When you’re moving out of state, it’s important to think about the things that are going to be changing or moving with you, one of those being your car insurance. Car insurance requirements vary by state, and some insurance companies only offer coverage in certain states. You may find policies in your new state to be less expensive, or that your new home state requires different minimum coverages than your original state.
It can be challenging and confusing trying to figure out what needs to change and what stays the same with your car insurance, amongst all the other challenges of moving. To help make your move more seamless, here are three major things to consider about your car insurance when moving out of state:
- Let your insurance company know you've moved
- Research the new state’s coverage requirements and coverage limits
- Cost of your new policy
1. Let your insurance company know you’ve moved
You should, ideally, let your insurance company know you’ve moved as soon as you have your official new mailing address. This allows the company to inform you if you need to find a new policy, if your current one does not meet state requirements or if you need to find a new provider because they don’t provide coverage in your new state. You also have about 30 to 90 days, depending on the state, to register your car after establishing residency. Keep in mind you must have car insurance in the state you’re moving to before you’ll be able to register your car there.
If you don’t let your insurance company know you’ve moved, your policy may be cancelled without you knowing, leading to you being uninsured and possibly facing expensive fines if you were in an accident, or having to pay for the damages out of pocket. Plus, you’ll likely see higher rates with your next insurance company if you have a lapse in coverage after moving out of state. For these reasons, it’s important to remember to never cancel your insurance policy without having another one in place.
2. Research the new state’s coverage requirements and coverage limits
Laws and coverage requirements regarding insurance vary from state to state, and it’s important to make sure you have proper coverage in your new state. Although almost all states have laws requiring you purchase at least liability car insurance, some don’t require you buy it, such as New Hampshire.
Another law pertaining to insurance that dictates the coverage required is the ‘no-fault’ laws. Florida is a ‘no-fault state,’ meaning regardless of who caused the accident, your insurance company is responsible for covering you. The additional coverage needed in these states is called personal injury protection, which covers your medical expenses in the event you’re injured in an accident. Only 11 other states and Puerto Rico have these laws in place, so it's important to know what kind of requirements your state has in place, and how you’re protected in case of an accident.
In addition to other coverage requirements that vary by state, such as uninsured motorist coverage and medical payments, the minimum limits of each required coverage often varies in each state. See the example below of how Florida and Massachusetts’ car insurance requirements and limits differ:
- Property damage — $10,000 per accident
Personal injury protection:
- $10,000 per person
- Bodily injury — $20,000 per person
- Bodily injury — $40,000 per accident
- Property damage — $5,000 per accident
Personal injury protection:
- $8,000 per person
Bodily injury caused by an uninsured motorist:
- $20,000 per person
- $40,000 per accident
If you were moving from Florida to Massachusetts, you would not only need to buy additional coverages, but you’d also need to increase your limits if you previously only had the state minimums. You can learn more about what these minimums mean here.
3. Cost of your new policy
Car insurance premiums typically vary by state, and even if your current insurance provider may be the most cost effective where you currently live, they might not necessarily be the best option in your new state. Moving states can be a great time to reevaluate your insurance options and research the best car insurance company in your state, as cost and coverage will vary. For example, the average expenditure in Massachusetts in 2015 was $1058.80 per year, whereas Idaho’s average expenditure was $573.83 per year, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Insurance rates can be calculated using a variety of things, including your age, gender, driving record, car make and model, and marital status. Your coverage can even be more expensive based on the zip code you live in, and the accident rate there. Plus, states have different laws governing how they can calculate insurance. For example, Massachusetts bans the use of your credit score, gender, marital status, race, occupation, and whether or not you are a homeowner when calculating your rates. Comparatively, Colorado is allowed to use all of those factors. The use of these factors can either drastically increase or decrease your rates, and would be something to research before choosing a new policy.
If you’re considering switching insurance companies, be sure to read reviews on Clearsurance from other policyholders to see if the company will be a good fit for you.
The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an insurance company or an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance company or any individual attorney.