Why does car insurance go up when you move?

Your car insurance could go up when you move. Every state has different car insurance rates, with Michigan having the highest average rates at $186/mo. Compare insurance rates to save money.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • There are several different reasons why car insurance can go up following a move either in state or to a new state
  • How far you are moving, the zip code you are moving to, where you work, and if you are moving out of state all affect rates
  • Sometimes a move to a new house within the same state could increase your rates just like moving to a new state

Calling your agent to update your car insurance after you have moved from one home to another is one type of change that can lead to more expensive rates.

If you would like to understand the big picture, you will need to learn about each of the different scenarios and why these scenarios are so important to insurers.

Here is your guide to how moves can affect car insurance premiums so that you can stay organized and informed at the same time.

Start comparing car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool below!

Out-of-state Moves and How They Affect Your Car Insurance


If you are moving across state lines, you cannot pick up the phone and change your address to get your policy up-to-date.

Since your existing coverage is written by a carrier licensed in your origin state, it may not follow the right laws or even satisfy requirements set by state officials once your registration is transferred.

You must buy a new policy your insurance so that it will comply with the mandatory laws or financial responsibility laws.

If the carrier that you are currently with is licensed to do business in your new state of residence, you may have the option to transfer all of your policy information to make the process easier.

You will, however, still have a new agent, a new policy number, and a new rate.

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Why will your rates be different in your new state?


Insurance companies will assess risk when they determine premiums for each applicant.

Some may argue that moving from one home to a new home in a new state does not make them a bigger or a smaller risk to the company.

While it does appear that way, when you fully understand the marketplace and how data is used to assess an application, you can begin to understand why this long distance move can lead to high-cost insurance rates.

The relative cost of car insurance for personal vehicle owners can vary dramatically from state to state.

You should check the average expenditures in the state where you are moving to and compare these to the state you are moving from.

If you notice that expenditures are much higher in the state that you will soon call home, you can expect a jump in your rates because the rate filing regulations in each state vary.

How State Coverage Requirements can Affect Rates


You might wonder why living in New Jersey can lead to much higher rates than drivers who insurance vehicles in Idaho.

New Jersey has reported the highest premiums and Idaho the least expensive in the nation.

While population, traffic patterns, and claims statistics all play a role in the difference, another factor to consider is the state minimum coverage requirement.

In some states, all you must carry are very low limits of liability to protect third parties. In others, you may be required to carry higher limits like medical payments or uninsured motorist.

When you go from a state with low minimums to one with more comprehensive requirements, you can expect your rates to jump because you will have more protection.

Local Moves and Why They Can Affect Your Rates


In some scenarios, moving just a few miles away from your old home can result in a change in premium that could break the bank.

When you are moving into a new neighborhood, there are factors that are beyond your control that will affect your rates.

One of these factors is the neighbors. If your zip code changes, the insurer will review a new claims territory to see if there are higher trends in the claims filed and the crimes reported.

Here are some of the pieces of information in the zip code that can have an affect:

  • Number of vehicles stolen
  • Number of vandalism claims reported
  • Fraudulent injury claims
  • Claims for property stolen

Most people prefer to move closer to work, but not all situations are ideal. There are times when a move creates a larger gap between home and work.

If you add 10 miles to your commute each way, you could be adding a higher exposure to loss that will raise your premiums for the remaining term.

If you have requested your change to be made and have suddenly received a new bill in the mail, it might be time to shop the rates for coverage in your new zip code.

Start comparing car insurance rates now by entering your zip code in our FREE tool below!


  1. https://www.thebalance.com/can-moving-raise-my-car-insurance-rate-527468
  2. https://www.esurance.com/info/car/moving-and-your-car-insurance
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/financial-responsibility-law.asp
  4. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/auto-insurance
  5. https://www.state.nj.us/dobi/index.html
  6. https://www.doi.idaho.gov/

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