Why did my car insurance go up when I moved?

Drivers who wonder why does my insurance go up when I move need to understand that the ZIP code they live at has a significant impact on their rates. The most expensive U.S. ZIP code is $28,331.96 more a year, or $2,360.99 more a month than the cheapest U.S. ZIP code. The main factors that cause these rate changes are your commute, local theft rates, and whether you chose to live in a rural area or a city.

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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: Aug 20, 2020

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Things to remember...

  • Drivers who wonder why does my insurance go up when I move should know that insurance companies look at ZIP codes when setting rates. Where you live is a big component of how much you pay for your auto insurance premiums
  • Large cities tend to have higher insurance rates because of the population density and the higher chance of being involved in a car accident
  • You must notify the company of a move. This is mandated by most companies so that they can reassess your rate. Also, some smaller companies may not offer insurance in some states so you want to make sure you have auto insurance in your new state

Why does my insurance go up when I move? Moving can be exciting and yet stressful. There are countless little expenses you’ll have to contend with, and you may even be faced with changes to your insurance premiums.

If you don’t know which states have the cheapest auto insurance rates, you may be shocked by the change in fees. In some cases, just moving one town over can result in higher fees, so it’s important to talk with your company ahead of time so that you’ll know what to expect.

Compare rates of top insurers in your new neighborhood to see your auto insurance premium increase after an address change. Just enter your ZIP code above.

Learn more here: Cheap Auto Insurance by State

How Your Address Can Affect Insurance Rates

Wondering why did my insurance go up after a move? There are many factors that affect auto insurance rates, but a few of them deserve special attention when making a move including:

  • New ZIP code
  • Proximity to work
  • City or suburb

Insurance companies typically charge lower rates for people living out in the suburbs. This is because cars that are primarily located in cities are more likely to be damaged by accidents or vandals. So if you are perplexed as to why does auto insurance change when you move, consider the crime in your area.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there were 748,841 motor vehicle thefts in the U.S. in 2018. The risk of dealing with auto theft is also generally higher in urban areas. 

Before deciding on your new housing location, take note of the different ZIP codes. You can call your agent to ask which ZIP codes have the lowest rates.

If you’ve already decided on a certain area, then do some comparison shopping to see if another company will offer lower rates for that particular neighborhood.

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What are the most and least expensive ZIP codes for auto insurance?

Wondering why did my auto insurance go up when I moved? When reviewing different ZIP codes, the insurance agents look at the average number of claims, accidents, and thefts. Moving just a few miles in any direction can result in drastic changes in your insurance premium. In some cases, the increase can be hundreds of dollars.

How much will my auto insurance go up? Take a look at the table below to see just how drastic increases can be by state.

U.S. ZIP Codes with the Highest and Lowest Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates per State
StateLeast Expensive Zip CodeCityLowest Average Annual Auto Insurance RatesMost Expensive Zip CodeCityHighest Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates
Virginia24450Lexington$2,018.1322312Alexandria$2,871.02
Hawaii96703Anahola$2,198.6296704Captain Cook$2,859.11
Ohio44883Tiffin$2,325.3843224Columbus$3,667.48
Alaska99820Angoon$2,335.9799504Anchorage$3,132.74
Massachusetts02554Nantucket$2,378.9002119Boston$5,333.79
Maine04742Fort Fairfield$2,403.9004684Surry$2,785.77
Washington98368Port Townsend$2,461.5498118Seattle$4,079.23
Wisconsin54130Kaukauna$2,491.3053206Milwaukee$5,102.46
Iowa52241Coralville$2,598.2751501Council Bluffs$3,633.75
Idaho83716Boise$2,612.8883536Kamiah$3,008.28
New York14830Corning$2,729.5911212Brooklyn$10,751.24
California93401San Luis Obispo$2,731.3290210Beverly Hills$6,324.83
Illinois61443Kewanee$2,792.5160636Chicago$5,437.22
North Carolina28701Alexander$2,860.5928205Charlotte$4,803.84
Montanna59635East Helena$2,866.4559089Wyola$3,457.81
Arizona86403Lake Havasu City$2,883.4685009Phoenix$5,479.07
New Hampshire03431Keene$2,887.7703104Manchester$3,845.88
Wyoming82801Sheridan$2,896.6683414Alta$3,156.85
Indiana47909Lafayette$2,931.8646402Gary$4,747.17
Missouri65301Sedalia$2,938.1863120Saint Louis$5,220.97
New Mexico88310Alamogordo$2,948.8987121Albuquerque$4,364.29
Oregon97850La Grande$2,953.6097236Portland$4,908.54
Kansas67401Salina$2,954.9366115Kansas City$4,318.12
Mississippi39759Starkville$3,077.3339086Hermanville$4,323.64
Vermont05446Colchester$3,098.6705079Vershire$3,314.44
South Carolina29672Seneca$3,115.5829933Miley$4,519.05
Pennsylvania16823Bellefonte$3,116.0119133Philadelphia$8,527.54
Nebraska68803Grand Island$3,133.8168111Omaha$4,516.91
Texas76901San Angelo$3,157.6878049Laredo$5,538.80
Tennessee37601Johnson City$3,173.6538118Memphis$4,991.62
Utah84721Cedar City$3,239.5884104Salt Lake City$4,580.22
Colorado81504Grand Junction$3,291.1380219Denver$4,762.40
Alabama36360Ozark$3,310.0535218Birmingham$4,428.60
Nevada89406Fallon$3,411.0889101Las Vegas$7,486.53
South Dakota57201Watertown$3,467.8157770Pine Ridge$4,695.24
Florida32694Waldo$3,481.3533142Miami$7,631.16
West Virginia25401Martinsburg$3,519.1025621Gilbert$5,111.14
Kentucky42303Owensboro$3,562.7241542Lookout$7,400.56
Oklahoma73555Manitou$3,646.9874110Tulsa$5,150.50
Maryland21783Smithsburg$3,658.8621216Baltimore$8,830.19
Arkansas72626Cotter$3,675.9372202Little Rock$4,957.15
North Dakota58104Fargo$3,677.1858538Fort Yates$4,477.64
Connecticut06340Groton$3,896.1006103Hartford$6,373.96
Rhode Island02842Middletown$3,908.0102907Providence$7,262.39
Minnesota56007Albert Lea$3,976.8055411Minneapolis$6,620.56
Georgia31699Moody AFB$3,976.8230314Atlanta$6,991.02
Louisiana71439Hornbeck$4,332.4870117New Orleans$9,303.50
District Of Columbia20001Washington$4,383.6120002Washington$4,440.79
New Jersey07926Brookside$4,592.1707102Newark$8,512.59
Delaware19930Bethany Beach$4,953.7906340Groton$3,896.10
Michigan48880Saint Louis$7,916.2948201Detroit$30,350.09
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When it comes to fraud and some other claims, you may not even be aware that a certain ZIP code faces challenges. This is why it’s smart to talk with your insurance company before putting a deposit down on a new place.

