Does changing your address affect your car insurance rate?

2019 06 28 blog car parked on street

Moving can be a fun-filled change. You’ve got a new house to explore and decorate. A new area to check out the best restaurants. And new neighbors to become best friends with.

Among all the new fun things, moving may have another effect you weren’t thinking about. A change in your address could affect your car insurance rate, so it’s something you may want to be aware of.

Why does moving affect your car insurance rate?

Moving to a new place can either increase or decrease your car insurance rate based on the risk associated with the new area you’re in. Insurance providers look at some different statistics about an area when deciding the impact of an address on insurance rates. A few things providers look at are:

1. Traffic

Moving to bigger and busier cities tends to make your auto insurance rates go up. There’s more traffic and more chances for you to be in a car accident, so insurance providers offset some of that risk by increasing your insurance rate in high-traffic areas. Maybe there’s a particularly bad intersection or an area with horrible bumper to bumper traffic before and after work. These situations could cause your car insurance to increase after moving.

2. Crime rates

If there’s a lot of crime in your area, you may see a higher insurance rate than in a small town where the worst thing that happens is you have to drive extra slow behind a combine. Areas where car thefts or break-ins happen on the regular tend to have higher insurance rates.

3. Parking situation

Where you park your car also has an impact on your insurance rate. If your address is for a downtown loft with street parking, your rate may be higher. If your address is a cozy bungalow in a residential neighborhood, you may have a lower rate because you have a garage attached to your house. Cars parked in a garage every night are less likely to get broken into, so insurance carriers can provide coverage for a little less than if your car is on the street day in and day out.

Car insurance in another state

It’s not just moving across town that can impact your auto insurance rate. Your car insurance may change when moving to a new state. Many states have different insurance minimums and requirements that can affect the monthly rate of your auto insurance policy.

If you’re moving, it’s a good idea to call your current provider if you’re happy with your service and see if they work in the state you’ll be going to. If they don’t provide service in your new state, it may be time to start shopping around for new insurance. Review your current policy, and see how it compares to new providers and their rates.

The most expensive auto insurance

Fun fact: Want to guess what state has the most expensive auto insurance?

Go ahead. We’ll wait.

If you guessed Michigan, you’re right! Michigan pretty consistently tops the charts for most expensive auto insurance. One reason is that people are required to have PIP coverage, or Personal Injury Protection. That coverage helps pay for medical expenses no matter who is at-fault for an accident. Detroit typically has a high crime rate, which leads to some higher insurance rates as well.

Other factors impacting auto insurance rates

Besides your address, there are some other factors that impact your auto insurance rate. And the more you know about what plays a role, the better you can understand your rate. We did a deep dive about some rate factors, but the highlights are:

  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Age
  • Car make and model
  • Driving record

How to offset a rate increase

If you moved and did have your auto insurance rate increase because of your new area, there are a few things you can look at to help lower your auto insurance rate.

1. Update your deductible

You can consider increasing your deductible. A deductible is the amount you’d pay out-of-pocket after your insurance kicks in. If you increase your deductible, your auto insurance rate may decrease a bit.

2. Look for discounts

Did you add an anti-theft system to your car and forget to tell your auto insurance provider? Can you pay-in-full for your term instead of paying month-by-month? These are some quick and relatively painless ways to get a discount with most providers, and they are a fast way to save some cash. You can check out all of Say’s discounts, but here’s what we offer:

  • Advance Purchase Discount
  • Anti-Theft Discount
  • Continuous Insurance Discount
  • Defensive Driving Discount
  • Paperless Discount
  • Pay-in-Full Discount

3. Shop around

We suggest you revisit your auto insurance policy every six months to a year. Things change, and some of those changes may impact your rate. You should do a quick audit on your rate and your provider and make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Pro tip: Are you paying for AAA because your provider doesn’t offer Roadside Assistance? Look for someone who includes Roadside Assistance in every policy, like Say does, and you can cut that cost from your bills.

How to Change Your Address on Your Car Insurance

If you’ve got a move in your future, you may want to call your insurance provider ahead of time with your potential new address. They can usually check the address and see how the move will affect your rate.

If you’re a Say customer, you can either change your address in your My Say account to test how it will change your rate, or you can call the Say Service Squad at (800) 225-5729, and they can help you out.

And who knows, maybe your rate will lower, and you’ll have some extra cash each month to put towards new tires or your next vacation. Here’s to hoping!

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Posted July 26, 2019 in insurance know-how.