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Where do I insure a car if I have two addresses?

My mom bought a car in NC with a lifetime transmission and engine warranty. Now I drive it in Colorado. Her insurance in NC won't cover me out here, and if I transfer the title to my name, I lose the warranty. Is there an insurance option that will keep the car titled to her in NC but insure me in CO? Can I just insure the car in the state with the cheapest rates, and drive it where I live?

Jun 26, 2018 Denver, CO

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Ava Lynch

Insurance Analyst

Credentials
  • 7+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Ava joined The Zebra as a writer and licensed insurance agent in 2016. She now works as a senior insurance contributor, providing insights and data a…

Thanks for reaching out to The Zebra!

I understand that you want to keep the car's warranties, but it's also important to keep the vehicle insured correctly (and insurance is mandatory in 49 out of 50 states). The short answer to your question is that you should insure the car at the address where the car is kept most of the time. This is called the garaging address. Car insurance rates vary by zip code so the correct address must be used to avoid issues with the policy not being enforced if the wrong address is used just to get a cheaper rate.

Having proper coverage and meeting the state's legally required limits is incredibly important. Ultimately, keeping a warranty likely isn't worth the risk of lacking insurance coverage; it could result in a hefty financial loss if you're in an accident and your claim isn't covered. Every state has its own requirements for car insurance coverage.

If you're a college student driving the vehicle while you're away at school, you'll need your own car insurance policy, too. Students who only drive a parent's car when they're visiting home can generally stay on a family policy, and parents can sometimes get a "student away from home" discount.

If you are staying outside of the car's home state for more than two months you will need to register your car in the state that you are living in at that time. Read more about the different factors that impact car insurance rates and the risks of not having proper insurance coverage. To get personalized quotes for yourself wherever you're living, give our agency a call at 888-444-8949.

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