in the meantime.

What's the difference between an insurance binder and a policy?

Your insurance policy is an official contract between you and your insurer — and breaks down all the terms and conditions of your insurance.

An insurance binder briefly summarizes your insurance policy — its coverages, deductibles, and listed drivers. Your binder tells lenders, the DMV, and law enforcement that, hey, you're good for it, and are legally insured to drive.

Which leads us to an important question …

Do you need a car insurance binder?

Back in the day, if you needed insurance, you had to meet with an insurance agent at their office. Because your policy took weeks to process, said agent would offer an insurance binder. That way, you could drive your car without a hitch in the meantime.

Nowadays, car insurance binders are less common. Thanks to online quoting systems (and the companies that pioneered them *ahem*), getting an auto policy is almost instantaneous. Many insurers can quickly vet your info via online databases. And your insurance ID card can be emailed to you on the spot.

How to get proof of insurance

You can do it from your phone in 2 easy steps.

1. Find a reputable insurer that issues digital insurance ID cards. Most states have laws that count digital insurance cards as a valid form of proof.

2. Get an auto quote online. If all looks good, hit "purchase." Your insurance ID card will be emailed to you.

Also, comparing car insurance quotes before you're at the dealership is a GREAT idea. Why? It's the best way to find the right car insurance coverage at an affordable price.

Get proof of insurance from Esurance lickety-split

Start an Esurance auto quote today and we'll have you insured in no time. Depending on your state, we'll email you a valid insurance ID card — which you can also find on the Esurance Mobile app. It's free to download for both iPhone® or Android™.

We'll even send proof of your coverage to the DMV directly so you don't have to worry about it. That way, you'll be on the road — and adequately covered — in no time. It's all part of our mission to make insurance surprisingly painless.

Get a free quote today.

or call 1-800-378-7262

Or call 1-800-378-7262.