Will My Insurance Rates Increase If I Move?

Last Updated on May 8, 2021

If you’re planning on moving, there’s no doubt that you have done a lot of research. You’ve researched the different types of homes that are on the market, the amount of money you can comfortably spend on your mortgage, the schools, and even the types of stores, restaurants, and other entertainment options in the area. However, while all of this research is definitely important, there may be one thing that you have forgotten to research: how your move will impact your car insurance rates.Will My Insurance Rates Increase If I Move?

Believe it or not, the rate of your car insurance can drastically change, going either up or down, depending on where you are moving to. For example, if you live in Lake Havasu City, Arizona and you move to Brooklyn, NY, your car insurance could go from about $700 a year to over $4,000 a year. That’s an increase of more than $4,000.

Will my auto insurance rates increase if I move? Why does where I live have an impact on how much I’ll pay for car insurance? How do I find insurance in my new location? Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about moving and its impact on your insurance rates.

The Link Between Car Insurance Rates and Location

It may seem a bit nonsensical that car insurance rates can change so dramatically from location to location. After all, car insurance is car insurance, right?

While yes, you may receive the same exact type of liability coverage in Brooklyn that you did in Lake Havasu City, but it is the location that can make a huge difference in your risk to the insurance company. For example, there is far more traffic in Brooklyn than there is in Lake Havasu City. The mere fact that there are more drivers on the road in the latter area means that there is a greater chance that you could be involved in an accident than in the former area; hence the reason for the spike in your car insurance rates.

Other factors that car insurance companies take into consideration when determining the rate for an area include the incidence of vehicle theft in the area, as well as the type of living arrangements. People who live in Lake Havasu City are more likely to own homes than people in Brooklyn, and people who live in houses are more likely to have private, off-street parking than those who live in apartments, where street or municipal parking is more likely. Obviously, there is less of a risk of theft or damage to your vehicle if you park in your own private driveway or garage than if you park on the side of the street or in a municipal garage.

Cheapest and Most Expensive Cities to Insure Your Vehicle

Big cities tend to see higher insurance rates. Smaller, rural cities tend to see higher insurance rates. Currently, these are the cheapest and most expensive place in the country to buy car insurance:

RankMost Expensive to Insure Your CarCheapest Cities to Insure Your Car
1Detroit, MI
Average annual premium: $6,329
Bridgewater, ME
Average annual premium: $993
2New York, NY
Average annual premium: $5,703
Lebanon, NH
Average annual premium: $995
3New Orleans, LA
Average annual premium: $4,601
St. Marys, OH
Average annual premium: $995
4Las Vegas, NV
Average annual premium: $3,768
Blacksburg, VA
Average annual premium: $1,005
5North Hollywood, CA
Average annual premium: $3,767
Menasha, WI
Average annual premium: $1,080
6Philadelphia, PA
Average annual premium: $3,710
Nantucket, MA
Average annual premium: $1,114
7Baltimore, MD
Average annual premium: $3,443
Berne, IN
Average annual premium: $1,124
8Goose Rock, KY
Average annual premium: $3,435
Boise City, ID
Average annual premium: $1,138
9Brownsville, FL
Average annual premium: $3,342
Ames, IA
Average annual premium: $1,149
10Irvington, NJ
Average annual premium: $3,043
Candler, NC
Average annual premium: $1,196
SourceInsurance Business Magazine

Changing Your Car Insurance When You Move: Getting the Best Rates

When you move, you will be required to change your registration and tags to your new state, and this needs to be done in a certain window of time. Typically, this window of time is anywhere between 10 and 60 days.

During this span of time, it’s very important to shop around for car insurance. This is important not only because you will likely be required to provide proof that your car is insured in order to register your vehicle. Likewise, shopping around will allow you to find the best rate for your new location.

Though you may be a long-time customer of your current insurance provider and you may be under the assumption that you are going to just use the same insurance provider in your new state of residence, it is important to note that you may not be able to. Why? – Because your current provider may not operate in your new location.

Helpful Car Insurance Tips When Moving

If you are planning a move, knowing what to do in order to adjust your insurance and make sure that you are covered in your new state is very important. In order to make the process of getting your vehicle insured in your new state an easier one, here are some tips to guide you:

  • Let your current insurance provider know that you are moving. This is important because you are going to want to know how long your current coverage will stay active in your new state of residence.
  • Make sure your moving truck is insured. If you plan on renting a moving truck/van for your move, like a U-Haul, make sure it is insured properly before moving. Often times your existing auto insurance coverage or your credit card will not cover the moving truck, so be prepared to purchase extra supplemental insurance from the moving truck rental company if you need it.
  • Shop around for car insurance. Contact several different car insurance providers before choosing one. You’ll be surprised to find how rates can fluctuate from one provider to another, and what types of discounts different providers may offer. You might also choose to remain with your previous insurer if your rates remain low in your new location.
  • Get insured. Once you have shopped around and you have found a company that you are happy with, take the necessary steps to buy insurance for your vehicle. This will be easy if you stick with your old insurance company – simply call your agent and inform them of your move.
  • Cancel your previous insurance policy. If you do decide to switch to a new insurance provider, before calling your old insurance agency and canceling your policy, make 100% sure that your new policy is in effect.
  • Register and get new plates. Once you have your vehicle insured in your new state, you’re going to have to register your car in that state and get new license plates. Be sure to take your new car insurance information with you when you go to the DMV so that you can register your vehicle without any problems.
  • Return your old plates. Once your car is legally registered and insured and has new plates on it, you’re going to have to return your old plates. Turn in your old plates when you cancel your previous insurance to avoid the possibility of having your former insurance provider or former state from thinking that you are driving uninsured (which could result in being penalized.)
  • Find out about refunds and fees that may be associated with your previous insurance provider. You may be eligible for a refund if you cancel in full before the scheduled renewal date. Likewise, you may actually face fees if you cancel your policy before your scheduled renewal date.

Final Word – Will Car Insurance Go up if I move?

Your auto insurance rates will either increase or decrease when you move to a new location. There are many factors that go into determining your auto insurance rates, and local crime rates, traffic, vandalism, auto theft, and car accident numbers all have a huge impact.

If you are moving, it is extremely important that you properly handle maintaining insurance on your vehicle. The last thing you want to do is end up having to pay late fees, having your insurance canceled, or end up having your credit marred because an insurance provider thinks that you are driving without insurance. Likewise, doing due diligence and shopping around will allow you to find the best car insurance rates in your new location.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for InsurancePanda.com 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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