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Q

How many numbers are in a policy number?


A

There is no specific number of digits for a policy number. Each company determines how they will identify a policy with their company and selects the number of digits as well the format that they wish to use to identify each specific policy.

A policy number is a unique identifier that attaches a policy to a specific individual. A policy number is assigned to a policy by an insurance company once you have purchased insurance from them. This number is a reference point for the insurance company. The number, varying in length depending upon the insurance company, will be listed on your insurance card.

Insurance companies' policies also may have letter pre-fixes in front of the numbers that can help one identify what specific insurance company the policy belongs to. In New York State they list an insurance company by a three digit code. The NYS Insurance Department has a link on their site to look up the insurance codes written on accident reports so that one may determine the name of the insurance company.

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You will also see that many companies use a suffix for each policy renewal. For example, your original policy number may have been 123456789, but when you renew it becomes 123456789-1, then at the next renewal it becomes 123456789-2, etc.

For more information on insurance terms and definitions, visit our glossary and coverage definitions pages.

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