Can auto insurance companies check phone records?

Auto insurance companies can ask for phone records to investigate what you were doing at the time of an accident. Cellphones cause 25% of all accidents in the U.S.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • The decision to give the phone records to your insurance companies lies with you
  • The phone companies require a court order or subpoena for them to provide the phone records
  • It is illegal to use your cell phone for texting while driving in most states except Arizona and Montana

Insurance companies don’t ask for phone records when you purchase an insurance coverage.

They may only request for the phone records when a driver is involved in an accident and has made a claim. Insurers use the records to investigate your actions at the time of the accident and find grounds to deny your claim.

It may be in your best interests to deny them the cell records. It is not a requirement to give your phone records to the insurer unless it is a court directive.

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Anyone using a phone or any other device while driving may cause an accident at any time.

The hands-free devices are a source of distraction to the drivers since all their thoughts and concentration are off the road.

Using a phone while driving is against the law in many of the cities in the United States, and drivers are expected to pull off the road to make a call.

When do insurance companies ask for phone records?

Here are the common grounds on which your insurer may ask for your phone records:

Insurance Terms

Policyholders would be obliged to turn in their phone records if the policy documents that they signed during the purchase required them to provide one. That applies when one needs their claim settled by their insurance provider.

Therefore, you should always read the insurance documents before signing them to determine whether you agree with most of their rules.

When They Suspect Your Involvement in Fraud

The following circumstances may lead to further investigations by the insurance companies:

  • theft
  • fire
  • vandalism

There have been situations where some policyholders mastermind the disappearance of a car to get compensations. Additionally, some policyholders may have purchased a comprehensive coverage probably one week or a month before the loss of a car.

Such claims raise fraud suspicions among the insurance companies, and they may request for phone records, and other documents to aid in their investigation.

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A Court Order

If you are at fault in an accident, the other party may file a lawsuit to acquire compensations for the property damage.

If the court suspects you were distracted during, or slightly before an accident, they may issue a subpoena or a court order to obtain your phone records from the phone company. In this case, the phone records will prove your location and time when the accident occurred.

Policyholders may not know the reasons why the insurer is requesting for phone records, but it’s important to inquire why they require one before making a submission.

Most insurance providers do not provide specific clauses on the kind of documents they have the right to review, and such ambiguity in the policy document should be clearly understood before signing a deal.

The providers may even deny your claim on the basis of not providing the phone records, hence the need for cooperation. You may consider seeking advice from an attorney if you feel shortchanged.

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Lawsuits and the Role of an Insurance Attorney

A lawsuit applies when the insurance company of the at fault driver does not want to cover the damages.

You might require a representation by an attorney if the other driver suffered serious injuries or a fatality. In this case, the attorney of the other driver may obtain a subpoena to acquire your phone records from the phone company.

The phone company may honor the subpoena and give the phone records or object to it.

At this point, you may also consider seeking representation from your attorney who would work in quashing the subpoena delivered.

Interviews

When a policyholder is a suspect for a car theft or total damage, the insurance company may conduct interviews to determine whether they are liable for compensation.

They may also extend some questions to friends and other family members. Remember that the company would be looking for a reason to blame you for the accident. Therefore, you should always give the right, correct, and precise answers.

Third parties are not entitled to interviews, though their refusal to questioning may lead to a denial of the claim.

Use of cell phones causes one out of every four accidents in the United States. However, your insurance company should not get your phone records at any time without your consent.

Remember that no law requires you to provide any records to the insurance company if you do not have to. If using a cell phone is found to be the primary cause of an accident, it may lead to an increase in premium rates.

Therefore, you should consider shopping around to get an insurer that will provide favorable rates after an accident. Enter your zip code above to begin finding the best rate for coverage today!

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