Why it’s Important to Shop Around for Car Insurance when You Move
Car insurance is supposed to make you feel more secure. It can even save you thousands of dollars if you get in an accident or collision. However, it can be hard to feel grateful when you’re paying a hefty premium every month.
You might feel a bit better about the sum of money leaving your bank account every month if you knew that you were getting the best rate. One way to guarantee that you’re getting the best deal possible is to compare car insurance after major life events, like moving.
When you go through a big life change like this, car insurance may be the last thing on your mind. After all, you moved homes, not cars.
Even so, some factors can have a major impact on your insurance premiums after a big move. Insurance rates are always changing, so it’s worth a shot to take another look once you’ve relocated.
You Should Shop for New Car Insurance if You Have…
Bought a New Home
Studies have shown that people who rent their homes pay much more in car insurance premiums than homeowners. One study, in particular, reported that, on average, renters pay 7% more for car insurance when compared to homeowners. While your driving skills have little to do with renting or owning a home, insurance companies target people based on these criteria because they see homeowners as being more “responsible,” and therefore, lower risk.
If you’ve recently purchased a new home, this creates another opportunity for you to save on your car insurance premium. Even if your home is in the same town or ZIP code, it’s worth shopping around to see if you can get a lower rate. After all, it’s free to compare rates and you can switch at any time!
Moved in with Your Significant Other
A life-altering milestone like marriage affects the way everyone sees you – including your insurance company. With the whirlwind of events surrounding a wedding, couples often forget to update their car insurance after the big day. However, failing to shop around for car insurance during this time could cause you to miss out on valuable discounts towards your insurance premium.
The fact is, married drivers get into fewer accidents and file fewer claims. While the reason isn’t entirely clear, insurance companies will always offer married couples lower rates. After marriage, many couples choose to combine their policies to become eligible for multi-car discounts.
Although this sounds great, it doesn’t always mean that combining insurance policies is the best choice. Take a look at your spouse’s driving record before deciding to join policies or shop for a new one.
If you both have pristine driving records, you’re a shoo-in for better rates.
However, if either of you has a bad driving record or multiple claims, this could negatively affect your rate.
And when claims drop off yours or your spouse’s record, this is a great time to start shopping for new insurance.
Before you start looking for new insurance, be sure to ask your other married friends what discount they got from their insurance companies after they said “I do.” You’ll be surprised how much you can save!
Moved to a Home with a Garage
The more protection that your car has, the less likely you are to file a claim. Car insurance companies look at which neighborhoods and towns have more street parking and which areas have homes with garages and covered parking.
A garage also protects your car from theft and vandalism. Even if you live in a high-crime area, let your car insurance company know that you park your car in the garage. This extra layer of protection can lower your car insurance premium, regardless of your ZIP code. While your neighborhood may be relatively safe, insurance companies will keep this in mind when calculating the possible risks to your vehicle.
You can take things a step further by informing your insurance company about any anti-theft technology you have in your vehicle, as this can also lower your premium.
For homeowners that live in intense weather conditions, a garage can go a long way to shield your car from the elements. During a heavy storm, your car is protected from things like fallen trees, branches, or anything that could be considered an “act of god.”
Changed Your Commute
Insurance companies will always ask about your average commute. They want to get an estimate of how much time you’ll be spending on the road, and what you use your car for.
Since your annual mileage impacts your insurance premium, a decrease in your commute can result in some serious savings.
The reason why high commute times typically equate to higher premiums is that the more time you spend on the road, the higher your chances are of a collision. If you’re only driving ten minutes, your chances of a collision are much lower than someone with an hour-long commute. And if you’re putting less mileage on your car every year, that could drop your monthly premium too.
This change in your commute could qualify you for cheaper pay-per-mile insurance. If you go from driving 15,000 miles to less than 10,000 miles a year, you could see your insurance premiums drop by opting for this type of insurance.
Moved to a “Safer” ZIP Code
You may think that changing ZIP codes doesn’t qualify you for new car insurance, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Auto insurance rates are unbelievably specific, and the distance of a few miles could save you hundreds of dollars in a year.
Auto insurers look at which ZIP codes have the most accidents, break-ins, highest crime rates, and more. Areas with a higher risk of car theft are bound to result in higher premiums for car owners, even if your area is considered “safe” by the local neighborhood watch.
They also pay attention to which areas have street parking or if homeowners can park in a driveway or garage. They use this data to provide consumers with rates. So, if you’re moving from an urban area with a high crime rate to a smaller, rural town with little to no crime, you can expect your rates to drop.
Moved out of Your College Town
Did you recently graduate from university and take a job in another state or town? Graduating from college can qualify you for cheaper car insurance rates. For instance, in Oregon, you can receive a significant discount just for holding a degree.
It’s been proven that auto insurers often look at the education level of consumers when quoting a price. They tend to quote hirer prices for consumers with lower education levels and working-class jobs. While controversial, it may work in your favor if you’re a new grad.
Started a New Job
After you tell all your friends and family about your new job the next person you should tell is your insurance company. your occupation directly affects your insurance rate.
Studies show that unemployed workers can pay anywhere from 30 to 63% more on their car insurance premiums. Insurance companies figure that unemployed workers will spend more time in their car as they’re looking for work. Since they spend more time driving, they are more susceptible to car collisions. Due to a lack of income, unemployed drivers spend less on car maintenance as well.
And if your job is changing, so is your commute, which, like we said above, can have a major impact on your monthly premium. For many reasons, a new job is a great reason to shop around and compare rates.
Moving states will always require you to shop for a new car insurance policy. If your new state is a “no-fault” state, your new insurance will pay for injuries and any related expenses after an accident, regardless of who was responsible. You may also be required to purchase personal injury protection insurance as well.
Worst of all, your current insurance company may not even operate in the state you’re moving to, which will force you to get a new provider by default.
Not only this, but some states are considered safer than others, and will have lower premiums for drivers. On the other hand, some states are prone to having higher rates, regardless of how “safe” they are.
You may also discover that there are smaller insurance companies in your new state that aren’t available nationwide. These lesser-known companies often have competitive rates and offer discounts that you would not qualify for in another state.
No matter where or why you’re moving, it’s time to compare
Regardless of what prompted you to box up your stuff and pack up the truck, moving is always a good time to re-evaluate your current insurance and see if you can save some money. After all, moving is expensive, so it’d be nice to be able to save some money elsewhere, right?
Compare.com users have reported an average savings of $720 a year on their car insurance policies. That’s an additional $60 back in your pocket every single month. What would you do with all that extra dough?
Don’t believe us? Just enter your new ZIP code below and be well on your way to finding out how much you can save. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.