In 2021, 21.7 million Americans moved, according to U.S. Census data. And with inflation hitting a 40-year high, those looking to save a few bucks should pay close attention to anything that could bump up the cost of living in your new stomping grounds.

So when you uproot, how does that impact your car insurance? Let’s look at the many factors that can affect the cost of your car insurance when moving to another state.

Key Highlights
  • Your car insurance policy cost might increase or decrease depending on where you’re moving.
  • Inform your car insurance provider once you have your new address and move date. 
  • If your current car insurance company does not offer coverage in the state you are moving to, you will need to switch insurers.
  • Make sure to cancel your old insurance policy after you buy a new one. Otherwise, you might end up paying for two insurance policies.

How much will my car insurance cost change if I move?

Will my insurance go up if I move?
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In short, it largely depends. There’s no set number across the board. Remember that the average cost of owning and operating a car in 2021 was $9,666, or $805.50 a month, according to AAA.

Depending on where you’re moving to, the cost of your car insurance policy might increase or decrease. And in many states, car insurance costs are going up, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Other location-specific factors that can impact the cost of car insurance when moving states include weather patterns in that area, the cost of medical bills and car repairs and the frequency and cost of lawsuits (due to tort vs. no-fault laws). Finally, auto insurance fraud can also affect car insurance costs when you move out of state.

You can also figure out how much your car insurance premium will change by using’s moving tool. To use this tool, enter the ZIP code you are moving from and the ZIP code you are moving to. Next, enter the cost of your current car insurance premium.

How does your address affect car insurance?

If you’re asking yourself whether your ZIP code affects how much you pay for car insurance, you’re onto something – it certainly can. Insurers consider the frequency, severity or cost of claims based on a ZIP code and assign a risk level based on one’s address.

However, residents of the Golden State are immune to ZIP code problems. California is the only state that currently doesn’t allow the use of ZIP codes to factor in car insurance rates.

Here are some other location-specific factors that can drive up the cost of car insurance:

  • Number of vehicles stolen
  • Claims for property theft out of a car
  • Reports of vandalism
  • Fraudulent injury claims

As we previously discussed, moving can cause your car insurance rates to go up or down. And while no set number is true for every situation and across all regions, there are a few general rules:

Car insurance rates in large, bustling metropolitan areas tend to be higher than those in rural areas. Why’s that? The basic principle applies that the more dense an area, the more significant number of cars and busier highways mean a greater likelihood of getting into a fender-bender. Furthermore, urban areas tend to have higher car theft rates and vandalism.

Car insurance checklist when moving

If you’re gearing up for a big move, here’s what you should have on your to-do list for car insurance when uprooting to a new abode:

Reach out to your current car insurance company

Let them know that you’ll soon have a change of address. If you’re moving to a different state and your current car insurance company offers policies in that state, ask for a quote.

Make sure you know your new state’s car insurance requirements

Research the minimum insurance requirements if you’re moving to a new state. This information can be found on the state’s DMV website. Each state has different minimum requirements for car insurance, so your rate might be affected accordingly. That being said, you’re better off purchasing an auto policy with higher liability limits than the state minimum, so you’re financially protected in a crash.

Get quotes

Getting quotes from at least several insurance companies is typically a good idea. That way, you can compare them side-by-side. Just make sure the quotes are for the same coverage limits. To get the most accurate quote, be sure to provide the VIN and year, make and model of your cars, the number of cars you want to insure and an estimate of how many miles you put on your vehicle each year.

Look for discounts

To keep the costs down — especially if you’re moving to a place where your car insurance will go up — see what discounts might be available. You might be able to lower your car insurance cost by bundling your policy with other policies like homeowners or renters, getting a policy for multiple cars under one roof, having a clean driving record and enrolling in autopay.

Read reviews

If you’re mulling over the possibility of going with a new insurance company, check the NAIC website for consumer complaints and AM Best for its financial stability rating. You can also get the scoop on a company’s track record by reviewing insurance company reviews such as the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study.

