Do You Have To Change Car Insurance When You Move States?

Moving out of state affects your car insurance. So, yes, you will need to change your car insurance when you move states. Car insurance varies by state, and different states have different insurance laws and regulations.

This article explains what to do about your car insurance when you move to another state.

Do You Have To Change Car Insurance?

If you are planning or moving to move to a new state, you will need to change your car insurance – plain and simple.

However, there are two keys things you have to consider when moving to another state:

Do not cancel your current car insurance first.

It is not a good idea to cancel your car insurance before moving and getting new coverage. It is illegal to drive across state lines without car insurance. Besides, it could expose you to a monetarily devastating situation if you, unfortunately, get an accident.

Wait, don’t get new car insurance first.

It is also not prudent to get new car insurance on your new state until you’ve moved. The two states (your current and new state) have different laws and policies regarding car insurance. This also applies to insurance providers who must also abide by the laws. Costs may also change by state, commuting distance, and specific location. Just wait until you are there to get new car insurance coverage.

What If You Are Moving To A New State As a Temporary Resident?

You only need to change your car insurance if you’re moving to a new state and becoming a permanent resident there.

Generally, you don’t need to change your car insurance if you’re not becoming a permanent resident in your new state. Temporary residents, such as snowbirds, temporary workers, and students, don’t need to change car insurance. But the temporary residence laws vary between states.

For instance, in Arizona, the law considers you a temporary resident until you’ve lived in the State of Arizona for 12 or more consecutive months (or for one year).

After the 12 months or the state’s period, if you establish residency in the new state, you will register your vehicle and obtain new car insurance. If your current provider is not licensed to operate in your new state, you’ll cancel your policy and get new coverage from a carrier that has the operation license.

Before You Move

Before you move, you’ll be having a long checklist of things that you must do and those that must work. In the checklist, you’ll need to update your address. Your new address must reflect your car insurance policy.

This can mean that you have to begin searching for a new insurance company or retaining your current insurance company if they offer services in your new state.

But have you talked with your insurance agent or broker or your insurer?

If you haven’t talked to the agent, you need to. Your insurance agent can make things very simple for you. The agent will also tell you whether your provider operates in your new state or if you’ll need to find a new carrier.

Besides, if you need to find a new carrier, the agent will tell you about the new state’s car insurance laws and regulations, whether you’ll need a new agent, and how you can transfer your policies to your carrier with your new address.

Also, most insurance experts recommend that you contact your insurance company two months prior to your move. This is to enable them to schedule your insurance for termination so that you remain in good books with insurers. Any abrupt cancellation of an insurance policy may taint your insurance record and raise your premiums.

Find Out The Minimum Insurance Requirements Of Your New State

When you move states, you” have to adapt to that state’s car insurance regulations (or laws). This can mean that you buy less or more insurance, depending on the state’s minimum coverage requirements.

Most states break down car insurance coverage into different categories:
Liability coverage is also called bodily injury liability coverage by accident and person.

  • Personal injury protection (PIP)
  • Property damage liability coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

Depending on your new state, some of these coverages are minimum requirements while some are optional (but recommended). Additionally, the minimum coverages vary wildly. For example, liability coverage is a minimum requirement in almost all the states.

Yet, in Alaska, every driver needs to take coverage for bodily injury liability per person for $50,000, while in Arizona, the required bodily injury liability coverage is $15,000.

You must familiarize yourself with your new state’s insurance regulations and requirements to avoid being surprised, for instance, at a high price, with your new state’s policy.

What Is The Deadline To Change Car Insurance After You Move States?

You may be asking how long you have before changing car insurance once you move into a new state.

You should switch as soon as possible. However, you typically have 30 to 90 days to register your new vehicle with the new state. This is also the period that you are expected to switch your car’s insurance when you move to a new state. You can call your new state’s DMV or local law enforcement to get a clarification about the grace period.

Most states give this period to enable you to switch your address to the new home, then switch your car insurance to match your address. This is because your car insurance must match your new address.

Also, other than car insurance, within the 30 to 90 days of your stay, you’ll also be required to have transitioned your:

  • License
  • Registration

When you move to other states, your car registration also needs to match your new home address. To change your vehicle registration from one state to another, you will need to visit your new state’s DMV: fill a new registration form. To complete the registration, you’ll pay some money, often less than $100.

To get a new driver’s license, you’ll also apply for a new one within 30 to 90 days after you complete your move.

Important Note

After applying for new registration, Hang onto your old state’s registration for a while. Ensure you keep a copy in your car until you receive the new one in the mail. It is important to keep a copy because driving without registration is illegal.

Purchasing A New Car Insurance

You will only purchase new car insurance if your current provider doesn’t offer services in your new state or if you want to explore better options.

If your current carrier provides coverage in your new state, you can stick with them to:

  • Simplify your moving process
  • Preserve your loyalty discounts
  • Preserve your rapport

You must also choose the insurance policy that fits your needs and budget.

Before you purchase your new car insurance, shop around for different quotations. Just because your provider had great rates in your old state doesn’t make them the cheapest provider in your new state.

Last Words

Moving states bring about so many changes. You don’t need to rush to make the changes. Take your time to get settled before you start working on your car insurance. But the sooner, the better, and you need to inform your current insurer of the impending movement earlier enough. You should also take your time to understand your new state’s insurance laws and choose a provider that will provide all your insurance needs.