While you don’t have to switch auto insurance when you move out of state, it often makes sense for drivers to make the switch. insurance agents are typically licensed in only one state, and different states have different laws about insurance coverage.
If you plan to move to another state, you will generally have up to 90 days to register your car in your new home. however, you should make sure your auto insurance policy covers you as soon as you arrive. If you plan to change auto insurance companies when you move, here’s how to do it.
call your insurance agent
the scale recommends starting this process by calling your current insurance company. the agent will be able to tell you if they offer insurance in your new state. They can also provide information about any changes in coverage costs associated with relocation. If you need to work with a new agent in your new state, your current agent should be able to refer you to the right person.
check with your new status
Check your new state’s Department of Motor Vehicles website for auto insurance and registration requirements. you will usually have at least a month and often up to 90 days to get your new documents. According to valuepenguin, failure to transition your driver’s license, car insurance, and vehicle registration during this period can result in fines.
You may be able to stay with your insurance provider if the company provides services in your new state of residence. By doing so, you could keep your existing loyalty discounts and avoid the hassle of switching insurance companies while you’re in the middle of an interstate move. however, remember that the cost of your policy may change based on your new geographic area, your new commute, and other factors. Don’t forget to look for quotes from small, independent insurance companies that operate only in your new state; they often offer impressive rates.
If you go from at-fault to no-fault status for auto insurance purposes, you’ll likely pay higher premiums. these states often require additional forms of coverage, which fall into four main categories:
- bodily injury coverage per accident and per person
- property damage liability coverage
- underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage
- personal injury protection
Your new state may also require more or less minimum coverage than your old state. For example, Arizona requires only $15,000 of bodily injury liability coverage, while drivers in Alaska must have $50,000 in bodily injury coverage. When you get a quote from an auto insurance broker, he or she can recommend coverage that meets state requirements.
You may also want to invest in coverage above the minimum. Policy Genius recommends that drivers carry about $100,000 in property damage coverage, $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, and $300,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident. the declaration page would express this policy type as 100/300/100.
If you bought a new house in your new location or bought a new car, these updated assets can affect your credit score. this, in turn, can affect the premium quotes you receive for auto insurance.
buy a new insurance policy
Usually, you must present proof of insurance in the new state to change your driver’s license and vehicle registration. Most industry experts recommend getting quotes from at least three different insurance companies before deciding to purchase coverage. You can also get recommendations from friends and family who live in your new state or from your employer if you’re going to work for a new company after you move.
When you have made your decision, contact the insurance company and complete the required paperwork. You will also make your first premium payment at this time. Be sure to get the start date of your new policy in writing.
You’ll also need to decide on your deductible. The higher the deductible you choose to pay if you have an accident, the lower your premium cost will be. Your age, your driving record, and the make and model of your vehicle also influence the cost of your policy.
register your vehicle
once you have insurance coverage in your new state, you can visit the dmv to get a new vehicle registration and license plate. Typically, you’ll need to provide your driver’s license, title to your vehicle, and proof of insurance.
You will also need to show proof of residency and proof of identity. most states accept medicaid cards, military cards, refugee documents, and passports. Before you visit the DMV, you can check the website for a complete list of approved documents. you’ll also need to pay a registration fee that ranges from $25 to $60 on average.
Your new home state will issue a new license plate for your vehicle. you must mail the old license plate to the dmv of your old state.
get a new driver’s license
In most states, you can get a new driver’s license when you get your new vehicle registered. in some states, however, you may have to go to a different location to be photographed. You will also need to fill out a form and pay the required license fee. After completing this process, you can legally drive in your new state of residence.
cancel your old policy
After setting up a new policy, you can cancel your old insurance policy. don’t drop your existing policy without current auto insurance. Coverhound’s website notes that not only will you receive expensive fines if you’re caught driving across state lines without car insurance, but you’ll also be responsible for all costs if you’re in an accident.
Be sure to update your old auto insurance company with your new address. they may need to contact you by mail or send you a refund check for the rest of your premium.
Following these steps will speed up the process of changing your auto insurance policy when you move to a new state.
car insurance by city & status
Looking for insurance in your city or state? Check out these auto insurance guides.
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