Moving can be quite the hassle, especially when handling important paperwork like your insurance. Transferring your home insurance plan may seem like a no-brainer, but your car insurance may seem like another beast. After all, one of the factors that contribute to your car insurance rates is your address, or where you park your car normally. So, what do you need to know when that address changes? Let’s look at these 7 things that you may need to know about your car insurance if you’re moving.
7 things to know about car insurance if you’re moving.
1. How to change the information on your car insurance
Changing your car insurance policy to fit your new location might be as simple as calling your insurance agent and going through a quick filing process. However, if you’re moving to an area that’s outside of your carrier’s area of coverage, you’ll need to shop for a new car insurance carrier all over again. Luckily, our agents have access to multiple insurance companies nationwide. So, we can help you determine the specific risks you’ll face in your new location and find similar carriers with the best rates around.
2. You have a certain amount of time after you move to change the address on your policy
Different states have different requirements for when an insured needs to have their car insurance policy registered with a new address. You’ll need to find out that exact timeframe, but it’s a good idea to go ahead and have your policy switched over as soon as possible.
As a rule of thumb, most states require you to register your car to your new address within 30 days of your move. So, it could be a good idea to go by this timeframe for your auto insurance as well.
3. You may have new state-required minimums if you move
Each state has its own minimum requirements for car insurance. If you’re moving out of state, you’ll need to know which coverages your new state requires and how much your coverage limits need to be. Some states require more coverage. Some states require less.
It’s important to note, though, that even though a state may require less coverage than your previous address, you could be putting yourself in a sticky situation by not having enough coverage if something does happen to your car.
More often than not, state minimums only require a certain amount of bodily injury liability and property damage coverage. In addition to the state-required limits not being enough, these coverages only cover the other person’s injuries and property. If you want to be able to protect you and your car in an accident, you may want to look into collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and medical payments insurance.
4. Your car insurance rates may change if you’re moving
On the same token, since your car insurance coverage limits may change, your rates may change along with them. Although, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your rates will be more expensive. Car insurance rates depend on a lot more factors than just your address or what your location requires for auto insurance. It can depend on your deductible, your coverage limits, your age, your marital status, and more.
Plus, if you have to change carriers, there may be an entirely different market of insurance companies in your location that offer lower rates. So, just take the move as a blank slate for your insurance as well, and shop for what you need!
5. If you’re being removed from a policy, you may have to provide your new proof of insurance or proof of residency to your old insurance company.
If you’re a bit younger and moving out on your own, or you’ve just been taking advantage of a multi-car discount and are moving to a separate address, switching car insurance can be kind of tricky. There are certain documents that your old insurance company may need in order to take you off the original policy without putting you at risk for a lapse in coverage.
One way that you could change policies is by giving your old carrier proof of new residence for your new home. Showing multiple forms of official mail (i.e. a water bill, a copy of your signed apartment lease/house deed, etc.) could be enough to switch you to a new policy that’s all your own. However, be prepared to ask if your carrier needs additional documentation. Another method could be to give your old insurance carrier proof of new insurance. This way, they know that you’re canceling your car insurance with them while still being covered.
6. Know your new policy’s effective start date
Before you pull the trigger on canceling your old insurance policy, make sure that your new car insurance policy picks up exactly where your old one leaves off. Even if you sign the paperwork for a new policy on one date, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re covered from the signing date forward. And even if it’s just a one-day lapse in car insurance coverage, it still counts as a lapse.
That means that if you need proof of insurance while being pulled over or after an accident, you’ll be out of luck for any coverage that you need, and you may have to pay for damages out-of-pocket. Additionally, it’s illegal to drive without insurance in every state. So, check out your declarations page or even read your car insurance policy all the way through to make sure you know that you’re covered no matter what.
7. Know that you may be able to get a refund in the middle of your policy
Life doesn’t usually line up perfectly with your plans. So, moves don’t typically line up with the end of your policy date. Still, you don’t want to pay for an old car insurance policy if you already have a new one. Luckily, if you need to change your insurance in the middle of your plan, your carrier can refund you according to the number of days still left on your first policy.
Even if you pay for your policy on a month-by-month or a semi-annual schedule, a carrier can usually prorate the amount you’ve already paid and refund you the rest. That way, you don’t have to pay for what you don’t use!
These are just some of the things to keep in mind about car insurance if you’re moving. A new journey doesn’t have to mean a whole new set of problems, especially if you’re working with our professionals. Our agents are professionals in getting the auto insurance you need for a great price, no matter where you are in the U.S. To start getting free, customized quotes on car insurance, give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a professional today!