Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Car insurance rates vary by your zip code because the area that you live in affects the risk level of insuring your car
  • If you move to a different zip code and that neighborhood is considered less safe, you could end up paying more for your car insurance
  • Even if you did not move far from your previous residence, car insurance rates typically change when you zip code changes
  • Every car insurance company calculates your risk and the resulting rate that you will pay for car insurance a little bit differently, which is why you should shop around for multiple rate estimates when you plan a life event like a move
  • Some car insurance companies will increase your rate if you do not have a garage in which you store your car, but this only applies to certain companies and certain areas

When car insurance companies quote the rate that you will pay for car insurance, also known as your premium, they are trying to determine the risk that you pose as a driver.

If you are driving and living in a relatively unsafe area, then there is probably a higher risk of claims from theft or vandalism to your car. For this reason, car insurance companies will price insurance coverage in less safe areas at a higher rate.

Most companies use your zip code and the relevant crime and claim statistics for that particular area to assess your risk level. Even if you only move a short distance away from your old home, you could end up paying a higher rate just by crossing the line into a new zip code.

Compare insurance premiums today by entering your zip code into the tool above.

Car Insurance for Moving Out of State

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If you are only moving a short distance away from your old home, you can probably maintain your existing car insurance policy without many changes.

Even if the rate you pay goes up, you will still maintain the same level of coverage and not have to consider another company.

However, if you are planning to move out of your current state, you may need to find another insurance company. The reason for this is that not all car insurance companies provide coverage in all states.

The best way to confirm whether your car insurance company is active in your new state is to speak directly with your car insurance agent or check the website for your state department of insurance to see if that company operates in your new state.

If you need to end up getting a new insurance policy when moving to a new state, it is best to start the process of finding a new car insurance company as soon as possible.

You will want to make sure that you are covered during your move and that your car insurance is valid once you arrive.

It is simply not worth paying a penalty for not having the required insurance when you change your permanent address to a new state.

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Factors that Determine the Rate You Pay for Auto Insurance

Your zip code is only one of the many things that affect how much you pay for your car insurance. While all companies look at most of the same factors in determining your risk and rate for car insurance, the relative importance of each factor can vary.

Because your rate is unlikely to be quoted the exact same between any insurance companies, it is always recommended that you look into multiple rates when trying to save as much money as possible on your car insurance premiums.

Car insurance companies use something called an insurance score to determine the risk you pose as a driver.

Your insurance score will be composed of the following:

  • your credit score
  • previous claims you have made under your policies
  • any moving violations you have received on your driving record
  • accidents that you have been involved in

In general, if you have a higher insurance score, this means that you are a lower risk driver to insure.

It is easy to get a copy of your credit score by asking the major credit reporting bureaus for your most recent score. If you are looking for ways to reduce the amount you pay for car insurance, you might want to check into improving your credit score.

Potential Discounts to Ask Your Car Insurance Agent About for Getting a Lower Rate on Your Car Insurance

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One of the things that car insurance companies look into when quoting you a rate for car insurance is the estimated distance you travel each day using your car. For example, if you have a very long commute to work, you may end up paying a higher rate for car insurance.

When you move to a new zip code, if you are going to end up commuting a further distance to get to your work each day, this could be another reason why your car insurance rates increase.

On the other hand, if your move will reduce your commuting distance to work, be sure to inform your car insurance agent accordingly because this could work to lower your rate for car insurance.

In fact, many major insurance companies are now offering discounts for subscribing to a program that monitors and calculates the annual mileage that you drive. The way that this works is you agree to have a device installed in your car that tracks your mileage.

The rate that you pay for car insurance is adjusted according to how many miles you drive. If you are someone who does not travel very much using your car, this could be a great way to pay for only the coverage that you need.

Ask your car insurance company if this option is available to you.

Wrap Up on Car Insurance Rate Increases by Zip Code

When you move to a new location, you may be surprised to see that the rate you pay for your car insurance has increased.

The major reason that your car insurance premium would increase when he moved to a new zip code is that the new area that you have moved to is considered to be less safe and a higher risk according to the insurance company.

If you have comprehensive coverage on your car, this means that there might be a higher risk of you filing a claim for theft or vandalism.

Before you move, consider asking for multiple rates from different companies to make sure that you are not overpaying for car insurance coverage in your new home.

Begin comparing today by using our free rate quote tool!