If you’ve recently bought a new car and you are looking for auto insurance quotes, you have probably found that you are required to give the same type of personal information to each individual insurance provider. Unfortunately, they are required to gather this information from you so that they know your true identity. Often, certain pieces of this personal information will signify that you are who you say you are. One of those key pieces of personal information is your Social Security number.
If you are dealing with businesses like insurance providers or financial institutions, they will probably ask you many different questions related to your personal information. In the case of a car insurance company, you will likely need to inform them of your accident history as well as certain demographic information. Once you’ve done this with a number of different companies, it can become quite tiresome. Unfortunately, providing your Social Security number is a necessary way that you can be identified.
Social Security Privacy Laws
If a business requests your Social Security number for the purposes of identifying you, you are only required to give it to them if it meets one of the following two criteria:
– You will be engaged in some type of transaction with them that requires notification to the IRS
– The financial transaction you are initiating with them is subject to the rules related to the federal Customer Identification Program
Regardless of this law, most businesses ask you for your Social Security number to identify you since it is one of the easiest ways that they can positively identify who you are. In the case of an auto insurance company, it would be extremely time-consuming for them to search through a large number of state databases to locate a driver’s license number that would identify you. Tapping into one national database makes the process much quicker.
Refusal To Provide Your Social Security Number
If an auto insurance company asks you for your Social Security number and you decide to refuse the request, they may ask you for other types of information that will help them prove your identity. One of the ways that an auto insurance provider will use your Social Security number is by initiating a credit history check. In addition, they may use it to locate any criminal records that you may have. Of course, these reports can also be located by using other means such as driver’s license information or your address history, but an auto insurance provider would rather use a much more reliable source such as your Social Security number.
If you do refuse to provide them with your Social Security number, it may have a number of unforeseen consequences. The insurance company may believe that you are trying to hide something negative from your past, or they may think that you are trying to hide an alias or previous identity. An auto insurance company has the discrepancy to raise the premiums you pay if they believe you to be a risk.
Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!