Can You Get Car Insurance Without an Address?

If car insurance is priced based on your ZIP code, can you get a policy without an address?

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Car insurance without an address

If you do not have a permanent address, obtaining car insurance coverage can be tricky. Your location is relied upon by car insurance companies as a major rating factor, as it allows them to gauge the risks posed by the area in which you drive most often: the density, number of traffic incidents, and weather can all contribute to this calculation. Without a fixed address, insurance companies can deem you overly risky, and ultimately uninsurable. Let’s explore further why your address is important and how you can find reasonably priced auto insurance.

 

  1. What does an address tell an insurance company?
  2. How can you get car insurance without an address?
  3. Frequently asked questions

 

Why is your address important for car insurance?

Some consumers feel it is discriminatory to include permanent address as a requirement of obtaining insurance. From an insurance company's perspective, their reliance on this data point has to do with assessing risk.

An insurance company will use previous claims and population information for your ZIP code to price your policy. Without a fixed location the vehicle, it’s difficult for an insurance company to predict the kind of risk to which they'll be exposed.

See below the difference between two ZIP codes in Houston, Texas. Even though ZIP code is the only unique factor between the two auto insurance applicants, there’s a difference of nearly $300 in car insurance rates.



Houston ZIP Code

6-Month Premium

77339

$1,086

77201

$1,384



How to get car insurance without an address

Your ability to get insurance coverage without a permanent address depends on a few considerations. If you’re temporarily without an address because you’re waiting to move into a new apartment or home, you should be able to get a policy. If you’ve signed a lease and are simply waiting to move in, many insurance providers will provide a quote tailored to your new residence.

If you’re living temporarily with a friend, you can try to get an insurance policy for the address of your friend. Because that’s where the vehicle will be parked, that counts as your listed address. Once you move to your permanent home, you should update this address.

 

Homeless car insurance

In order to register your vehicle in many US states, you’ll need proof of insurance coverage. If you’re homeless or living in your vehicle, car insurance can be tough to get. From an insurance company's perspective, a client living in their vehicle poses considerable risk. If you’re homeless and in need of car insurance, keep your vehicle at a friend’s house and use that address for your quote. It's critical that you park the vehicle at this location when it’s not in use.

In the event your insurer discovers you’re not keeping the vehicle at the listed address, they can drop your coverage or deny coverage in the event of a claim.

 

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Frequently asked questions

Individual circumstances surrounding auto insurance without an address may vary. Consult our FAQs for additional information on getting car insurance quotes without a permanent address.

 

Q: I am between homes right now and living in a hotel. My insurance agent canceled my policy and I need to get a new policy. Do I have to wait until I move into my new apartment before I can buy one?

This can be tricky until you’re living in your new place. Just like your driving record or credit score, your address is a major insurance rating factor. Without a permanent address, an insurance company may view you as a liability. If you are only living in a location temporarily, and the insurance company is aware of that, they won’t issue a policy because of what they call a “transient risk." Since there is no lease or rental agreement where you are currently staying, there is nothing keeping you in that location for an extended period of time. This creates too much risk for the insurance company to issue a policy. If you plan on moving into your new place within 30 days, most insurance companies will allow you to use that address to start a policy before you actually move in. If that doesn’t work, wait until you have signed your lease agreement.

 

Q: Is it discriminatory not to allow someone to get an insurance policy without an address? Not having an address should not stop a person from driving. Being homeless is not a crime.

Although it’s frustrating, it's not considered discriminatory or illegal for car insurance companies to price policies using a home address. Car insurance companies rely on location as a primary rating factor, assessing the number of accidents in the area, the location's crime rate, and even the average cost of the vehicles in the immediate area. Many car insurance companies do not want to cover a vehicle being used as a home, as it could increase the likelihood of a claims payout. Frustration is understandable, but insurance providers base their business models on projecting risk. 

 

Q: I am moving out of state and need to register my vehicle but I don’t have an address yet. How do I get registered and find car insurance without an address?

This depends on which state you’re moving to. States may allow a grace period for registration — 30 days, in many cases. Check with your new state’s motor vehicle department or DMV. Find your residence in your new state before shopping for auto insurance. Because you’re moving out of state, you’ll need an entirely new policy to match your new state’s insurance laws. After you have the proper insurance, you can register your vehicle.

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Recent Questions:

Is there a way to get car insurance quotes without having a car first?

You don't have to physically own or possess a vehicle to get a car insurance quote, but you will at least need a year, make, and model of a vehicle you're interested in purchasing to get a quote. The great thing about TheZebra.com is that it's easy to get updated quotes for any vehicle you may be interested in purchasing.
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Ava Lynch
Ava Lynch LinkedIn

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years. Currently providing insights and analysis as one of The Zebra’s resident property insurance experts, Ava has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, and Yahoo! Finance.