Moving Out of State and Car Insurance

Tips for Switching Insurance if You are Moving Out of State

Illustration of woman driving her car loaded with furniture and her dog to another state

Linda Braucht / Getty Images 

Moving to a new state almost always requires switching car insurance policies. States have different laws, and insurance agents are usually only licensed in the state in which they live. Moving to a new state is not an easy task in general, and you certainly need to be organized. When it comes to switching your car insurance in particular, it is important to have a plan.

What You Will Need to Switch Car Insurance

Illustration of woman driving her car loaded with furniture and her dog to another state

Linda Braucht / Getty Images

Anytime you are shopping for car insurance, it is a good idea to start with your declaration page. It will give your prospective agent an idea of where to start. Coverage may differ in your new state. It is important to be aware of any differences. Your potential new agent should explain the laws of your new home state.

Where to Start Shopping after Moving Out of State

A car insurance policy laying with credit cards, calculator, a pen, and a small model of a car

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If you are moving to an unfamiliar state, you may not know where to start looking for car insurance. A good place to begin your search is with your current insurance agent. Your current agent should be able to look up other agents in your new location who sell insurance through the same insurance carrier.

Your current insurance carrier might not offer insurance in your new location, but it is worth a try. If you are moving to an area where you have friends and family, you should certainly ask for recommendations from them. Many large workplaces are also able to recommend car insurance agents, especially if a large percentage of their workers drive to and from work.

Moving out of state is also a good time to get multiple quotes from different insurance carriers. If you have to switch anyway, you might as well look around to compare insurance companies in your new area. Check online to see what is available in your immediate area. Checking the local phone book, or talking with your new neighbors to get a referral are also good ways to find a new agent. You’ll also notice that some small insurance companies only operate in certain states rather than nationwide, and many of these companies offer competitive prices and great customer service.

Deadline to Switch after Moving Out of State

Toy car parked in front of miniature home and next to a sand timer, symbolizing time is running out to change auto insurance after moving to a new state

Thanit Weerawan / Getty Images

When organizing a big move to another state, you might be wondering how long you have to switch your car insurance. Different states have different rules, but switching insurance to your new state should be completed as soon as possible. If your insurance carrier in your old state, knows about your move, they could set your policy up for cancellation without telling you. One good rule of thumb for a deadline is: whichever comes first, your insurance renewal, or your license plate renewal.

Making the Policy Switch

A man talks on a cell phone with his old insurance agent with his new policy in his hand

MartinPrescott / Getty Images

Once the new insurance policy is in place, you will need to contact your old insurance agent if you have not already done so. This communication is a good time to change your address as well. Why? Well, updating your home address will ensure you receive a refund check if one is warranted and sent by your old insurance company. It is always a good idea to request cancellation once you are done with an insurance policy.

Moving to another state brings about a lot of changes. Take time to get settled before stressing out about your car insurance. It is important to understand the laws in your new state and choose an insurance company that is a good fit for you and your family.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you have to change car insurance when you move between states?

You most likely have to change car insurance after you move. The places you live and regularly park your car help determine the price you pay for insurance premiums. If you move, the insurer will likely update your insurance. You may be able to maintain coverage from an old state if the move is temporary, but your premium cost may change.

Why does changing my address increase my car insurance cost?

All types of insurance, including auto and health insurance, rely on customers paying premiums to collectively offset the risk of the insured. As long as most of the customers don't need to file a claim, the premiums pay for any claims that are filed. When an insurer thinks that your risk has increased after moving, you will have to pay higher premiums so the insurer will remain confident that its premiums will cover the cost of claims.

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Connecticut Insurance Department. "Auto Insurance - What Affects Premiums?"

  2. Stanford University. "How U.S. Health Insurance Works."

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