Why Do I Need to Get a Photo Inspection?

Why Do I Need to Get a Photo Inspection?

Auto insurance  is mandatory for driving in the United States, but did you know that some states and insurance companies require you to have your vehicle inspected and photographed before finding coverage? In this article, we’ll take a look at just what you have occurs during this inspection and shed some light on what consumers should know about the process.


The Purpose of the Photo Inspection

Because of your state’s requirements, you may be required to submit to a photo inspection of your vehicle before being approved for insurance. While it may seem like a time-waster, it cuts out some of the pushing-and-pulling between the policy holder and the insurer when they try to reach a consensus of your vehicle’s condition before an accident.

Essentially, the inspection documents: 

  • the existence of the vehicle,
  • the physical condition of the vehicle,
  • options and accessories (the “extras” of your vehicle)

If these criteria are accurately documented, they not only reduce the amount of fraudulent claims for the insurer, but reduce your future premiums for the insured.


Where Can I Get My Vehicle Inspected?

 The company that is responsible for providing these inspections is called CARCO. They have an extensive network of automotive photo inspection sites strategically located throughout:

  • New York,
  • Massachusetts,
  • New Jersey,
  • Rhode Island

You can have your vehicle inspected at nearly any CARCO inspection station—even ones out of the state (as long as you notify the inspector).

To find a photo inspection site near you, click here


What Documents Do I Need at the Inspection Site?

 Bring any document that was given to you by your broker or insurance company. Typically, these documents list your:

  • insurance company’s name
  • agent/broker’s name
  • policy number
  • vehicle’s description

After giving the document to the inspector on duty, s/he will mail this completed document and the completed inspection document to CARCO. These document are part of your inspection report.

Note, if your company didn’t provide any documents, you still have completed your responsibility to provide an automobile photo inspection according to your state. Of course, be sure to provide your insurance company information to the inspector.


What Happens at the Inspection?

 The inspection performed by the CARCO inspector will be verifying some information about your vehicle:

The CARCO inspector will complete a state-mandated inspection report form, noting

  • the general condition of your vehicle,
  • options,
  • accessories,
  • vehicle identification number (VIN),
  • odometer reading,
  • and other state-mandated information.

Except in Florida, this inspection also includes taking pictures of your vehicle.

After reviewing the inspection, you are required to sign the report. You will then be provided with a copy of the report—keep this in your personal records as well provide it to your broker/agent (if requested). The completed original report will be processed by CARCO and given to your insurer.


How Much Does a Photo Inspection Cost?

 Don’t worry, it’s FREE.


How Long Does it Take?

The typical duration of a photo inspection usually takes about fifteen minutes to complete, which includes the report and the photographs.


What Happens if I Don’t Get a Photo Inspection?

 If can’t make time for an inspection, you may be subject to a loss of coverage (comprehensive and collision)—within a grace period. This grace period differs by state, but here is a sampling:

  • New York: 14 Days
  • Massachusetts: 10 Days
  • New Jersey: 7 Days
  • Rhode Island: 10 Days
  • Florida: 30 Days


Making time for an inspection may be a bit of a hassle, but it will ensure that your coverage remains intact.


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Determining if your vehicle needs a photo inspection to be approved before finding an insurer can be a hassle. Instead, contact the insurance advisors at RiskBlock  to help you answer this question and any other concerns you may have about finding the right insurance policy for you and your family.




Author: Liam Dai
Lead Insurance Advisor for RiskBlock. Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the author or insurance agency for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the insurance coverage, not to provide specific insurance advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no professional advice and professional client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for professional advice from a licensed professional insurance agent in your state. All scenarios are different and unique to the situation.