The first thing you should do is to see if your insurance company has an app for your phone. If they do, downloading such an app is a no-brainer. These apps are available as a free added value service to you. The best part is that most of these apps have a number of capabilities. This includes nearly everything from accessing your policy information to submitting a claim and everything else in between. For example, if you get into an accident, some apps included the capability to take photos and submit them along with a claims form you complete right on your phone. This means you can submit a claim within minutes after the accident happened, along with all the photos documenting the incident.
While reporting a claims incident is probably the most valuable advantage of these apps, another advantage is having access to your policy information anytime you need it. What is your policy number? When does your policy renew? When is your next payment due? How much coverage do you have? All of this is right at the tip of your fingers. For example, if you need your policy number and information for your job or you are driving kids on a field trip and the school needs it, these apps make it easy to access all this information.
While most insurance carriers do have apps, even if your carrier does not have an app, the phone itself can be a valuable resource. For claims situations, the phone's camera is just about the best mobile documentation tool you can have. Also, if you are away from home, the ability to connect to the internet to look up resources such as the nearest towing company, the insurance company's website, and of course your agent's phone number can be your greatest asset. Best yet, you can use the phone's map to get directions to the closest place you may need to get to.
In addition to insurance company apps, there are a number of other applications that may be available. One example is a home inventory app that will help you to setup and organize photos or video of your entire home inventory. This can come in handy in the unfortunate event that you have a fire or are burglarized, as insurance companies will need an entire inventory to complete forms when processing the claim. Another example of a helpful app is a document storage and sharing app such as box.net or dropbox.com. These apps allow you to store and share documents and images virtually in what is referred to as a "cloud" format. This basically means that you can upload and save images from a computer to the cloud, and then you will have access to those images from your smart phone or any other computer.
Investing a little initial time to download and setup apps and other resources to make your phone insurance smart is well worth it. It will not only save you time when you need this information, it will allow you to be significantly ahead of the game, even possibly being able to provide enough evidence to prove you are not at fault in an auto accident. You are 95% there by having a smart phone, and the benefits are too great not to take that next step in using the insurance-ready resources that are available.