Where you live largely determines the amount that you’ll pay for your car insurance. But do your auto insurance address and registration address have to match? We’ll explore the nuances of the answer to this question below.
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Does Your Car Insurance Address Have to Match Your Vehicle Registration Address?
Generally speaking, your car insurance address must be the same as your vehicle registration address. While specific requirements can vary by state, it’s always a good idea to use the same address for your car insurance policy, vehicle registration and driver’s license.
This address should be the home address of the primary driver of your vehicle. It should also match the physical location where the car is parked the majority of the time.
If these addresses don’t match, it could cause you problems if you get pulled over. A law enforcement officer will ask for your license, registration and proof of insurance. Addresses that do not match on these documents could be interpreted as a red flag that you’re driving illegally.
How Your Address Affects Your Car Insurance Rates
Your physical address is one of the key factors used by insurance companies to determine your car insurance rates. The reason for this is that various geographic regions have different rates of car accidents.
For example, rural drivers tend to be involved in fewer collisions than urban drivers. This fact, along with unique levels of vandalism and theft in a given location, can drive up the cost of a driver’s insurance premiums.
Using Different Addresses is Insurance Fraud
If your current home address is deemed to be in a high-risk location, it may be tempting to use a different address for your insurance company in order to get a lower rate. This is a form of insurance fraud. If you’re caught purposely falsifying your home address, you could lose your insurance policy altogether.
Can You Have Multiple Addresses on Your Car Insurance Policy?
While the laws may vary from state to state, it may be possible to use a different mailing address and home address for your coverage. The home address should generally be the place where the vehicle is parked at night.
This is important, as the owner of the vehicle must be able to prove their residency at the home address listed on their coverage, since this is the address used to determine their car insurance rates.
Auto Insurance and Car Registration Requirements
Registration requirements vary slightly by state, but motor vehicle agencies will require you to provide proof that you’re a resident at the physical mailing address you provide. This usually means that you have to provide proof in the form of mail delivered to that address in your name, though again, your state’s requirements may vary.
Insurance requirements are generally the same: You must be a resident for the home address that you provide.
Registering and Insuring Your Vehicle After a Move
Wondering what happens if you move? You could find yourself in a situation in which your mailing or home addresses overlap. If this happens, how do you go about registering and insuring your vehicle? Follow these simple steps to make sure you stay current and protected:
Contact Your Insurance Provider
If you plan to move, contact your insurance agent so that all of the pieces can come together as smoothly as possible. Also, moving to a new zip code could change your rates. Moving to a new state could even require you to purchase an entirely different auto insurance policy altogether. Make sure to consider these changes as you make your move.
Register Your New Car at Your New Address
If you move to a new zip code, you’ll have to change your license and registration address with the department of motor vehicles (DMV). If you move to a new state, you’ll need to completely re-register your vehicle and get a new driver’s license and license plate.
Keep in mind that because different states have different requirements, you may be assessed a fee for this process.
The good news in the midst of what can sometimes be a hectic move, many insurance companies and states offer a limited grace period. During this time, you won’t be penalized for out-of-date addresses. This period is usually only 14-30 days, but it can vary by state or specific insurance provider. If you go beyond this period of time without updating your coverage address, you could be faced with financial penalties. You could even risk losing your insurance coverage altogether.
Do College Students Need to Re-Register?
While state laws vary, college students who reside at their schools during the school year can typically use their parents’ home address for the purpose of maintaining their car registration. Check with your insurance provider to confirm whether this is the case with your coverage.
Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance
If you’ve recently moved, you may find that your car insurance rates have increased. If this is the case, you may want to gather quotes from various insurance providers to find out whether you can get a better deal from a new provider.
To help you in your search, we’ve provided a summary of today’s top three car providers in the insurance industry. You can also enter your zip code below to compare auto insurance quotes from providers in your area right now.
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GEICO: Best Overall
In our comprehensive industry review, we awarded GEICO a 9.5 out of 10.0 for its industry reputation, and a 9.0 for its coverage, customer service and cost. GEICO customers also have reason to celebrate over very low prices and a full range of discounts.
GEICO provides a wide range of options for its customers, including offerings like usage-based insurance, mechanical breakdown insurance and rideshare insurance. Overall, we consider the company to be a solid choice as a car insurance provider.
USAA: Best Military Provider
USAA is best-known for providing insurance to members of the military and their immediate families. If this criteria applies to you, then you can look forward to taking advantage of USAA’s excellent customer service and simplified claims processing.
Those who are actively involved in the military will be especially pleased to find that USAA offers flexible payment plans and discounts for families that currently live on base. In our review, we awarded USAA an 8.9 out of 10.0 for its overall customer experience, along with an 8.5 for coverage and a 9.0 for cost, customer experience and industry reputation.
State Farm: Best Student Discounts
We awarded State Farm a 9.0 rating overall for its superior customer service and industry reputation. If you’ve recently seen a spike in your insurance rates after a move, State Farm might be a good option. The company is well-known for offering various types of safe driver discounts, and if you have teenage drivers, State Farm offers student discounts. The company even has financial incentives for college students and multi-car families.
The Detroit Bureau collects data from every major car insurance provider to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Our in-depth rating system takes into account market share, coverage, pricing, customer satisfaction and ratings from industry experts. Each insurer is given a weighted score in four categories, as well as an overall score out of 10.0.
We recommend auto insurance companies based on these rankings, but we also encourage you to perform your own research and compare quotes to find the best coverage.