CARCO Inspections: Everything You Need to Know

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In some states, you need to get a pre-insurance inspection before you can purchase collision and comprehensive car insurance for your vehicle.
CARCO is the primary company that compiles these reports and submits them to the insurance companies, so this pre-insurance inspection is often called a CARCO inspection. And bonus for you: it can help reduce the cost of your physical damage insurance.
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What is a CARCO inspection?

A CARCO inspection is a pre-insurance inspection that you may need to obtain before you can purchase physical damage coverage (collision and comprehensive insurance) for your car.
CARCO confirms that vehicles are properly valued and insured through a physical inspection that helps reduce the cost of physical damage insurance.
The inspection also includes:
  • Detailed photographs of the vehicle (except in Florida)
  • An odometer reading
  • The overall condition of the vehicle
  • Options and accessories

Who needs a CARCO inspection?

The short answer?
Most people need CARCO inspections.
Unless you meet some specific requirements for exemption (which differ by state), you’ll need a CARCO inspection if you’re buying a car.
You may be exempt if you’re purchasing or leasing a brand new car—but you’ll still need to provide the bill of sale containing the full list of options and accessories on the car, copies of the window stickers, dealer invoices, and other documents as required.
If you have an older car, you may also be exempt from a pre-insurance inspection. The age of the car varies depending on where you live, but it’s typically cars that are 7–10 years or older.
If you’re not sure whether you’re required to get a CARCO inspection, contact your state DMV to find out.
Key Takeaway CARCO inspections are required to let insurance carriers know the condition of your car before an accident to better assess any damages and your coverage.
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Which states require CARCO inspections?

Only a handful of states require CARCO inspections:
  • Florida
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
Each state has its own requirements in terms of when you must have the inspection completed.
Failing to get the pre-insurance inspection in the time frame set out by your state could lead to some serious consequences. Your insurance company may drop your physical damage coverages, leaving you open to significant financial liability in the event of an accident.

How much does a CARCO inspection cost?

Regardless of where you live, there is no charge for a CARCO inspection.
The inspections typically take about 15 minutes to complete and you’ll need to make an appointment ahead of time.

Where to find CARCO inspection sites

CARCO maintains an extensive network of inspection sites across Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.
Inspections are available at vehicle-related businesses that are part of the network, including glass repair stores, tire stores, gasoline service stations, car dealerships, and muffler shops.
The CARCO Group website provides a handy tool to help you locate your nearest inspection station. There are loads of Carco inspection locations. Just be sure to call in advance to book an appointment.
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Frequently asked questions

What paperwork do I need?

Most states require only your vehicle identification number (VIN) and the name of your insurance company in order to complete a CARCO inspection. In Florida, you also need to bring your vehicle registration to the inspection.

Can I submit my CARCO inspection online?

Yes! CARCO has a mobile AI fraud prevention solution that allows you to upload your own details and photographs online.
You can capture the information using a tablet or smartphone and submit it to CARCO’s inspection portal for immediate processing. It’s simple, intuitive, and takes just a few minutes.
It’s worth noting that not all states accept online inspections. Check with your insurance provider or a CARCO representative to be sure.

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