Published: September 19, 2022Updated: September 20, 2022

Moving States? How to Change Car Insurance

Your current policy may not be valid in your new state.

When you’re moving, the to-do checklist seems never-ending. Whether you’re buying endless rolls of packing tape or making sure the internet is up and running by the time you get to your new digs, it’s no secret that moving is a ton of work. We’re here to remind you of one important task: changing your car insurance, especially if you’re moving out of state.

You won’t necessarily need to switch your car insurance upon moving, but it’s always worth shopping the market to see if you can get a better rate. Call one of our Perfect Policy Connectors to see the options wherever you’ll be living.

How to Change Car Insurance When Moving States

Follow these steps to change your car insurance while moving.

  1. Contact your insurance agent: First, find out whether your current car insurance company provides coverage in your new state. The easiest way to do this is to contact your agent directly. If your insurer doesn’t cover your new state, you’ll need to find one that does. However, if you’re a college student on your parents’ insurance and starting school out of state, you can stay under their policy in most states1. If you’re a snowbird with multiple residences, you’ll need in-state insurance if you’re eligible as a resident at your winter escape.
  2. Find out your new insurance requirements: Your new state will likely have different required coverages and limits than your current one. See below for the minimum coverage amounts in each state.
State Bodily injury liability per person Bodily injury liability per accident Property damage liability per accident Total liability minimum limit Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident Medical payments coverage/personal injury protection per person Medical payments coverage/personal injury protection per accident Other requirements
Alabama $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Alaska $50,000 $100,000 $25,000 $175,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Arizona $25,000 $50,000 $15,000 $90,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Arkansas $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
California $15,000 $30,000 $5,000 $50,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Colorado $25,000 $50,000 $15,000 $90,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Connecticut $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 $25,000 $50,000 Not required Not required Not required
Delaware $25,000 $50,000 $10,000 $85,000 Not required Not required $15,000 $30,000 Not required
District of Columbia $25,000 $50,000 $10,000 $85,000 $25,000 $50,000 Not required Not required Not required
Florida Not required Not required $10,000 $10,000 Not required Not required $10,000 $10,000 Not required
Georgia $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Hawaii $20,000 $40,000 $10,000 $70,000 Not required Not required $10,000 $10,000 Not required
Idaho $25,000 $50,000 $15,000 $90,000 $25,000 $50,000 Not required Not required Not required
Illinois $25,000 $50,000 $20,000 $95,000 $25,000 $50,000 Not required Not required Not required
Indiana $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Iowa $20,000 $40,000 $15,000 $75,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Kansas $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 $25,000 $50,000 $4,500 for medical expenses;

$9,000 a month for a year of disability / loss of income;

$25 a day for in-home services;

$2,000 for funeral, cremation, or burial expenses;

$4,500 for rehabilitation expenses

Not required Survivors benefits, including up to $900 per month for a year for disability or loss of income and $25 per day for in-home services
Kentucky $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Louisiana $15,000 $30,000 $25,000 $70,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Maine $50,000 $100,000 $25,000 $175,000 $50,000 $100,000 $2,000 Not required Not required
Maryland $30,000 $60,000 $15,000 $105,000 $30,000 $60,000 Not required Not required $15,000 uninsured/underinsured property damage coverage per accident
Massachusetts $20,000 $40,000 $5,000 $65,000 $20,000 $40,000 $8,000 $8,000 Not required
Michigan $50,000 $100,000 $1 million within MI

$10,000 outside MI

$150,000 Not required Not required State will pay all necessary medical expenses and lost wages, plus $20 per day in replacement services in some cases;

