Anytime you move, you need to let your car insurance provider know as soon as possible so they can update your premiums. However, when you move out of state, additional complications arise. For one, your current auto insurer may not have a license to provide coverage in the state to which you are moving. If that's the case, you would not only need to change your policy, but you would also have to switch car insurers. Secondly, every state in the U.S. has different car insurance laws. Moving out of state could mean that you will have to increase or decrease your coverage amounts and/or add or remove certain coverages from your policy. The information that follows will help you navigate this process and make the transition to your new policy seamless.
As you begin the process of updating your policy, you should keep a few thing in mind. First of all, policyholders sometimes acquire more assets when they move. For example, you may have sold your house in your old state and now have a substantial amount of money from the sale. Acquiring more assets means that you will need more car insurance to protect them. Secondly, an out-of-state move could also mean that your annual mileage will change. In other words, you might be commuting to work less or more in your new state. If your mileage does change, you need to update your policy to reflect that.
Switching Your Policy
Here is a step-by-step guide to switching your policy to a new state and/or new provider:
- Contact your current car insurance agent. As soon as you know your move date and new address, call your car insurance agent. Let your agent know about your move and ask if your current provider issues policies in your new state. If so, you can simply transfer your policy over by visiting an agent in your new state. Of course, if you don't want to stay with your current provider or if your existing company cannot provide coverage, then you will need to proceed to step two.
- Research the new state's insurance laws. Find the website of your new state's department of insurance or motor vehicles department. Write down the mandatory minimum liability insurance requirements. You also want to look for any additional coverages the state requires, such as personal injury protection or underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. If additional coverages are required, make sure you write down the minimum amounts required by law for these as well.
- Start shopping. A location change could mean higher or lower premiums depending on how populous the new area is and what the theft rates are in your ZIP code. Either way, you can save money on your new car insurance policy by shopping around. Don't settle on a policy until you've reviewed quotes from three or four different companies.
- Set up your new policy with the insurer you select. Once you've decided on an insurer, contact an agent to draft a new policy. Make sure you purchase at least the minimum coverages required by your state. When your new policy is ready, tell your agent when you would like it to go into effect. Your moving date or sometime shortly thereafter makes the most sense.
- Give your current insurer notice of cancellation. Your current insurer will continue to charge you premiums if you do not cancel your policy in advance. Call your agent or customer service rep to express your intention to cancel and provide them with the date on which your new policy will become effective. The insurer will then send you a form to submit your cancellation request officially.
- Complete the cancellation request form. When you receive the form from your current insurer, fill it out and send it back promptly. It's very important that you coordinate your cancellation date with the effective date of your new policy. Any lapses in coverage are dangerous, for one, and will also make you difficult to insure in the future. Car insurers look at customers with coverage lapses as high risks.