Another factor that the insurance company looks at is your daily commute. When you call to change your address, the company will probably ask to update some other information, including how far you drive to work.

The reason for this is very simple. The more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to have an accident. So if you are perplexed as to why does my insurance go up when you get a new commute, it’s because you are more at risk. If you move further from work, your insurance company may respond by increasing your rates slightly.

The good news is that you may qualify for a price break if you move closer to work and shrink your commute. There are some cities that have a reputation for higher insurance rates, so you may want to avoid them completely.

If you’re looking at making a move to any of these expensive areas, then you may want to look at the outlying cities instead:

  • Detroit
  • New York
  • Miami and Fort Lauderdale
  • Los Angeles
  • Atlanta

These are all big cities with big premiums, but there are some exceptions to this rule. Cleveland, Charlotte, and Pittsburgh all have rate levels that are below the national average.

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Different State Insurance Laws

Louisiana is out in the country with many rural areas, yet it has the fourth-highest insurance rates in the country. This is due to the high rate of lawsuits combined with poor road conditions.

It also has a Direct Action Statute that allows people to sue insurance companies directly, and that leads to more losses for the company.

People who move to this state are often surprised by the high jump in their rates. This is why it’s vital that you check with your insurance company before finalizing a move.

While shopping around may help you save a certain amount, you want to be sure that you’ll have the right coverage since the legal environment in this state seems to encourage lawsuits.

Another challenge with auto insurance is that different states can dictate what type of coverage you have. This can drive your rates up or allow them to drop depending on the state. Here are just a few ways that state governments can force a change in your existing insurance plan:

  • Setting higher minimum insurance requirements
  • Passing regulations that prevent insurers from using some types of information

Surprisingly, your rates can even go up because you rent a property rather than owning your own property. The average difference nationwide is seven percent, but even that small number can equal more than a hundred dollars annually.

If you’re considering making the move from an apartment into your own home, then you’ll want to keep this information in mind. The savings in insurance premiums can help cover other insurance premiums like your homeowner’s insurance.

Use our free tool below to find out if your auto insurance has gone up after moving house.

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Notifying Your Insurance Company When You Move

Will my auto insurance change if I move and don’t tell my insurer? If you discover that your new ZIP code is more costly with insurance, then you may be tempted to keep the move to yourself. However, you must inform your insurance provider of the change in address.

Failing to do so can be considered a breach of contract, and your company may:

  • Cancel the policy
  • Deny claims
  • Adjust rates and have you pay back the premium differences

Avoid problems down the road by being upfront with your company ahead of time.

If you discover that your rates will rise too much, then you can take some time to compare rates and search for better premiums.

When you know what to expect with your insurance, you can budget accordingly. As soon as you know that a move is in your future, talk with your insurance company about the likely changes, and so they can answer why your auto insurance went up after a move.

You just may discover that buying a house in another ZIP code will actually save you money. Compare auto insurance quotes today.

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

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