How to Update and Manage Your Car Insurance When You Move

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned many former office employees into remote workers, and with their jobs no longer tying them down to a particular location, some are leaving the cities they used to call home for greener pastures.

If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to let your car insurance company know you’re moving, so they can update your address. 

Unfortunately, your premium might increase because of your new location. So it could be a good time to look for a new auto insurance policy. Metromile’s pay-per-mile car insurance charges you for the miles you drive, so drivers who don’t drive often or long distances can save hundreds of dollars by switching.

We all know how stressful moving can be. Between finding a new place to live and packing, car insurance is probably the last thing on your mind right now. But this is one more item you should add to your moving to-do list.

Why is it so important? Let’s find out.

Why do you have to change auto insurance when you move?

There are two important reasons why you need to update your auto insurance when you move. 

  1. Your car insurance company might not operate in the state where you’re moving. Each state has its own licenses for insurance, so you’ll want to make sure your car insurance company operates in your new state. You might need a new auto insurer if your old insurance company isn’t available where you are moving.
  2. Even if they do have a presence there, they might want to adjust your premiums based on your new address.
    Location matters. Many insurance companies consider where you usually park your car each night to determine the price you pay.

What if I don’t tell my car insurance company I moved?

It could be tempting to not say anything, especially if you’re concerned your premiums will go up. 

But there are a few reasons why you’ll want to let your auto insurer know you’re moving:

  1. If you move out of a state, you’ll need a new auto insurance policy before you can register your car. Failing to register your car could get you into trouble with your new state.
  2. If you get into a car accident and need to file a claim, your insurance company might cancel your policy when they find out you moved without telling them. That means you might not be covered if something goes wrong. Not to mention, driving without insurance is illegal in most states.
  3. If that doesn’t get your attention, this might: Not updating your address could be a form of insurance fraud.

We’re not trying to scare you, but we think it’s important you understand the consequences of not updating your auto insurance policy when you move.

Of course, if you’re just out of town on vacation, you don’t need to update your address.

The same goes if you’re only moving temporarily, but plan to return home in a few months. But each insurance company might have a different timeline for what constitutes a temporary move. So you should check with your provider to be sure.

Does your ZIP Code affect your car insurance? 

Your auto insurance rate is based on a number of factors, including where you live and:

  • Age
  • Driving experience
  • Safety record
  • Vehicle type and age
  • Location

So if you move, your auto insurer might update the price you pay to match the rates in your new location.

Why does your car insurance go up when you change your address?

No matter how safe a driver you are, your location is bound to impact your car insurance.

There are three reasons why the price you pay for car insurance might go up when you change your address:

  1. You move to a place with a higher rate of car accidents.
  2. You move to a place with a higher rate of stolen cars.
  3. You move to a place with higher or different state minimum insurance requirements.

So we’d expect your car insurance premium to go up if you move from a small town where there are fewer cars or more patient drivers to a big city with heavy traffic and drivers who might speed or run red lights. If you’re looking for more value from your car insurance, Metromile could help low-mileage drivers (most Americans!) save money.

On the flip side, your car insurance rate could go down if you’re leaving an urban area to someplace where there are fewer hazards on the road.

What are the state minimums where I’m moving?

Each state has different minimum coverage requirements for auto insurance.

Metromile can help you figure out what the minimum requirements for insurance coverage are if you’re moving to one of the eight states where we operate:

When should you change your car insurance when you move out of state?

Whether you’re moving out of state or across town, it’s essential to update your address.

Depending on where you go, you might also need to register your car with the local department of motor vehicles or the licensing department and get a new driver’s license. 

But with so many moving pieces, it can be confusing to figure out what to do first, and when to do it. So we put together a few steps for you to follow.

1. Let your car insurance company know before you move 

Each car insurance company has its own policies. 

So it’s important to communicate with them early and often to figure out if they offer car insurance where you are moving, how much it will cost, and exactly when you should update your policy.

2. Don’t cancel your current car insurance policy before you move 

Driving without insurance is illegal in most states.

Even if it’s only for a few days, you risk having no insurance coverage if you get into an accident.

You should also know that canceling your old insurance policy before you start a new one could increase your premiums. Auto insurers will refer to this as a “gap in coverage,” and they see it as a sign that you might be a risky driver. 

So you should wait until after you line up a new policy to cancel your old one.

3. Update your address after you move

After you move, call your insurance company and give them your new address.

Typically, you have 30 to 90 days to update your insurance, but you should verify these details with your car insurance company when you call to let them know about your upcoming move.

4. Shop for a cheaper car insurance

If your auto insurance company doesn’t operate in the new state you’re moving to, or charges too much, you can also shop for another car insurance policy.

People who don’t often drive or drive too far should look at Metromile. Metromile customers pay for the miles they drive and can save hundreds of dollars if they are a low-mileage driver. 

5. Get a driver’s license and register your car in your new state 

Once you update your car insurance, you can head over to the DMV to register your car.

The DMV will want to see proof of insurance before they approve your vehicle registration and give you new license plates. Most states will give you at least a month to register your car, but keep in mind some states require you to do it immediately! It might take a while to schedule an appointment, so it’s important to get on top of this as soon as you move. 

While you’re at the DMV, this could also be a good time to get your new driver’s license so you can knock two things off your to-do list at the same time.

What is this “pay-per-mile insurance” you keep talking about?

Pay-per-mile auto insurance lets you pay for what you use.

Most car insurance companies bundle up everything into one big insurance policy and don’t know how much you drive. But with pay-per-mile insurance, you pay for how much you drive.

At Metromile, you’ll pay a base rate, starting as low as $29 per month, plus a few cents for every mile you drive, measured accurately through a secure device you plug into your car.

That means the less you drive, the more you save on car insurance.

How much could Metromile save me?

Let’s take a look at how much low-mileage drivers could save with Metromile:

* Average annual car insurance savings by new customers surveyed who saved with Metromile in 2018.

What’s next?

If you’re moving, it might be the perfect time to switch to pay-per-mile car insurance

It might seem easier to stick with your current car insurance company. But because you have to update your policy anyways, you might as well shop for the best rates while you do that.

Find out how much you could save with a free quote from Metromile.