A traffic stop almost always catches you off guard. Now you’re pulled over with an expired auto insurance card, and the officer walking up to your window is about to ask to see it alongside your driver’s license. What do you do? Are you stuck with that pricy ticket? Well no, you’re not necessarily going to pull away from the curb with a ticket, but you will have to be polite, and you’re going to need a smart phone. Let’s examine what to do if you’re in this situation.
But first, let’s back up. A couple minutes ago you were on a quick trip to the store, but there is an unexpected short in the fuse box of your vehicle, and your license plate light is out. You drive across town without noticing, but the officer making routine traffic stops certainly does notice. Moments later you’re pulling your insurance ID card out of the glove box like you’ve been instructed to do, but then the realization hits. You just renewed your policy, but you forgot to print out the new set of cards. It happens to the best of us. It was on your to-do list, and the cards were waiting in your inbox, but this time the task escaped your attention. Sure it’s not an ideal situation, and it would be much better to have your cards on hand, but we all forget things every so often. Now it is time to explain your mistake to the officer.
Politely Ask Permission
The good news is you can pull your current ID cards up on your smart phone, but the bad news is not every officer will be eager to wait as you pull them up. The best way to approach this is to inform the officer immediately of your predicament, and hand him or her your driver’s license to show that you’re somewhat prepared for the stop. Explain to the officer that you made a mistake but that you can quickly rectify it as long as he or she is willing to wait a second.
As soon as you’re granted permission, snap to it on your phone and navigate to your account log in screen ASAP. The officer may stand by the window while you pull it up, or he may go run your license while you navigate the mobile site, but either way, the officer has your license in his or her hand and is able to make the decision that best suits their procedures.
Good Tips To Remember
There are a few things that you can do to speed this process along. First, if you realize your cards are expired in advance, you can begin the process of logging into your account before the officer even shows up at your window. You may be able to get the ID card pulled up before the officer even arrives alongside your vehicle. You should also set up your insurance account credentials with a log in name and password that you can easily remember. If you’ve selected a long and difficult password and you can’t remember it on the spot, then you’re not going to have much luck with this backup plan.
In addition, most smart phones allow you to keep tabs open in your mobile browser. While you’re reading this article, grab your smart phone and navigate to the log in screen in one of those tabs. Make sure to leave it as one of the open tabs, and use a fresh tab when you’re looking up other mobile sites. This will save you precious seconds, and the key to this backup plan is to not make the officer wait one second more than required.
Links To Provider Websites With Auto Insurance Card Options
If you’re a Square State Insurance customer, then there is a mobile site that will get you out of this jam, and each insurance provider website is mobile optimized to make navigation a snap. Let’s go through their auto insurance card options one by one depending on your provider:
The Travelers log in screen can be found at www.mytravelers.com. You’ll have to tap the “log in” button in the top right corner and you’ll be taken to the log in screen where you can enter your user name and password.
Much like Travelers, the Safeco log in page can be found easily at www.safeco.com. When accessed on your phone, the Safeco site immediately brings up the “Manage My Account” option so you can navigate directly to the log in screen with one tap.
When navigating to the Progressive site at www.progressive.com on your mobile phone, you’ll first arrive on the home page screen. You will then have to tap on the log in option in the lower left corner to be taken to the Online Customer Service screen. Once in you’ll be able to pull up your ID cards in a few short clicks/taps.
We are certainly not recommending that you travel without your insurance ID cards. The most important thing to take away from this article is stay on top of your renewals and keep fresh cards in your vehicle at all times. However, if you encounter the situation we just outlined, don’t panic. You might just pull away from the stop ticket free if you grab your nearby smart phone. Safe travels out there and feel free to contact Square State Insurance if you have any questions.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.