$250,000, lower if enrolled in Medicare

Not required Not required
Minnesota $30,000 $60,000 $10,000 $100,000 $25,000 $50,000 $40,000 Not required Not required
Mississippi $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Missouri $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 $25,000 $50,000 Not required Not required Not required
Montana $25,000 $50,000 $20,000 $95,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Nebraska $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 $25,000 $50,000 Not required Not required Not required
Nevada $25,000 $50,000 $20,000 $95,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
New Hampshire Not required Not required Not required $0 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
New Jersey Not required Not required $5,000 $5,000 Not required Not required $15,000 $15,000 Not required
New Mexico $25,000 $50,000 $10,000 $85,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
New York $25,000 $50,000 $10,000 $85,000 25000 (bodily only) 50000 (bodily only) $50,000 Not required $50,000 for death of one person in an accident or $100,000 for death of two or more people in an accident
North Carolina $30,000 $60,000 $25,000 $115,000 $30,000 $60,000 Not required Not required $25,000 uninsured motorist property damage coverage per accident
North Dakota $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 $25,000 $50,000 $30,000 Not required Not required
Ohio $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Oklahoma $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Oregon $25,000 $50,000 $20,000 $95,000 $25,000 $50,000 $15,000 Not required Not required
Pennsylvania $15,000 $30,000 $5,000 $50,000 Not required Not required $5,000 $5,000 Limited or full tort coverage
Rhode Island $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
South Carolina $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 $25,000 $50,000 Not required Not required $25,000 uninsured motorist property damage coverage
South Dakota $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 $25,000 $50,000 Not required Not required Not required
Tennessee $25,000 $50,000 $15,000 $90,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Texas $30,000 $60,000 $25,000 $115,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
Utah $25,000 $65,000 $15,000 $105,000 Not required Not required $3,000 $3,000 Not required
Vermont $25,000 $50,000 $10,000 $85,000 $50,000 $100,000 Not required Not required $10,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage per accident
Virginia Not required if you pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee Not required if you pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee Not required if you pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee $0 Not required if you pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee Not required if you pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee Not required if you pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee Not required if you pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee Not required if you pay the uninsured motor vehicle fee
Washington $25,000 $50,000 $10,000 $85,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
West Virginia $25,000 $50,000 $25,000 $100,000 $25,000 $50,000 Not required Not required $25,000 uninsured motorist property damage coverage
Wisconsin $25,000 $50,000 $10,000 $85,000 $25,000 $50,000 Not required Not required Not required
Wyoming $25,000 $50,000 $20,000 $95,000 Not required Not required Not required Not required Not required
  1. Update your address: If you’re staying with your current insurance company, give them proof of your new address — a new driver’s license, W-2, utility bills, or a recent pay stub from work. If you’re switching to a different insurer, provide that company with your new address. Update your address with these providers as soon as you know it, and share your moving date too. Even if you’re moving in-state, a new ZIP code could mean new rates.
  2. Get a new policy: It’s best to get a new insurance policy tied to your new address as soon as possible; a gap in insurance will make your next policy more expensive. Plus, you could face financial and legal repercussions if you’re caught driving without insurance or even driving without proof of insurance. Make sure you receive a copy of your new insurance ID card, or download your insurer’s mobile app so you can show proof of insurance for your vehicle in your new state.
  3. Cancel your old policy: Once your new policy is effective, cancel your old one.

How Your State Impacts Car Insurance

The cost of car insurance depends on which state you live in. The state with the highest cost of car insurance is Louisiana, with average prices more than a third higher than the national average.

State Yearly average cost of car insurance in the U.S. in 2019
Alabama $932.14
Alaska $991.09
Arizona $1,063.93
Arkansas $897.92
California $1,051.79
Colorado $1,174.87
Connecticut $1,237.55
District of Columbia $1,289.93
Delaware $1,440.58
Florida $1,414.17
Georgia $1,259.49
Hawaii $839.87
Idaho $738.10
Illinois $939.64
Indiana $777.05
Iowa $714.86
Kansas $818.99
Kentucky $935.61
Louisiana $1,557.22
Maine $696.37
Maryland $1,236.61
Massachusetts $1,182.69
Michigan $1,495.94
Minnesota $892.17
Mississippi $975.58
Missouri $929.91
Montana $834.86
Nebraska $807.30
Nevada $1,292.52
New Hampshire $864.35
New Jersey $1,395.53
New Mexico $932.67
New York $1,445.30
North Carolina $741.70
North Dakota $703.73
Ohio $802.72
Oklahoma $908.95
Oregon $990.00
Pennsylvania $992.33
Rhode Island $1,382.64
South Carolina $1,114.90
South Dakota $745.33
Tennessee $863.39
Texas $1,143.85
Utah $954.14
Vermont $785.37
Virginia $861.18
Washington $1,066.84
West Virginia $946.03
Wisconsin $767.42
Wyoming $776.222

But why is there so much variance between states on the average cost of auto insurance? There are a few reasons.