Register your car in your new state

After getting new car insurance or updating your policy, you must register your car in your new state at the DMV. Make an appointment at the DMV if you can, and make sure you have all the required documents before arriving at the DMV.

Cancel your old policy

After you’ve purchased a new insurance policy, be sure to cancel your old one. Otherwise, you might be paying unnecessarily for double coverage. Make sure there isn’t a gap in coverage so triple-check the policy start and end times and dates.

When do I inform my car insurance company about my move?

You’ll want to contact your car insurance company as soon as possible. Once you have your new address and move date, reach out to your carrier to let them know. Even if you’re on a tight deadline, this is your first step – they can give you a quote and will let you know about rate adjustments. While moving is an excellent time to get quotes for car insurance, you can switch your car insurance anytime. So don’t feel rushed to hop on a policy with a new carrier until you’ve done your due diligence.

How do you update your address if you’re moving?

Updating your address is easy. Contact your car insurance company and let them know when you’ll be moving and your new address. While some insurance companies require you to change over the phone, others allow you to update your address online or through an app.

Do you have to change car insurance companies when you move between states?

If your current car insurance company doesn’t offer coverage in the state you’re moving to, you’ll need to change car insurance carriers. Otherwise, you’ll work with your insurer to update your coverage.

Do your homework to understand precisely what coverage you need. Most states have minimum limits for property damage and liability and bodily injury liability limits. And beyond that, some states require uninsured motorist and personal injury protection insurance.

New Hampshire and Virginia are the only states that don’t require car insurance. While you don’t technically need insurance in these states, you will need proof that you have enough assets to foot the bill to cover property damages and medical bills via financial responsibility laws.

When should you switch your car insurance while moving?

If you’re moving, ideally you should switch your car insurance before the change of address – the sooner, the better – so you’ll have plenty of time to do your homework for different rates and get quotes from a handful of car insurance companies. Plus, it’ll give you peace of mind during the move, which can be stressful.

Do you need new insurance to register your car in a new state?

Yes. Most states require proof of insurance before you can register your vehicle. Each state DMV has different rules and regulations, so you’ll want to see what the rules are in your state.

How do you switch your car insurance after moving?

If you’ve already uprooted and have yet to switch your car insurance, be sure to do so as soon as possible. Depending on your state, you may be unable to register your car and get your tags. To switch your car insurance after moving, contact the car insurance company and request a quote for your new address. After you’ve bought a new policy, you’ll need to cancel the old one.

Final thoughts: Car insurance when you move

Moving can certainly affect how much you’ll be paying for car insurance. A handful of factors – such as crime rates, the likelihood of getting into a car accident and the frequency and cost of claims – can all bump your rate either up or down.

Resources & Methodology


American Automotive Association.”Your Fact Sheet: 2021.“Accessed July 2022.

Insurance Information Institute. “Facts & Statistics – Auto insurance.“Accessed July 2022.

Insurance Information Institute. “Is it legal to drive without insurance?“Accessed July 2022.

Insurance Information Institute. “What determines the price of an auto insurance policy?” Accessed July 2022.

Insurance Information Institute. “Why did my auto insurance costs go up even when I didn’t file a claim?” Accessed July 2022.

Kelley Blue Book. “Can you register a car without insurance?” Accessed July 2022.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “TED: The Economics Daily. Consumer prices up 9.1 percent over the year ended June 2022, largest increase in over 40 years.“Accessed July 2022.

U.S. Census Bureau. “Census Bureau Releases 2021 CPS ASEC Geographic Mobility Data.” Accessed July 2022.

Methodology commissioned Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average auto insurance rates for a 2016 Honda Accord for every ZIP code in the United States. We calculated rates using data for six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm).

Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male with policy limits of 100/300/100 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $100,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit.

The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. Average rates are for comparative purposes. Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.

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Contributing Researcher

Jackie Lam is a freelance writer with experience covering small business, insurance, budgeting and personal finance. She is an accredited financial coach (AFC) and helps professionals improve their relationship with money.