4 Questions to Ask about Car and Home Insurance When You Move
Learn how your insurance policy or premium may change
Planning a move is no simple task. From booking the moving company or scheduling the truck, to packing your things, selling your house and buying a new one, there are many ‘to-do’ items during a move. When you are moving to a new home—whether it is across town or in a new state—you’ll also need to talk with your insurance company to see how the move may change your car and home insurance. To simplify that task, we’ve pulled together four questions to help you learn what changes you’ll need to make to your insurance policy and when you’ll have to make them.
Question #1: What insurance coverage is available in my new location?
Insurance requirements vary by state. That means insurance coverage available from your insurance company will vary by state, too. By asking what coverage your insurance company offers, you can verify that the insurance company does business in your new state and determine whether the coverage offered will match your needs.
Different states have different auto insurance laws and minimum insurance requirements for your auto insurance policy. These minimum requirements are related to the following coverages:
- Bodily Injury
- Physical Damage liability
- “No fault” or Personal Injury Protection and/or Medical Payments
- Property Protection
- Uninsured Motorist
- Underinsured Motorist
So, for example, some states are “no fault states” and require “no fault” or Personal Injury Protection coverage. Moving to, or from, one of these states will change coverage requirements. Liability limits are also set by law in some states, so moving may affect the level of coverage you’ll be required to purchase.
Question 2: What changes will I need to make to my policies?
You will need a new home insurance policy, even if you moved within the same state. That’s because your home insurance premium is based on the characteristics of the home itself and its precise location. Your insurance company will need to know about the new home’s age, construction, type of roof, square footage, and interior finishes. (All of these affect premiums.)
If your new home is a condominium, you’ll want to talk with your insurance company about your condo insurance coverage and with your condominium association about their policy for any common areas. Be sure you understand whether any coverage gaps exist.
A new address within a state may also affect auto insurance policies. Where you keep your car, drive your car and how far you drive may affect your insurance premium.
When moving to a new state, it is important to research the natural disasters that may be common in the area. Some natural disasters, like floods and earthquakes, are not generally covered under standard home insurance policies. You may discover that your new home requires you to add coverage for a natural disaster to your policy. Or, in the case of flood insurance, you may discover you need to purchase a separate policy to protect your home.
Question 3: Will my insurance premium cost more or less?
Moving to a new state may have a significant effect on your insurance premium if the characteristics of your home or its location put you at greater risk for a loss. This may result in a higher premium. By contrast, your new location may also allow your insurance company to offer you discounts that were not available in your previous location. This may result in a lower premium.
Question 4: Will I need to meet any additional requirements to get insurance coverage?
Ask your insurance company what it will take for you to get insurance coverage. You will want to be sure you know any deadlines for getting insurance and/or registering your vehicles. Take into consideration any additional requirements you may have in order to register your vehicle. For example, 17 states have a periodic (annual, biennial or before a sale) safety inspection program, and five states may require photo inspections if you want Comprehensive and/or Collision coverage. Many states also have some form of emissions testing, but this may be restricted to particular counties.
After you have answers to these questions, confirm the start and end dates for any new policies. Finally, provide your insurance company with your new mailing address, so insurance cards can be sent directly to you. Good luck with your move!