Changing Auto Insurance When Moving Out of State

Most states require you to update your driving info within 30 days of moving. Auto insurance laws are different everywhere, so it's wise to arrange new coverage in advance.

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Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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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

UPDATED: Mar 25, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Although each state has auto insurance requirements, these requirements can vary
  • When moving from one state to another, it is important to make sure you have switched your insurance to your new state
  • Not having the appropriate coverage types can land you in legal and financial hot water
  • You may find your auto insurance premiums increase when you move for a variety of reasons
  • You can ask about discounts to help decrease your premium

Moving out of state can come with many extraneous tasks, including those affiliated with car ownership.

If you are planning a move out of state, now is the right time to use an online price comparison tool to make sure you are paying the best rates possible on a policy that is right for you and for your financial and driving situation.

Looking for better auto insurance rates before the move? Start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code above!

Auto Insurance Laws

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No matter where you live or where you move to, you will likely be legally obligated to secure some type of auto insurance. Auto insurance protects you and others on the road.

Even though laws regarding auto insurance types and limits will vary from one state to the next, you are unlikely to escape this driving responsibility.

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Penalties for No Insurance

Driving without insurance is a serious matter. Just like auto insurance requirements are different for each state, so are the consequences for driving without insurance.

However, no matter where you live, if you are caught without the proper insurance coverage, you will likely face all or any of the following penalties:

  • Imprisonment
  • Hefty fines
  • Impoundment of your vehicle
  • Community service
  • Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
  • Suspension or revocation of your car registration
  • Difficulty obtaining insurance in the feature
  • Mandatory SR22 insurance policy

In addition to these consequences, if you cause damage to other people or their property, you will more than likely be forced to pay out of your own pocket to rectify their costs.

Costs can include medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, and repairs or replacements on vehicles.

The other parties involved can sue you in civil court in order to get their bills paid by you. Being sued can potentially lead to wage garnishment and seizure of your assets.

Moving Out of State and Auto Insurance

Among many other factors that must be attended to when you are planning to move out of state, auto insurance is one of the most often overlooked, yet important ones.

Since auto insurance requirements and coverage plans will not be the same in every state, it is important to start a new insurance policy as soon as you move.

If you currently have auto insurance through a local agent, you will need to contact him or her and let them know of your impending move. An agent should be able to refer you to an agent within the same company in the area where you will be moving.

Your present and new agent should be able to help you cancel your old policy and begin a new one, effective when your move is complete.

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If you have insurance through a national company and not directly through an agent, call them when you have the details about where and when you will be moving. They can set up a new policy to start when you need it to that will be compliant with the auto insurance laws in your new state.

Since you are already considering setting up a new policy, it may also be the perfect time to shop around for car insurance and to learn more about your options.

It is extremely important that you have the appropriate coverage for the state you will be living in. No matter how busy and stressed you are or how long your to-do list is for moving, do not forget this step.

Other Car Related Moving Duties

In addition to making sure you have car insurance in your new home state, there are other responsibilities you have as a driver.

Most areas require you to get a new driver’s license and switch your vehicle’s license plates and registration within 30 days of establishing residency in the new state.

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Asking About Discounts

When moving out of state, you do run the risk of having your premiums increase.

Increased premiums could be due to the different requirements from one state to the next or even that your new state has higher rates of accidents and lawsuits.

Now is a good time to be sure you are getting the most out of any discounts that are available to you. Many times you do need to specifically ask for auto insurance discounts as they are not automatically applied to your account.

Here are some common discounts to ask your car insurance carrier about:

  • Safe driver – If you have a record of good driving or have recently taken a defensive driving course, you may qualify for a significant safe driver discount.
  • Good student – If you have a teenager on your policy that earns good grades, ask your agent or company about a good student discount.
  • College student – Sometimes if you have college students on your policy that attend school out of state or so many miles from home, they can qualify for some type of discount.
  • Veterans – Many auto insurance companies honor veterans by offering them discounts on their auto policies.
  • Professional – If you are a doctor, nurse, police officer, EMS, or another type of first responder or professional that serves the community, your auto insurance carrier may offer you a professional discount.
  • Safe vehicle – If your car has safety features, such as airbags, ABS brakes, cameras for backing up, or a variety of other special safety features, you may be eligible for another discount.
  • Low mileage – If you do not drive very far on a daily or weekly basis to work to school, it may be to your benefit when it comes to your auto insurance premium. This is because you are less of a risk to your auto insurance company with fewer miles driven on the road.
  • Claims free – If you have never made an auto insurance claim or it has been a while since you have filed a claim, it may pay off in the form of a discount on your auto insurance policy. Check with your carrier on their specifics.
  • Multi-vehicle – It can pay to have multiple vehicles on one policy with the same company. Most car insurance companies will give drivers in this situation a decent discount on their premiums.
  • Multi-policy – It can also pay off to have multiple insurance policies with the same company as your auto insurance, such as your renters, homeowners, life, or even pet insurance.

Other Ways to Save on Your Auto Insurance Rates

In addition to asking about discounts, there are other ways you can reduce your auto insurance premium, such as:

Parking in a Garage

Your auto insurance premium is based mainly on the risk the insurance company takes to insure you. If you park your car in a garage, it is less likely to be vandalized, stolen, or damaged by hail or other weather elements.

You may end up paying a lower premium than people who do not park their vehicles in a garage.

Working or Going to School Close to Home

Not putting as many miles per year on your vehicle by working or going to school close to home can also help control your auto insurance premium, not to mention how much you pay at the pump.

Selecting a New Car Based on Insurance Rates

If you are or soon will be shopping for a new vehicle, talk to your insurance company about what types of cars have lower premiums.

Although moving out of state can leave you with lots of things to do in a short amount of time, it is very important to get your auto insurance switched to your new state. Not doing so can lead to serious financial and legal consequences.

One benefit of needing to do the switch is that it is a good time to use an online price comparison tool to make sure you are getting the best rate that you can.

Try our FREE online quote tool and start comparing auto insurance rates today! Enter your ZIP code below!

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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