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Tell your car insurance company when you move

By Posted : 12/12/2014

Do I have to tell my car insurance company if I move?

Yes.  Whether you’re moving across town or across state lines, your car insurance company needs to be notified. Here is why:

  1. Billing information. Your auto insurance provider needs to be able to send you policy and payment notices.  If you miss out on a payment, there is no grace period and your policy can be canceled, leaving you uninsured. You don't want that.
  2. Your geographic location is a rating factor to car insurance companies.  Even a short move can make your rates go up, or down, depending upon if that area has more or less crime, claims and traffic.  For instance, if you move from a rural area to a metropolitan one, your car insurance rates will usually rise. (CarInsurance.com  has a "Will My Insurance Go Up If I Move?" tool that gives a quick estimate.) It's a safe bet to compare car insurance quotes to make sure you get the best rate.
  3. Annual mileage.  Your insurer needs to know your annual mileage and commuting distance to properly rate you. If the move makes your commute longer, you may see your rates rise.  Or, if your move cuts back your annual mileage, you may see a reduction in rates.
  4. Changes may be needed to your policy. Minimum state insurance laws vary, so you need to make sure you’re compliant if you move out of state.  Even if you’re moving a few blocks from an apartment to a house you just bought, changes may be needed to your policy -- such as higher liability limits to better protect your new asset.
  5. New state, new insurance policy. Many states won’t accept an out-of-state car insurance policy when you go to register your car, so a new policy is necessary.  Also, most car insurance companies don’t allow you to carry your old policy in the new state for very long. It will give you time to obtain a new policy, but the sooner it’s done the better.

When you move, it’s a great time to compare car insurance rates -- especially if moving out of state,  since there may be different options and companies available to you.  Insurance.com’s car insurance comparison tool allows you to quickly compare insurance rates for your new address from some of the top auto insurance companies .  You can then promptly buy your policy and get back to unpacking.

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