Car Insurance Advice for People Who Are Moving
(Photo : Photo by Alex Mecl on Unsplash)

Moving is an adventure. It's a time for new beginnings and new experiences. But it's also incredibly stressful. In fact, moving is one of the most stressful life events someone can experience.

Not only does a move mean packing your house or apartment, but there is a never-ending list of updates and changes that have to be made. One of the most important updates that needs to be made is actually with your car insurance company.

A new address is something that has to be shared with your insurance company. Your address is a major factor in determining coverage and premiums. But the specifics of this process can be elusive, leaving many people with questions. Among those frequently asked questions is can I insure my car at a different address?

Planning an In-State Move

Moving can be down the block, across the state, or across the country. Each of these types of moves requires some different preparations. The easiest transition, at least as far as your car insurance is concerned, is to stay within the state.

An in-state move removes some of the more stressful elements. There are few unknowns, and it's more about packing up your current house and getting everything to the new place. You can focus on the new rooms that need attention and design.

Even an in-state move requires some communication with your car insurance company, however. A move down the block can have a big impact on the coverage and rates your insurance company can offer you.

If your move keeps you in your home or current state, then you really just need to contact your car insurance provider and update your address. There could be some changes in your rates or premiums, but that will depend on a number of factors, including your ZIP code.

If you are interested in shopping around, however, a move would be the time to consider making that change. A move is a great opportunity to explore new options in several different areas.

Planning an Out-of-State Move

A move doesn't have to be across a short distance. It can, in fact, take you over very great distances and across multiple states.

Moving out of state can be exciting and a little overwhelming. It's a new place and new people, but that kind of uncertainty can make a person second guess such a drastic change. Before you make that decision, there are a number of factors to consider.

Once everything has been considered and an out-of-state move is the right kind of move, then it's time to start preparing. The preparation for an out-of-state move includes a lot of paperwork and communication with many different parties. One of the most important parties to communicate with is your car insurance company.

You might wonder, "Do you have to change car insurance when you move states?" An out-of-state move can and will drastically change car insurance coverage, but it can be quite a process. There are a few steps that need to be accomplished to make sure you don't have a pause in coverage.

#1 - Talk With Your Current Insurance Company

The first step is the easiest: Contact your current insurance company. Simply telling your insurance company about your move will get the ball rolling. They can help you navigate the differences between states and ensure you have all the necessary paperwork completed.

#2 - Research the State's Minimum Requirements

The second step is a little research. Each state has different requirements for insurance coverage. There are minimums that must be met and maintained.

It's important you know and understand these minimum requirements so there are no issues in the future. Not meeting these minimums can lead to tickets and fines, but these can be avoided in that research process.

#3 - Make the Switch (if Necessary)

There are some instances that will require a switch in insurance providers. Some smaller, more local providers won't be able to provide the same coverage in your new state. This could require a transfer to a new insurance company.

This will require a lot of more communication and planning to ensure there is no lapse in coverage. The time to make this kind of change is an out-of-state move. It's just one more thing to change, so add it to the list.

#4 - Update Paperwork

The final step in an out-of-state move is to update all the necessary paperwork. Obviously, with a move, there will be new pieces of information, like an address.

That address will need to be updated on everything from driver's licenses to the registration and title of your vehicle. Not only does this ensure consistency and ease in terms of communication and registration, but it's the law.

Change Your Address

Whether your move is in or out of state, you'll need to update your address. This is perhaps the most important step in the moving process when it comes to your car insurance coverage. Neglecting to make this change can cause big problems in the future.

Something as small as an address may seem insignificant, but to an insurance company, an address is everything.

The biggest consequence of insuring a vehicle at a different address is a charge of fraud. The area and ZIP code in which you live can affect rates and premiums, so using a different address can appear as if you are trying to get a cheaper rate. This is a workaround in the system and can be seen as a cheat or fraud.

If you are caught using a different address than the one you live at, then your insurance coverage could be canceled. Not only will this cause big problems if you find yourself in an accident or other issue, but it can put you on the wrong side of the law.

Most states require some level of issue coverage for every driver. If your insurance coverage is dropped because of perceived fraud, then you could receive additional tickets and charges from your state's law enforcement officers.

It's a small detail, but it's vitally important. The address you use to insure your vehicle can be the difference in a few hundred dollars or losing insurance altogether. Once your move is complete, contact your insurance company, new or old, and update your address.

Don't make the address change before you move, and don't cancel your current insurance coverage too early. Just put this little task near the top of your moving to-do list. Then enjoy the adventure of a new city, a new state, and a new place.

About The Author : Laura Gunn researches and writes for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsurance101.com. She and her family have moved multiple times and waded through the list of "to dos." She hopes to help other people and families make their move less stressful.