Being in a car accident can be an overwhelming experience — it can be hard to remember all of the things you need to do in the moment, like taking pictures of the accident and documenting important information like license plate numbers.
One of the most important things to remember in an accident is to exchange car insurance information, but what happens if the other driver refuses to provide it, or worse, drove away from the scene in a hit-and-run? Is it possible to find someone else’s insurance information if they don’t want to give it to you?
How to find out if someone has auto insurance coverage
There are several ways to find someone else’s insurance information after a car accident:
1. Ask them for their policy information
The stress of being in a car accident can make some people forgetful, but most drivers have car insurance for exactly this situation. It is possible someone who is a little bewildered after an accident might simply forget to share their insurance information, so it is a good idea to ask them for it if they don’t automatically provide it.
Remember to stay calm and be ready to give them your insurance information as well. Emotions can be tense after an accident and you don’t want to create an unnecessary conflict if you can avoid it.
2. File a police request
If the other driver is unwilling or unable to give you their insurance information, make sure you have as many identifying details as possible (their name, their license plate, the make and model of their car, etc.) and provide it to the police when you file an accident report. Once they have a record of the accident they help you find the other driver’s insurance information.
3. Go through the DMV
The DMV can’t give information to just anyone, but if you can show a police report and any other documentation that shows you were involved in the accident they can give you the insurance information for the other driver. Each state has different rules and regulations, so call ahead and find out exactly what they will need from you before you make an appointment.
4. Go through your auto insurance company
Your car insurance company doesn’t want to pay your insurance claim if you were not at fault for the accident. If you can provide your insurance company with the accident report and at least some of the other driver’s identifying information, they will do their best to find the other driver’s insurance policy so their liability coverage can be used to pay for your damages.
What should you do if the other person doesn’t have auto insurance?
If you have to go through the police, the DMV, or your auto insurance company to find the other driver’s insurance information, be prepared to find out that the other driver doesn’t have insurance.
According to the Insurance Research Council, 12.6% of drivers in the U.S. were uninsured in 2019, which means someone who doesn’t give you their car insurance information quite possibly doesn’t have any. 
There are a variety of car insurance coverages you can purchase that help protect you in the event that you are hit by an uninsured driver, including:
Uninsured motorist coverage
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage helps pay your medical bills if you are injured in an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance. It is set at the same limits as your bodily injury liability coverage, which means having higher levels of liability insurance offers you more coverage if you are hit by an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver.
UM is an optional coverage in most states, so if you want to be protected from uninsured drivers you need to make sure your insurance policy includes UM coverage.
Personal injury protection and MedPay
Personal injury protection (PIP) and MedPay are both coverages you can purchase to pay for some of your medical expenses in an accident, no matter who is at fault. PIP is a required coverage in some states, but some other states offer either PIP or MedPay as an optional coverage.
MedPay is usually sold in smaller amounts, sometimes as little as $2,000, and designed to cover small medical bills or your health insurance deductibles and copays. PIP is usually sold in larger amounts and is designed to help you avoid filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance to get your medical bills paid.
Commonly considered part of a full coverage policy, collision insurance covers the costs if your car is damaged in an accident, no matter who is at fault. If you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance, collision coverage will pay to repair or replace your vehicle, minus the cost of your deductible.
Collision only covers damage caused in an accident. If your car is damaged in another way (fire, theft, flood, etc.) that would be covered by your comprehensive coverage. Unless your car is leased or financed, both collision and comprehensive coverage are optional.