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When you move, it's essential to inform your car insurance company of your new address. This is because car insurance rates depend on where you live. Insurance companies use ZIP codes to assess risk and charge more for areas with a higher rate of accidents or car theft. 

Additionally, your insurance company may refuse to pay your claim if you have an accident while living in a different state without updating your coverage. By keeping your car insurance company up-to-date on your home address, you can avoid any billing or coverage issues. 

Key takeaways

  • If you move to a new state, you must tell your car insurance company so that you can get the right policy for your new home state.
  • Insurance companies calculate rates based on ZIP codes and categorize them as risky based on incidents of theft and vandalism, so your address impacts your rates.
  • If the insurance company has an incorrect address, you might miss a bill or other important correspondence that could result in a lapse in coverage.

Why inform the insurance company when you move? 

It doesn't matter whether you moved across town or another state. The insurer wants to know. Here's why: 

  1. Billing information. Your auto insurance provider needs to send you policy and payment notices.  If you miss a payment, there may be a short grace period to pay. But if your insurer can't reach you, your policy will be canceled. 
  2. Your geographic location is a rating factor for car insurance companies.  Even a short move can make your rates increase or decrease. Insurers base rates partially on an area's claims history. That can include thefts, car break-ins and accidents. For instance, car insurance rates may rise if you move from a rural area to an urban one. 
  3. Annual mileage. Your insurer needs your annual mileage and commuting distance to rate you properly. If the move makes your commute longer, your rates may rise.  Or, if your move cuts back your annual mileage, you may see a rate reduction.
  4. Changes may be needed to your policy. Minimum state car insurance requirements and 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.
  5. A new state means a 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.  Most car insurance companies don’t allow you to keep your old policy in the new state for long; you’ll need the right coverage for that state. 

Informing your car insurance company when you move will ensure that you are adequately covered and avoid any incorrect payments or even a policy cancellation. 

Remember to compare car insurance rates when you move, especially if you are moving out of state, as different options and companies may be available. 

It's always best to keep your car insurance company up-to-date on your current home address to ensure that you have the right coverage at the right price, and to avoid any issues with your policy. 

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