Relocation and Your Auto Insurance: a Checklist

October 15, 2014

I-95 North South Sign
If you’re relocating to a new state or simply picking up and moving to get a change of scenery, you’re going to want to explore the impact of the move on your car insurance policy sooner than later. Registering and insuring a car in your new home state is not only required by the law, but it’s also an opportune time to make sure you’re getting the best rate possible on your policy.

Auto Insurance Moving and Relocation Checklist

Follow these key steps to make sure your auto insurance is compliant and that you find the best deal possible:

  1. Know the deadlines: If you’re moving out of state, it’s critical to find out how much time you can legally drive in your new state before needing to register and insure your car. The timeline is usually about 30 days, but you’ll want to check with the local department of motor vehicles. Even if the move is temporary or it involves a student who still lives in his or her home state during the summer, you’re going to need to at least update the insurance policy.
  2. Learn the policy differences: There are a number of areas in which minimum insurance coverage can vary from state to state, from whether you’re in a no-fault vs. a fault state to the minimum liability coverage needed.
  3. Register your vehicle: Some states require that you already have your new insurance policy established before registering your car in a new state. That said, some insurance companies may require your car to be registered in the new state.  You’ll need to register your vehicle and get new license plates – by stopping in a DMV or managing the process online – within the designated timeframe discussed above. One more thing: be sure to check in with your old state to see how you’re required to dispose of old license plates, whether you need to mail them out, are free to recycle them or need to take another course of action.
  4. Purchase a new policy: You’ve done your homework, so rest assured that your research and comparison shopping has yielded you the strongest, most competitively priced car insurance policy. It’s important to establish a new policy before dropping your old one. Usually, you can make the transition fairly seamless so that you’re only paying one premium.
  5. Cancel your old car insurance policy: And feel good about moving on.

Why Moving and Relocating is a Great Time to Compare Car Insurance

While some drivers embrace a move as an ideal time to shop around for new policies – particularly because a given auto insurance company may offer more or less competitive rates depending on the state – others simply check to see if their current company can cover them in their new home state. But since you need to get a new policy anyways, while not compare prices among multiple companies? It’s quick, easy and the cost savings can help to offset all the other costs associated with a big move.

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