Moving out-of-state requires a lot more planning than moving right down the block.
If you’re planning to venture across state lines to call a new state your residence, it’s important that you do as much as you can before you even pack up all of your belongings. Preparation is the magic ingredient that makes a stress-free move.
When you’re moving, you make calls to get quotes for property insurance on your new home. This is a step in the right direction but you also need to dedicate time to getting quotes for your new auto insurance policy.
While your current insurance will cover you when you drive over state lines, you can’t keep the policy for long. Here’s how you go about changing your insurance after an out-of-state move:
How is your auto insurance policy rated when it comes to your address?
Your address plays a major role in how much you pay for your auto insurance.
While it’s not the only rating factor that affects your likelihood of filing a claim, your garaging address is a factor that can drive up your physical damage premiums. When you move to a new zip code, the agent is required to update that zip code to see if your rating class changes too.
Why does your physical address affect your rates?
You might wonder why it matters if you live in one zip code versus another. After all, many times, a zip code can change just a mile down the street.
Unfortunately, even though your driving record doesn’t change, the insurer has found that drivers in areas with higher crime rates and higher incidences of claims are more likely to file a comprehensive or collision loss when they move to these areas.
One way to avoid a rate increase strictly because of your new zip code is to compare the property crime rate before you choose a home. If the crime rate is higher in one area than the other, you can expect a change in your rates. If they are similar, the rate won’t change much just because of your move.
Can you just change your address on your auto insurance when you move?
If you move to a new block in the same city or to a new city in your current state of residence, all you need to do is call your insurer and make a change to your mailing address and garaging zip code.
The rate can change, but you aren’t required to do anything more than process the change. You aren’t so lucky when you are moving across state lines.
Every state has their own unique auto insurance laws. Since there are different policies, provisions, and requirements in each state, you can’t satisfy the law by simply changing your address.
It’s helpful to change your mailing address as a start, but shortly after you arrive at your new home you’ll need to buy auto insurance from an agent in your area.
You Must Buy Coverage From a Carrier Licensed in the State
Carrying auto insurance is mandatory in most states. Not only do you have to buy auto insurance, you have to buy the right type of coverage from a company that is licensed to do business in the state by the state’s Department of Insurance.
If you have coverage from a carrier that was issued in another state, even if the state is licensed, you’re not going to satisfy the law.
Transferring Your Insurance With Your Current Carrier
When you do business with a larger insurer that sells personal car insurance nationwide, you might be lucky enough to have the option to transfer your coverage.
Transferring your coverage means that you’re still insured through the same company but you’ll have a new agent, a new term, and a new policy number.
What are the benefits of transferring your insurance?
One of the benefits of transferring your insurance is that it’s convenient. With many companies, you can simply call the customer service number and they will handle everything over the phone.
If you have to visit an agent’s office, the agent will still have access to most of your information.
Another benefit to consider is that you’ll qualify for a loyalty discount. If you’re keeping your other lines of insurance with the carrier, you’ll also get multi-car and multi-line discounts off of each policy. This can help you drive your premiums down.
When should you change your auto insurance?
Be sure not to change your insurance to another carrier in your new state too soon.
If you’re too prepared, you could transfer your insurance while you still have plates in your old state. If you can’t show that you have active insurance until you transfer your registration, you could easily be assessed a fine.
The best time to change your insurance is the day you’re going to the DMV to surrender your old plates and apply for your new ones.
By doing this, you’ll have the proof of insurance that you need to avoid delays in the office and you won’t have to worry about any types of fines for canceling your coverage too early.
If you can’t transfer your policy or you’re not happy with your carriers rates, you should solicit quotes through multiple carriers. It’s easy to do this during your move when you use an online insurance rate comparison tool.
Simply log on to a comparison tool, enter your vehicle information, input your zip code, and get instant quotes.