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7 Reasons Why You Need to Update Your Car Insurance When You Move

Young couple moving, unloading car in parking lot
kali9 / Getty

Moving seems to make almost everything change, including your car insurance. Your car insurance may be one of the biggest changes from your move. Remembering to update your car insurance when you move will save you from many legal issues that can pop up if you forget to update your provider. Plus, you may save a little money in the process. Here are seven reasons why updating your car insurance should become a priority on your post-move To-do list. 

Reasons why you need to update your car insurance when you move:

  • Your current provider may not cover your new area
  • Your state may have different coverage requirements
  • You could unintentionally commit insurance fraud
  • Your new location may impact your rates
  • You could be eligible for a parking and storing discount
  • Your new daily commute could save you money
  • You might find more value in switching providers

1. Your current provider may not cover your new area 

One of the best reasons to switch car insurance providers is because your current provider doesn’t cover the area you are moving to, especially if it’s an out-of-state move. Larger insurance companies like State Farm, Allstate, Geico, and Progressive tend to cover more ground, while smaller, regional insurance companies offer a more personalized experience and are more likely to work with you a bit more to get you what you need. 

It’s important to pick a provider that’s right for you. Before settling on a new provider, take your time and consider all your options and compare coverage rates in your new area.

2. Your state may have different coverage requirements

If you’re moving to another state, your biggest question is probably something along the lines of “do I have to change my car insurance if I’m moving to a new state?” You can switch car insurance providers or update your car insurance provider with your new address. You’ll want to update your car insurance as soon as possible, but most states will give you between 30 to 90 days to get your car insurance taken care of. 

Car insurance is regulated at a state level, which means each state has set minimum coverage requirements. Your policy must meet the minimum requirements to drive in that state. Many states share common coverage requirements, but each state differs in coverage amount.

A few common coverage requirements are:

  • Bodily injury liability per person and/or per accident. 
  • Property damage liability.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person and/or per accident. 
  • Personal injury protection per person and/or per accident.

3. You could unintentionally commit insurance fraud

Failing to update your car insurance to reflect your new address could result in you becoming a participant in one of the most common forms of insurance fraud – false registration. Car insurance rates are heavily dependent on state and area ZIP codes, so your address affects how much you’ll pay on insurance. 

People participating in false registration often live in more expensive areas and will register their vehicles in states or regions where insurance rates are lower. This is a felony and could result in multiple charges, fines, and even jail time. Make sure you update your car insurance policy with your new address to avoid falling into this scam.

4. Your new location may impact your rates

If your ZIP code changes on your new address, it may be beneficial to switch auto insurance providers, even if you’re moving 15 minutes down the road. Your car insurance rates are heavily dependent on your ZIP code. This is determined by the number of insurance claims in an area. The more insurance claims made in your area ZIP code, the more likely your rates will go up. You could pay significantly more or less for car insurance depending on whichever ZIP code you call home, no matter how squeaky clean your driving record may be. 

A few factors that affect rates in a ZIP code are:

  • Crime rates.
  • Stolen vehicles. 
  • Vehicle break-ins.
  • Population density. 
  • Fraudulent injury claims.
  • Weather damage claims.

5. You could be eligible for a parking and storing discount

Does your new place have a garage? Depending on your car insurance provider, you could be eligible for a garaging and storing discount. When you park your vehicle in a garage, your vehicle is better protected from damage by other vehicles versus street parking, where someone can easily bump your vehicle. 

What this means to providers is that you’re less likely to:

  • File an insurance claim.
  • Have a vehicle break-in.
  • Have your vehicle stolen.

Keep in mind that a garaging and storing discount is only available with limited providers, and some may require you to have a specific policy. In most cases, this discount will only save you around 5% on your annual rate, but even the smallest of savings is still a discount. 

6. Your new daily commute could save you money

Have a shorter commute to work at your new address, or don’t need to drive a lot? Certain car insurance providers offer a cheaper rate for ‘low-mileage drivers’. Many providers will ask you how many miles you drive in a year. The estimate you give them can affect your insurance rates. ‘High-mileage drivers’ may end up paying more money because they are on the road more often. 

What does this mean to your insurance provider? The more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to get into an accident and file a claim. Most insurance providers consider a ‘low-mileage driver’ to be someone who only drives 0-7,500 miles per year. Depending on your provider, you could actually save a little on your car insurance if you have a short commute to work and barely drive anywhere else. 

7. You might find more value in switching providers

Moving is all about new changes, so why not consider switching your car insurance provider? Your area ZIP code greatly affects how much you’ll pay for car insurance. Even if your current provider has coverage in your new area, you may find other providers in the area that provide more coverage at a much cheaper rate. Don’t be afraid to shop around for a better deal on what you want.

The bottom line

Now’s the perfect time to switch providers if you’re not satisfied with your current one or looking for a better rate in your new state. And remember that it’s important to update your car insurance when you move to avoid any legal trouble, potential identity theft, and to get an idea of how much your rates will change in your new area. 

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