Buying Car Insurance Before Moving

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Here's what you need to know...
  • If you know you are moving to another state, inform your insurance company
  • In many cases, you can carry the same insurance coverage, sometimes even with the same agent
  • If you do not have coverage, or know you want to search for a different provider, check with your new state to learn how much time you have to do so

There are many details to contend with when moving to a new state, including the purchase of car insurance.

If you already have car insurance, then you may or may not need a new policy. If you don’t already have car insurance, but you will be driving, then you will need to find an insurance agent or buy online.

Car insurance rates vary from state to state, so your insurance premium could be more or less than you are paying in your current state.

Also, since legal requirements are different in each state, you will need to update your policy regardless of whether you have a new insurance provider.

After you have finished reading about purchasing car insurance in your new state, enter your zip code to compare quotes from many different car insurance companies!

Notifying Your Car Insurance Agent


If you are moving out of state on a short-term or temporary basis, then you may not need to do anything at all. However, it is always best to let your agent know of any changes taking place to make sure that you are still covered.

If you are moving permanently out of state, then you must notify your agent, even if you are moving to a new location within the same state, as your new residential area could affect your rates.

Since most car insurance companies are legally licensed to operate in the majority of states, moving is not usually an issue.

However, to be sure your agent can still insure you in your new state of residence, you must call him and advise him of your situation as soon as possible.

If your agent is legally licensed in that state, then he will be able to give you a new quote based on your new location.

Depending on where you move, your insurance rates may go up, or they may go down.

If your rates increase, you may decide to shop around for a new car insurance company that has lower premiums and more discounts to help you save money.

If you choose to go with a new company, you may be entitled to a prorated refund of your previous car insurance policy. If you stay with the same company, you may still need to look for a new agent who resides locally.

Either way, you need to be sure you have car insurance purchased for your car within approximately ninety days of moving to the new state.

Finding a New Auto Insurance Agent


Staying with the same car insurance company is convenient, but it may not be legal or cost worthy. If you need to find a new car insurance agent with the same company, you can ask your current agent for a recommendation.

If you need to find a new car insurance company altogether, you should shop around to make sure you are getting quality coverage at an affordable rate.

When looking for a new car insurance carrier, make sure the company is legally licensed to be doing business in that state.

The state’s insurance commissioner should have a list of licensed carriers for you to verify. Once you find a few carriers you would like to work with, compare their different costs based on the coverage you need.

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You can always modify your coverage if you need to later, but for the initial quote analysis, be sure you are comparing identical coverage so that you have a realistic cost of the premium.

If you never had insurance before, then you need to buy your car insurance before registering your car with the state and being legally licensed to drive.

If you already have car insurance, and you are keeping the same carrier, then you still need to register your car with the state.

Each state has its own guidelines for the permissible time allowed, so be sure to check with the official government’s rulings. While it is a good idea to purchase car insurance before you move to the state, it is not usually required.

As long as you maintain your previous car insurance while initially driving in the new state, you should be covered.

State Car Insurance Requirements

The United States

Since every state has different insurance requirements, it is important to update your insurance policy as soon as possible when moving to a new state.

Each state has a different allowance so that you may have thirty days, or you may have ninety days to comply, but whatever it is, you need to make sure your coverage is legally updated within the allotted timeframe.

Although it travels with you, car insurance is based on your legal state of residence.

If you are driving cross country on vacation, the minimum legal requirements of whatever state your driver’s license is registered in will apply to you even if you are in a state with different requirements.

For example, if you are legally required to carry 20/40/10 in State A, and you have an accident in State B that requires 30/60/20, you will not be held legally responsible for the 30/60/20, provided you are a legal resident of State A with the appropriate insurance for that state.

However, if you moved to State B six months prior and never updated your insurance coverage, then you will be held responsible for breaking the law by not having the legal minimum car insurance coverage.

Anytime you are moving, you should check with your insurance agent as well as the state itself to find out what the laws are and what you need to do in order to abide.

Some states require financial proof of responsibility, and some states require other forms of proof of insurance, so the best way to be sure you have the necessary car insurance before you move to the state is to contact the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Finding a car insurance agent as soon as you move into the state if not sooner is beneficial and can help you expedite getting your car insured so that you can drive legally in your new hometown.

Enter your zip code to compare rates from multiple insurance providers now!

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