Insurance Application and Personal Information

What type of information should an insurer be asking prospective buyers of auto insurance?  Is it appropriate for them to want my social security number and credit report? 
Answer: Most insurers today will want your credit report. It is used as a criteria for assessing your "risk" as a client. The best way for them to be able to get an accurate credit report is to use your social security number.
This is particularly true if you have a "common" name. For instance, if your name is David Jones or Mary Smith, it can be very difficult (if not impossible) to ensure that the right credit report is being pulled for you. This is where many companies now ask for your social security number.
However, I would not give any agency my social security number, unless it is required by law. As far as I know, it is not required by law for an insurance company. But, be prepared to work with the insurer to provide them with sufficient personal information that the correct credit report is pulled for you! This is in both your interests as well as the insurance company's interest.
Posted by Evan on May 17,2006 at 10:53 PM
I agree, it is not uncommon to ask for a credit report for insurance, but be careful with that Social Security Number.  While they may actually need it be careful with those digits.  Speaking as someone who has dealt with identity theft you may want to go with the more well-known names in business when giving out your SSN.  Some fly-by-night companies will try to get that info and be gone before you know it.  Good Luck!
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