Moving to a new state can be a tumultuous time, and many things must be done before the move can be completed. Although you might remember to change your address form, you might not realize how important it is to notify your car insurance company of the new address.

Car insurance requirements vary from one state to the next, and it’s important to maintain auto insurance for the same state where you live. You may find yourself uninsured in the event of an accident or even put your driving privileges at risk if you drive too long without a new car insurance policy in place.

Why do I have to buy a new car insurance policy if I am moving states?

Auto insurance is governed by state laws, and each state has the right to set its own requirements for coverage which means insurance requirements often vary tremendously from one state to the next. For example, all Michigan drivers are expected to pay for their own auto repairs after an accident, no matter who is at fault for the accident; in Louisiana, a driver can only file a claim against another person’s insurance if he carries an insurance policy himself.

Because the laws in various states vary so much, it’s important to have a policy that matches the state where you live. Otherwise, there may be difficulty in applying coverage during a collision. This could lead to claims processing delays and even insurance fraud charges in some scenarios.

An insured driver may also have legal trouble if he moves to a state with high insurance requirements without purchasing the necessary coverage. For example, some states require substantially higher liability insurance limits than others; they may also require drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage or first-party injury coverage. Failure to maintain enough auto insurance can lead to a person’s driver’s license being suspended until appropriate coverage is purchased.

When should I tell my car insurance company about my move?

Most states require that an individual change the vehicle’s license and registration within 30 days of moving to a new state. The insurance company should be contacted prior to this time so that proof of insurance can be provided to the DMV. It’s generally a good idea to call the insurance company as soon as the new address is known so that all of the policy paperwork can be updated.

Changing the auto insurance policy to a new state is usually very straightforward. The insured simply calls the company and informs the customer service representative of his intention to relocate, then the insurance representative will cancel the existing policy and open a new, pro-rated policy for the new state.

The policy information will also be updated with the new address so that any bills or other paperwork can be forwarded. If you have an insurance agent, you can ask for a referral to a new agency in the state where you’re moving. This is also a great time to ask if there are any discounts available to you that can be applied to the new auto insurance policy.

Will my car insurance rates change?

Almost anytime you move your car insurance rates will change (especially between States). How much premiums will adjust all depends on where you moving. You may need change in required coverage, states with a high population of uninsured drivers or especially prone to theft will have more expensive premiums than other areas, even if the insured driver has a perfect driving record.

Some people opt for switching car insurance companies before moving to a new state. Some companies have more affordable premiums in certain states than others, and some areas have state-specific auto insurance companies that provide cheap insurance coverage to that area. If you are moving you should at least compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies.

How much your car insurance will change will depend on a number of factors however when preparing for a move its imperative you calculate the new cost of car insurance in overall monthly budget.