How Changing Your Address Affects Auto Insurance

Last Updated on September 18, 2023

If you move to a new address, your car insurance could change significantly.

A new ZIP code could raise or lower rates by 20% or more, for example. Moving to a new state could require you to buy new coverage entirely. Some insurers only operate in certain states, while others prefer to insure rural drivers versus urban drivers.

Keep reading to learn everything you need about how changing your address impacts auto insurance.

6 Ways Changing Your Address Impacts Auto Insurance

Auto insurance companies consider risk to calculate premiums. Some drivers are riskier to insure than others.

Location plays a significant role in risk. For example, someone who lives in a city with high vehicular theft rates will pay more for comprehensive coverage because it covers auto theft. Or, someone who lives in an area prone to flooding could pay significantly more for full coverage car insurance.

Here are six ways changing your address impacts auto insurance:

Different Insurance Requirements

Each state has its own insurance laws. Many states have similar insurance laws, but some states are more unique.

Twelve states are no-fault states, for example, with significantly different insurance requirements. States with no-fault insurance typically require you to buy personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments coverage (MedPay).

Other states have much higher or lower liability insurance limits, and you could pay more or less for insurance to meet legal limits in your new state.

Higher Risk of Fires, Floods, and Natural Disasters

When you buy full coverage car insurance, you’re purchasing protection against multiple types of losses – including forest fires, floods, and other natural disasters.

If you just moved to a flood zone, for example, you could pay higher rates because your insurer has a higher risk of paying a total loss claim after a flood.

Population Density

Generally, places with higher population density have higher insurance rates. Denser populations tend to have higher accident rates and, in many cases, higher crime rates. Both of these factors raise costs for insurers.

If you’re moving from a rural area to an address closer to the city, you could pay more for car insurance. Generally, people in big, dense cities pay more for car insurance than those in sparsely populated areas.

Crime Rates

Insurers consider your ZIP code when calculating premiums. Some ZIP codes have high rates of crime.

If you moved to a dangerous city from a safe town, for example, then you might have tripled your risk of car theft. Insurers raise premiums to accommodate this risk.

Insurers consider the risk of vandalism, car theft, hit-and-runs, and other incidents when calculating insurance premiums.

Car Storage

Your car is safest when parked in a covered, locked garage surrounded by security systems and fire alarms. It’s less safe when it’s parked on a busy street.

If you moved to a new address, your car storage options might have changed. Insurers could consider where you park your car when calculating rates – especially if you’re insuring a classic or exotic car.

State-by-State Insurance Company Requirements

Insurance companies must abide by different regulations in each state where they do business. Depending on the cost of doing business in a specific state, you could pay higher or lower rates for car insurance after a move.

Car insurance companies in California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts, for example, are not allowed to consider credit scores when calculating insurance rates. Instead, insurers in these states put a heavy emphasis on driving records. If you have an excellent credit score but a poor driving record, you could pay significantly higher insurance rates when moving to one of these three states.

Other states have a higher cost of doing business. Insurers spend billions of dollars annually on lawsuits, for example, and some states are more litigious than others. If you are moving to a state with a higher-than-average number of lawsuits against car insurance companies, you could pay higher rates for car insurance.

What Happens If I Don’t Change My Address?

You could pay more for car insurance after changing your address. But what happens if you don’t tell your insurance company about your new address?

Let’s say you move to a new apartment in the city, but you continue to use your parent’s address in the suburbs for your car insurance.

In this situation, your insurer will likely deny any future insurance claims. If you get into an accident with the incorrect address listed on your car insurance, your insurer could deny your claim due to insurance fraud.

Your insurer needs to know your current address to charge accurate premiums. Most insurers have a grace period when moving to a new address. However, if you deliberately avoid telling your insurer your correct address, your insurer could deny your claim.

How to Update Your Address for Auto Insurance

Most insurers make it easy to update your address. People move regularly, and changing your address on your car insurance is normal.

Contact your insurer or log in to your car insurance company’s website to change your address. Your insurer could charge higher or lower premiums based on your new address.

Moving is a Great Time to Compare Rates

We recommend comparing rates any time you make a significant life change. Even if it’s not far away, moving to a new address is considered a big life change.

Compare rates to ensure you’re paying competitive rates at your new address. Sometimes, the best and cheapest insurer at your old address isn’t your best option at your new address.

Moving to a new state, for example, could give you many more insurance options than you previously had. Some regional insurers provide better pricing and coverage than nationwide insurers. Other insurers only operate in one or two states.

For all of these reasons and more, moving to a new address gives you a great reason to compare insurance quotes online.

Final Word

Whether you’re moving across town or moving across the country, a new address affects auto insurance.

Different states have different insurance systems. Some states require unique coverage, and some insurers only operate in certain states.

Even if you’re moving down the street, you could pay different rates based on your ZIP code. For example, some ZIP codes have higher traffic density and crime rates, which could lead to higher rates.

Compare car insurance rates for your address to ensure you’re paying the most competitive premiums at your new location.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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