Fault System

In at-fault states, the party that caused an accident must pay for the other party’s bodily injuries. In no-fault states, on the other hand, each party pays for its own injuries under personal injury protection. Typically, car insurance is more expensive in no-fault states due to increased lawsuits and insurance fraud. Most of the states in the U.S. use the at-fault system, with the following exceptions:

  • No-fault states: Arkansas, Washington, D.C., Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Washington
  • Optional states (you can choose between at-fault and no-fault policies): Kentucky, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania

Learn more about the liability vs. no-fault systems.

Minimum Coverage

The required amount of coverage also affects your bottom line. The more coverage your state requires, the more your car insurance will cost.

Population Density

More densely populated places, especially urban and suburban areas, have higher accident rates and thus higher insurance premiums. The most population-dense state in the U.S., barring Washington, D.C., is New Jersey, which has 1,260 people per square mile, according to 2021 U.S. Census data.

DID YOU KNOW?

The least population-dense state is Alaska, with only one person per square mile in 20213.

Theft and Vandalism Rates

The more often auto theft and car vandalism occur in a given area, the higher car insurance rates will be as insurers take into account the cost of comprehensive claims. Colorado has the highest auto theft rates in the country, with 524 incidents per 100,000 inhabitants in 2019. Vermont, in contrast, had only 42 thefts per 100,000 inhabitants, while the average in the U.S. stands at 2464. That partly explains the difference in insurance rates between the two states.

Weather

Areas with more inclement weather like natural disasters and hail storms have higher insurance rates.

FYI

Car insurance covers theft, vandalism, and weather-related damages only if you have comprehensive coverage, which no state requires.

Because of all of these variables, there’s no hard-and-fast rule for figuring out if your car insurance rate will go up due to a move. However, you can make an educated guess based on the available data.

More Car To-Dos When Moving to a New State

  • Get a new driver’s license: After you get your new insurance, apply for a new driver’s license with your new address. You’ll need a valid, in-state license to get a new in-state registration.
  • Register your vehicle in-state: In most states, you’ll need in-state insurance before completing vehicle registration, except in New Hampshire. Another exception is Virginia, but if you lack car insurance, you’ll need to prove you’ve paid the state’s $500 fee for uninsured motorists.
  • Get in-state license plates: Once you register your car, you can get your new license plates at the local DMV.

States With the Cheapest Insurance

  • Maine: In the state of Maine, car insurance costs only $696.37 on average, 54 percent below the national average.
  • North Dakota: North Dakota places second, with average annual costs of $703.73. Not so coincidentally, North Dakota is the fourth-least densely populated state in the U.S., with only 11 people per square mile.
  • Iowa: Expect to pay around $714.86 a year for car insurance in Iowa, according to the most recent data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Getting the Best Rate

Even if your current car insurance provider covers your new state, it’s still worthwhile to shop the market and see if you can get a better rate from a different insurer. For the best results, compare car insurance quotes from multiple providers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have car insurance in two states?

You can have car insurance in two states. However, the only reason to have car insurance in two states is if you’re in the process of moving states. Once your new policy’s effective date has passed, it makes sense to cancel your old one.

Which U.S. states do not require auto insurance?

New Hampshire and Virginia do not require auto insurance. However, both states have alternative financial responsibility requirements. In Virginia, you’re required to pay a $500 fee. In New Hampshire, you must prove that you can meet the following coverage requirements:

  • Bodily injury/death to one person: $25,000
  • Bodily injury/death to two or more people: $50,000
  • Property damage per vehicle: $25,000

According to the New Hampshire General Court, you must deposit these amounts in the form of money or securities and give the receipt to a state treasurer as proof.

Can I get Florida car insurance with an out-of-state license?

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, you can get Florida car insurance with an out-of-state license. In fact, you are legally required to get in-state car insurance within 10 days of establishing residency. However, you still must obtain a Florida driver’s license and registration within the first 30 days of residency in order to drive legally in the Sunshine State.

How long after you move to Florida do you have to register your car?

You have 30 days after moving to Florida to register your car, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Citations

  1. Car insurance for college students. Progressive. (2022).
    https://www.progressive.com/answers/college-student-insurance/

  2. 2018/2019 Auto Insurance Database Report. NAIC. (2022).
    https://content.naic.org/sites/default/files/publication-aut-pb-auto-insurance-database.pdf

  3. County Population by Characteristics: 2020-2021. United States Census Bureu. (2022).
    https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/popest/2020s-counties-detail.html

  4. Motor Vehicle Theft. FBI. (2022).
    https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2019/crime-in-the-u.s.-2019/topic-pages/motor-vehicle-theft