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moving and your car insurance

The bags are packed and you're ready to go. But what about your car insurance? Whether you're moving to the other side of town or the other side of the country, we'll explain how to take your auto coverage with you or how to shop for a new policy.

Moving and car insurance: a checklist

Follow these steps to make sure your car insurance is settled well before the big day approaches.

Two months before moving day

Inform your insurer of the move and discuss the following:

  • Coverage options. Based on the driving risks and insurance requirements of your new area, take a fresh look at your coverage selections. If your current insurer underwrites in your new location, you typically won't need an entirely new policy. But depending on your state, there may be necessary add-ons, removals, or limit adjustments.
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  • Annual mileage. If you have a shorter commute to work or school, the reduced mileage could mean serious savings. Let your insurer know how far you plan on driving each year.
  • The cars and drivers on your policy. Maybe you're moving in with a significant other and combining policies. Let your insurer know how many vehicles and drivers need coverage.
  • Your assets. Alert your insurer of important changes to your assets, like a new home.

One month before moving day

  • Check into transportation options if you're moving long distance. How are you physically moving your vehicle? If you're shipping a car, make sure the shipping company offers insurance in case of an accident in transit — and find out if your auto insurer provides extra protection for this (as Esurance does through its comprehensive coverage).

    If you're driving your car, your current insurance should cover you across state lines.
  • Contact your new state's DMV (if you're changing states). Find out how long you'll have after settling in to get your new car registration, plates, and drivers license — and what tests (if any) you'll need to pass.

The week of the move

  • Change your address with your insurer. It's usually best to do this as close to the move-in date as possible because your insurer may send important documents in the mail that you'll want to look at promptly.
  • If switching companies, confirm when you want your old policy to end and your new one to begin. Make sure to avoid a gap in coverage — even a day uncovered can mean higher car insurance rates in the future.

ZIP Codes and car insurance rates

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Because each state sets its own car insurance requirements, where you live could be a major factor in the amount of coverage you'll need. Your ZIP Code also helps insurers determine how much you'll pay for your policy in most states — factors like population density, claim frequency, and traffic patterns all help your company judge a location's driving risk.

Urban vs. rural car insurance

If you move from the city to the country, or vice versa, you can generally expect a change in premium. Moving to a rural area often translates to lower rates because there may be less crime, less traffic, and fewer accidents (in other words, lower risk).

Uninsured drivers

According to the Insurance Research Council, nearly 14 percent of drivers nationwide are uninsured. If you live in a state with a higher-than-average percentage of uninsured drivers, you may have to pay more because of the increased risk of accidents that your insurance would have to cover.

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Make your (car insurance) move an easy one

Relocating can be stressful. But by preparing your car insurance ahead of time, you'll have one less thing to worry about on moving day, so you can focus on more important stuff (like parallel parking that U-Haul).

If you're an Esurance customer and need to change your address, give us a call anytime at 1-800-ESURANCE (1-800-378-7262) or simply log in to your policy to update. If you're moving to a state where we offer coverage, we can help set you up with updated coverages and discounts. Or, if you're moving to a state where we don't yet offer coverage, we'll help you find a new insurer who offers the right coverage at the right price.

Related links

Changing contact info
Getting ready for an in-state move? Log into your Esurance policy to update your contact information.

Life changes and teen driver insurance
If you or your child is a young driver graduating or moving away from home, get answers to your car insurance questions here.

How insurers calculate your premium
Here are the things that affect your rate the most.

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