Why Does My Auto Insurance Go Up When I Move?

Your location is a significant factor that affects car insurance rates.

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If you move, you’ll likely notice a change in your auto insurance rates. While auto insurance can go up when you move, it’s just as likely that your premiums could decrease. That’s because auto insurance premiums depend in large part on the risk factors found in your location.

Our team has reviewed the best car insurance providers to find the most impressive options overall. You’re likely busy with the relocation process, but it’s worth taking a minute to compare car insurance rates to make sure that your auto insurance doesn’t go up too much.

Does Location Affect Auto Insurance Rates?

Your location is extremely important in determining your auto insurance rates. We’ll run through a few risk factors below that could cause your new insurance plan to go up when you move.

Population Density

One factor that can influence car insurance rates is the population density of your area. Insurance tends to be more expensive in cities than in rural areas because crowded places come with greater risk factors. Densely populated spots, after all, typically have more car accidents and a greater incidence of theft or vandalism.

Uninsured Drivers

It’s illegal to drive without insurance in nearly every state, but this doesn’t stop some motorists. Those who move to California, Florida, Michigan and other states with high numbers of uninsured drivers may see higher car insurance rates.

Crime Rates

The crime rate of your new city plays a large role in setting premiums for comprehensive insurance. If you live in an area with a high rate of auto theft or vandalism, your company will likely boost your rates to compensate for the increased risk of damages.

Environmental Conditions

The weather and prevalence of natural disasters in your new area can affect the price you pay for comprehensive coverage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, earthquakes and fires will all increase your risk of filing an insurance claim. Car insurance companies understand this and may increase rates accordingly depending on your location.

Your Commute

Expect your auto insurance to go up when you move if the length of your commute increases. The more time you spend on the road, the greater the opportunity there is of you getting involved in an accident. On the other hand, your rates could decrease if the relocation leads to a shorter commute time than before.

State Regulations

There are vastly different auto insurance regulations across the U.S. since each state sets its own minimum coverage requirements. Because of this, rates can quickly change when you cross state lines. Michigan and New York are two locations with extensive requirements for car insurance, and drivers in these states are charged high prices in return.

Your Car Insurance Rates May Go Down

While your auto insurance may go up when you move, your premiums could also decrease. That could be the case if you used to live somewhere with high premiums and move to a location with fewer risk factors. Keep in mind that if you’ve got a bad driving record, that will transfer over to your new state and reduce the accessibility of cheap rates.

Drivers who move to low-cost auto insurance states such as Ohio, North Carolina and Wisconsin may see their rates decrease. Those who leave the city and head to rural or suburban regions also have a strong likelihood of receiving lower prices.

On the other hand, those who relocate to urban areas or head to expensive states for car insurance may be in for a negative surprise. Michigan, New York, Louisiana and Massachusetts are a few of the states where your auto insurance will likely go up when you move.

How To Save Money on Car Insurance

If you relocate and your auto insurance rates increase, you have a few options. Seek out discounts on your insurance coverage, reconsider the limits on your new policy and compare quotes from various providers. By doing so, you may be able to reduce the rate increases.

Look for Insurance Discounts

Every bit counts when it comes to your auto insurance policy, and asking about discounts is an easy way to lower prices. Everything from safe driver discounts to vehicle safety feature savings could be available to policyholders. Students, young drivers and older adults in particular often qualify for potential savings which could stop auto insurance from going up when you move.

Reconsider Your Current Policy

It’s important to note that you must either meet or exceed your state’s minimum coverage limits. If you currently have full coverage auto insurance, you may have room to lower your rates. Keep in mind that reducing coverage limits means you may need to pay more out of pocket in the event of an at-fault accident. Not all states require personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage, though, so you might be able to cut back on your policy.

Increase Your Deductible

A deductible refers to the amount that you must cover upfront before your car insurance company pitches in to cover the rest of the damages. Those who boost their deductibles will most likely start paying lower monthly premiums for coverage, though they’ll have to cover more of the cost if they file an insurance claim. Increasing your deductible is a simple way to stop auto insurance from going up as much when you move, but it has its downsides.

Bundle Coverage Plans

An easy way to lower the cost of car insurance is by bundling it with homeowners, renters and life insurance plans. Speak with your insurance agent or use a savings calculator to learn how much you could take off by having all of these coverage types through the same provider.

Drive Responsibly

Being tagged as a high-risk driver is one of the quickest ways to get pricey premiums on your car insurance. That’s because those lacking a clean driving record are viewed as less safe on the road than the average driver. Try not to get speeding tickets, DUI violations and other poor marks on your driving record to keep rates low and to protect yourself and others.

Compare Car Insurance Quotes

Just because your current provider has started charging expensive car insurance premiums doesn’t mean that’s true across the board. You may be able to find more competitive prices if you get multiple car insurance quotes before settling on far higher rates than before.

Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance

If you’re ready to switch insurers after relocating, we’d suggest looking at State Farm, GEICO and USAA. Each of these providers is known to offer cheap car insurance and they have relatively strong reputations for customer service.

State Farm: Best Overall

State Farm is our Best Overall choice for its wide range of local agents, strong customer service and multiple discount opportunities. The insurer is especially known for its student discounts which can significantly reduce premiums for this pricey group.

GEICO: Best Discounts

GEICO stands out from the competition with some of the lowest rates in the industry for its impressive range of coverages. Some of the insurer’s discounts include price reductions for using a seat belt, for being a good student or a federal employee, for following defensive driving practices and for having working anti-theft systems in your vehicle.

USAA: Best Military Provider

If you’re a military member, a veteran or the family member of one, it’s worth considering coverage from USAA. The company is known for its high customer service standards, yet it’s also one of the more affordable options among insurance providers. Note that USAA’s eligibility is restricted to those who are in some way related to the U.S. military.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much will my car insurance change if I move?

Your insurance rates can easily change by hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you move. Remember that in addition to your move, factors such as the car that you drive and your driving history can change premiums.

Why did my car insurance rates go up?

There are multiple possible causes if your auto insurance went up when you moved. It could be due to a relocation, a recent traffic violation, a drop in your credit score or because you added a new car or driver to your policy. Talk to your provider if you aren’t sure why you’re facing dramatically higher insurance costs.

Does changing your address affect car insurance rates?

Yes, adding a new address affects auto insurance rates because your location significantly affects monthly premiums. The prices in an area depend on factors such as traffic conditions, crime rates, numbers of uninsured motorists and risks of theft or vandalism.

How do I update my car insurance when I move?

You need to update your car insurance policy if you move as failing to do so could cause your insurer to drop coverage. Most insurance companies make it easy to update your address either online, by using an app or even over the phone.