Do auto insurance companies check where you live?

Your car insurance company will check where you live, and providing false information could be considered fraud.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 11, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • Auto insurance companies use your address as a factor when determining your car insurance rates
  • Your car insurance company is likely to check your address, especially if you file a claim
  • Lying about your address could cause your claim to be denied

When you shop around for car insurance coverage, you may notice that each company offers you monthly rates that are a bit different. The main reason why different companies offer different rates to policyholders is because of the factors used to determine a person’s rates.

There are a number of factors most companies use to determine clients’ car insurance rates, and a person’s address is one of these common factors. If you lie about where you live, you may regret it if you ever have to file a claim with your insurance company.

Compare car insurance quotes right here by entering your zip code above.

Why does my car insurance company want my address?

It’s normal for your car insurance company to ask for your address. In the simplest of terms, your car insurance company will need your mailing address to send you pertinent information about your policy and touch base with you as a secondary form of communication. 

But your car insurance company also wants your address because where you live has the potential to impact your car insurance rates.

There are a number of factors that impact your auto insurance rates, and your address is one of them. In some instances, car insurance companies will charge you more if you live in a dangerous neighborhood or in an area known for heavy traffic.

The reason your car insurance company might charge you more for these things is because of your risk factor. Living in a location with heavy crime activity or a lot of rush hour traffic ultimately means you’re at a higher risk for filing an insurance claim. 

While it may seem tempting to lie about where you live to save money on your auto insurance rates, you should be honest with all the information you provide to the insurance company.

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How do insurance companies verify addresses?

Your insurance company can verify your address in a number of ways, but companies begin verifying addresses in this way fairly quickly if you file a auto insurance claim. When you file a claim, your auto insurance company will verify all of the information you provided.

One way companies can check to see whether the address you listed is correct is by using a company called GarageConfirm. This company helps insurance companies combat garaging fraud by using towers and cameras in different areas to spot your vehicle and compare how often it is seen in your listed ZIP code versus other areas and ZIP codes.

If the information from GarageConfirm suggests that you are often driving and parking in a different area, your insurance company is sure to ask you to provide proof of residence at the address you provided.

Will my claim be denied if I lied about my address?

It may seem like no big deal to lie about where you live, but your auto insurance claim — regardless of what it’s for — could be denied if your insurance company finds out you did not tell the truth.

Providing false information to your insurance company is considered fraud, and this is all your insurance company needs to deny your car insurance claim. So even if someone else hits you and is uninsured, your company will not be required to cover the damages under a full insurance policy.

Can I change my address with my insurance company?

If you moved to a new location, or if you falsified your address and now want to change it, you should be able to change your address with your insurance company fairly easily. 

Some companies allow policyholders to make changes to their information online, while others will require you to call and speak to an agent or representative to make specific changes to your personal information.

It can be tempting to use a false address to ensure you get cheaper car insurance rates, but it’s not worth the potential of having your claim denied in the future. If you want to use your real address but find that car insurance coverage is too expensive, there are a few things you can do to lower your rates.

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How can I lower my car insurance rates?

If you need to lower your car insurance rates, one of the best things you can do is shop around for coverage. Finding and comparing quotes with multiple companies will allow you to see which insurance companies offer the coverage you need at a price you can afford.

People who compare auto insurance quotes and are still struggling to find rates that will work for them can consider raising their deductibles. By raising your deductible, you will have to pay more upfront before your insurance company will help with damages or repairs if you ever have to file a claim. This can lower your monthly rates significantly.

Another way to lower your rates is by taking advantage of discounts available to you. Many car insurance companies offer a wide range of discounts on car insurance coverage.  

Some of the most common car insurance discounts include:

  • Multi-policy discount
  • Multi-car discount
  • Vehicle safety discount
  • New car discount
  • Anti-theft discount
  • Good driver discount
  • Defensive driver discount
  • Good student discount
  • Paid-in-full discount
  • Paperless discount
  • Online quote discount
  • Occupation discount

Discounts offered by car insurance companies can help you save as much as 20% on your monthly rates, so asking your car insurance company about a discount may be a great option for you.

When all else fails, you can consider lowering your car insurance discounts by choosing a lower coverage option. The cheapest coverage you can purchase will be your state’s minimum liability amount. But if at all possible, it’s a good idea to carry more than this amount of coverage on your vehicle.

What’s the bottom line with my insurance company and my address?

Ultimately, it’s a bad idea to give your insurance company an address that isn’t really yours. If your insurance company finds out you lied, you could lose your coverage. And if you file a claim and the company starts asking questions, you could be in a lot of trouble. 

If your insurance company discovers that you lied about your address, your auto insurance claim could be denied. This would mean that you would have to pay for any repairs to your vehicle, and any other vehicle you’re responsible for damaging, out of your own pocket. 

There are plenty of ways for you to find reasonable car insurance coverage at a price you can afford. You can ask about discount options, lower your deductible, choose a lower level of auto insurance coverage, and shop around online to compare quotes and find cheaper coverage.

When you shop online for the right coverage, take your time in order to discover which company will work best for your needs. If you have questions about coverage, or if you believe you may qualify for additional discounts on your car insurance, be sure to call the company and speak to an agent. 

A better way of finding reasonable and less costly premiums entails comparison shopping for competitive policies. Compare today by entering your zip code into our free rate tool below.

References:

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