Moving from one home to another is one of the bigger moments in any person’s life. When you’ve never done it before, moving can be a challenge.
Everything from finding a moving company, putting belongings into storage, transporting your car, and even knowing how much you need to tip a mover are all essential.
You pour so much of your time and personality into the place you call your own.
You have to reassess all your priorities and decide what is important and what can be changed when relocating to your new place.
Some people move because they want to be closer to the family they grew up with. Other families have to move because the main breadwinner has a new job in a whole different state.
Sometimes kids have to make the tough choice to move across the country to go to the college of their dreams.
There are so many thoughts that run through your mind. You can often forget about some of the more logistical requirements of living in a different state.
Car insurance is one of these items that is often forgotten, but doing so can have huge consequences.
Insurance when moving out of state is fluid, but you always need to have it no matter where you are in the moving process. Being caught driving without an auto insurance policy can have a huge impact on your wallet. It can even get you in a bit of legal trouble if you’re pulled over by the police.
We’ll talk about the ways to make the moving process easier. We’ll also discuss how to maintain insurance throughout the move and why you should consider the small things that will affect your insurance after settling into your new place.
When do you need to get new insurance during a move?
Moving can take a long time, both during the preparation and when you actually get in your car and drive across the country. When moving long distances, the culture of the new state and the regulations of the insurance policies may be vague and completely foreign to you.
One thing that is completely clear no matter your location is that most states are going to require you to have car insurance.
As we already mentioned, you could be severely penalized if you are caught driving without insurance. Telling the cops that you are in the process of moving is not going to be a valid excuse for being uninsured.
Let your insurance company know as soon as possible that you are moving. They will give you the best information on what policy would fit your lifestyle and car, depending on the state you will be living in.
You should only drop your old policy once you have completed the application for a new one and have the evidence of the change in your hands. This means that you will always be insured.
You may worry that you should wait to move until you have gotten your new insurance. There is no need to do that if you are prompt in making the change once you have arrived at your destination.
You also need to register your car, usually within 30 days. Any insurance company that sees you are not registered in the correct state will void coverage until you have updated your place of residence on your car registration at the DMV.
How does a new location affect the cost of insurance?
Be prepared for significant changes to your home insurance costs depending on the state you move to. Prices vary due to a variety of factors. These include the number of car accidents people get into, the amount of traffic and population of a city, and the type of cars driven.
For example, Florida has monthly insurance at just under $80, but North Carolina is jacked up to $130 for the same vehicle make and model. If you are someone who struggles to pay bills and the point of your move was to save some money, the increased price of insurance is going to be something you need to ask before buying a new house.
Criminal activity is also something that people don’t know is a risk factor for insurance companies. Moving into a high-crime neighborhood comes with the dangers of car break-ins, and insurance companies will increase the monthly rates on your policy.
Don’t lie about your location to try and get out of the higher rates, as this could lead to insurance fraud. Revoked coverage and even criminal charges can result from this dishonesty.
Don’t feel like your insurance prices are a deal breaker to capitalizing on your new experience in a fresh state. Shopping around for the best coverage and asking your current provider what available options will lead to surprising results.
Will your current agent have the tools to ease the moving process?
This leads us to the final point on our moving checklist. Insurance agents can often feel like dear old friends. Moving to a new state can break up this great relationship and lead to confusion and disappointment when your new agent is not the same.
Staying with the same company can often soften this blow because so many agents have connections to others in the profession across the country.
During the pandemic, zoom meetings and remote work have broken distance barriers and allowed for greater personal bonds between insurers and their customers.
You may even be able to keep your same agent with a different policy because of how people worldwide communicate.
Insurance companies don’t want to lose their customers, so ask them for their assistance and see how close you can remain throughout the move.
The worst thing that could happen is getting overwhelmed by the fallout of not investigating these steps beforehand. Preparing for change is not only the smart thing to do, but it should be an expected byproduct of moving.
Welcoming all changes that accompany a move will bring you less stress and more time to enjoy your new surroundings and environment. Figure out what elements of the process you can control.
See which ones are harder to predict. This is good advice for any type of change in life, but it suits moving as much as any other event.
About the author: The above article on the insurance checklist to follow when moving was written by Shawn Laib. Shawn writes and researches for the car insurance site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. He prides himself on clear analysis of issues in the car insurance industry that need more attention.