Can auto insurance companies check your phone records?

Car insurance companies can request to check your phone records during a claims investigation, but you may not have to comply.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

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 Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 24, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • Insurance companies may attempt to pull your phone records to investigate an accident claim
  • Unless you receive a court order or your policy requires it, you don’t have to give your phone records to an insurance company
  • If you’re confident that your records can’t be used against you, you’re free to comply with the request

Your car insurance company may request a lot of different information from you when you file a claim. Claims adjusters will want to examine the damage, police reports, eyewitness statements, and more to determine if your insurance coverage applies. 

One thing you may not have realized is that your insurance company may try to pull your phone records. If they have reason to believe you were distracted on the phone at the time of the accident, they may want to examine your phone logs for evidence. The question is, are you required to comply?

Read on to explore what happens when insurance companies ask for phone records and how you can respond.

Do insurance companies check phone records?

Generally, the only situation in which your insurer should reasonably request your phone records is when you’ve had an accident and seek to file a claim. If there is evidence that you were talking on the phone, sending text messages, or otherwise distracted, your insurance company may seek to confirm those facts in order to deny your claim. They may also request records if they suspect you’re involved in any form of insurance fraud.

In many cities around the United States, it’s illegal to use a phone while driving. Drivers are expected to pull over to the side of the road to make a call or use a hands-free device. If your records show that you were talking on the phone while driving, it could hurt your claim.

Do I have to provide phone records to the insurance company?

Although your insurance company may ask for your phone records, that doesn’t mean you are required to turn over the logs. Typically, unless there has been a lawsuit, you don’t have to comply with the request. In fact, it may be in your best interest not to turn over your phone records unless you’re legally required to do so. Remember, your insurance company will happily find a reason to deny your claim, and your phone records may be sufficient — even if you didn’t do anything wrong.

Note that it’s important to review your insurance policy documents, too. In some cases, your insurance agreement may include language requiring you to turn over phone records upon request. In that case, you’d have to comply regardless of a court order.

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When a Lawsuit Is Involved

If you’re at fault in an accident, the other driver or injured party may file a lawsuit to seek damages. Likewise, if the other driver was at fault, you might file a lawsuit. Either way, this gets the courts involved and increases the need for various forms of evidence. 

If the courts request to pull your phone records, you will have to comply or risk being held in contempt. If needed, they can go around you and subpoena the phone records directly from your cellphone provider, so there’s no reason to resist the request.

At this stage, you might want to consider hiring an attorney to help you navigate the situation.

What To Do When an Insurance Company Asks for Phone Records

If an insurance company does ask for your phone records, the first thing you should do is clarify why they need the information. It’s best to request that they provide their reasons in writing. This gives you the documentation you’ll need if you have to argue that your records were used inappropriately. 

You can also ask for a revision of the insurer’s request. For example, if you think they’re looking at too broad a time period, you can ask to provide more limited records that relate only to when the accident occurred.

At this point, you must decide whether to provide the records or deny the request. Again, as long as the court isn’t involved and your policy doesn’t require it, you don’t have to provide phone records to your insurance company. However, if you’re confident there’s no evidence to deny your claim, you’re free to turn over your phone logs.

The Bottom Line: Can auto insurance companies check your phone records?

If an insurance company gets your phone records — whether from you or through the courts — it can’t deny your claim without due cause. You can take steps to challenge a claim denial if you feel you’ve been treated unfairly, Consider reporting your insurance company to the state insurance department or filing a lawsuit against the company.

Before it comes to that point, though, be sure you know your rights when an insurance company comes asking for your phone records.

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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