Handling car insurance when moving to a new state can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help you plan.
If you’re moving from one state to another, car insurance might be low on your list of logistical issues. However, if you want to carry continuous coverage — and stay insured against the threat of costly damages — you need to modify your auto insurance when moving, whether in- or out-of-state.
You'll need to update your car insurance policy when moving for two reasons: state regulations and location-specific pricing.
If you’re moving from one state to another, you must update your car insurance policy. Because car insurance is regulated at the state level, your policy needs to be written to accommodate the laws in your new home state.
If you were to move from California to Texas, your insurance coverage requirements would change quite a bit. California has minimum coverage levels of $15,000 per person (bodily injury coverage), $30,000 per accident (bodily injury coverage), and $5,000 per property damage accident. Texas’ minimum coverage levels are much higher: $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident for bodily injury coverage, and $25,000 for total property damage.
|State||Average Annual Premium with State Minimum Coverage|
Due largely to the difference in coverage requirements, the difference between premiums in California and Texas is more than $150 per year.
Additionally, your premiums and insurance policies may change if you move to or from a no-fault state. No-fault insurance requires all drivers pay for their own medical bills associated with any claim. While damages to your vehicle or property are covered by the at-fault party, any bodily injury losses would not. In theory, this eases the burden on small claims courts and the healthcare system.
If you move to a no-fault state, you’ll be required to add personal injury protection. Personal injury protection (PIP) provides coverage for medical expenses and work loss protection for you and your passengers— regardless of fault. The amount of PIP coverage required varies by state.
*In Kentucky, New York, Utah, and Pennsylvania, you may elect to participate in no-fault coverage.
The pricing system of car insurance makes it imperative to update your policy when moving — whether you're planning an inter- or intrastate move. Your auto insurance premium is made up of myriad factors, including your location — down to your zip code. Location is a primary rating factor, meaning it goes a long way toward determining your rate.
Living near a coastline or beach can raise your rates, as your vehicle could be more suspectible to flooding or hurricane damage. This is also true for areas with higher population densities, as you’re more likely to get into an accident in these areas.
This process may change depending on the state to which you're moving. If you move to a state in which your current insurance company writes policies, the simplest option is to call a representative at your car insurance company and have a policy written for your new state.
However, this isn’t always the cheapest solution. Even if you maintain a policy with the same company, your rates are likely to change, for better or worse. Your best option is to shop around for car insurance prior to your move, finding the company with the cheapest premium in your new location.
Even if looking for car insurance isn’t very high on your moving to-do list, it’s still important. If you’re looking to save time and energy in this process, have the following ready before you start shopping.
This is won’t be all the information you need or required to get a quote, but it will help give you the most accurate rates as quickly as possible.
If you’re moving within your state, you will need to update your car insurance. As we stated, car insurance is priced by zip code. Be sure to call your insurance company and update your policy.
Vehicle registration is handled through each state's department of motor vehicles (DMV). In many cases, you can submit your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle title information to the DMV online. From there, your state-specific plates and registration documents will be mailed to you.
Other states may require more effort. Check your new state’s DMV page for details and required documentation.
The big takeaway for car insurance when moving from one state to another is to shop around and compare rates. Because your rates will be impacted by different rating factors in your new state (such as coverage and claims history), you will have a different premium and an entirely new policy. Use this opportunity to shop around with as many different auto insurance companies as possible. Enter your zip code below to see how much you could be saving.
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Between September and December 2017, The Zebra conducted comprehensive auto insurance pricing analysis using its proprietary quote engine, comprising data from insurance rating platforms and public rate filings. The Zebra examined nearly 53 million rates to explore trends for specific auto insurance rating factors across all United States zip codes, averaged by state, including Washington, DC.
Analysis used a consistent base profile for the insured driver: a 30-year-old single male driving a 2013 Honda Accord EX with a good driving history and coverage limits of $50,000 bodily injury liability per person/$100,000 bodily injury liability per accident/$50,000 property damage liability per accident with a $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision. For coverage level data, optional coverage (that must be rejected in writing) is included where applicable, including uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection.
National property and casualty losses information is from the Insurance Information Institute and the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters report.
For vehicle make and model data, analysis referenced the most popular vehicles in the U.S. by 2016 year-end sales according to Goodcarbadcar.net’s automakers’ data.
Rate data may vary slightly based on rounding.