Moving to a New State? Don't Forget Your Car Insurance

While it may not be top of your agenda when planning a big move, making sure your car insurance is valid in the state you are moving to is actually more important than packing your belongings, mailing out your address changes and cancelling your utilities because not doing so could leave you uninsured and completely unprotected if you are unlucky enough to be involved in a car accident.

The reason is that there are many insurance providers that only have licenses to operate within one state. This is why it is critical that you check whether or not your current provider’s coverage can be carried over to your new state of residency or not. If it doesn’t you will need to start looking for a new provider and insurance policy before you move.

Here is a handy checklist of things that should be addressed when moving to a new state:
  1. If you have an insurance policy with a large company then it is worth checking whether they have a license to operate in your new state. If they do then the transition to a new policy will be made incredibly easy. If you are with a company that is unable to continue insuring you then the process can be made slightly more difficult. When heading to a new state you will be unsure of the insurance companies out there and it can be rather confusing. Your current insurance provider, whether it is an agent or a company may have connections in your new state that they are able to put you in touch with. It is always worth asking. Other than that you can always check with online car insurance comparison services to obtain a quote that way.
  2. You need to make yourself aware of any relevant car insurance laws that are enforced in your new state. More often than not you will only need to look into the states minimum liability insurance laws. While it is suggested to purchase insurance above these minimums it is understandable that some people are only able to afford to purchase in-line with the states requirements. You should gear yourself up for a large increase in premiums should the minimums be higher than what you are currently used to. Also consider that the type of coverage from state to state can be very different than you are use to. For example, car insurance in Florida integrates a ‘no-fault’ system and while it is suggested that you understand how such a system works before you decide on what levels of coverage you would like to have, there isn’t any real requirement to do so when purchasing a new policy. It's up to you to inform yourself.
  3. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t assume your car insurance will remain valid when moving to a new state. Most policies will allow travel between states on a short-term basis, but your policy can become nullified as soon as they realize that you are living there. In an ideal world you will have your new insurance in place while your old policy is in the process of cancellation before moving.
  4. Once you have made the move and purchased your new insurance policy, the final thing you need to do is get in touch with your old policy provider. You should not cancel your policy before you have moved otherwise you will be effectively uninsured and therefore it will be illegal to travel on the roads. In some situations in which you have paid upfront you may be due a refund check. Although this will of course depend on the terms and conditions of the policy that you currently have.
As long as you plan well in advance, changing policies when moving to a new state should not be a daunting process. The process of choosing your new policy is exactly the same as if you were purchasing one in your current state and by now it should be a fairly familiar process to you. 

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