is there any way I track down historical insurance records for the previous owner of a car?
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Asked April 27, 2015
Tracing down insurance records from the previous owner of a car can be a somewhat complicated process, but it is sometimes easier than you think. Your first decision is whether to do the research yourself and from there you can either follow the following steps or just wait on the information to be delivered.
If you do not mind paying someone else to do the legwork, there are vehicle research companies available. Carfax is probably the best known researcher of this type but there are others to choose from. They can use the registration and VIN number of the vehicle to trace down most insurance claims and major repair reports. This is the most expensive route to take, because you'll still up ending paying for any fees, but it takes the effort out of getting the information.
Contact the previous owner of the car, if you are able to do so. If they are willing to be cooperative, your search ends there. If multiple owners are involved, you may have a long process in front of you, and using the DMV may be an easier choice.
Your state's Department of Motor Vehicles may be the only place you have to contact. In many states, the DMV keeps track of insurance of vehicles and can provide you with detailed information about insurance policies and claims filed against your vehicle. There will be a fee for the information, and some states have privacy laws which require a court order before the data can be released.
Your state's Department of Insurance maintains data concerning all insurance policies written in the state. This office may be able to provide you with the most detailed insurance information on a vehicle, but they may limit the information available to insurance providers who handled the car. As with the DMV, some records may be protected by law.
Answered April 30, 2015 by Anonymous