Does Your Address Affect Your Car Insurance?

Fran
Fran Majidi
November 15, 2019

Your garaging address, which may be different from your mailing address, is one of the major factors affecting your car insurance rate. Other factors include your occupation, your marital status, and other details.

When you change your address, you’re obligated to let the DMV know, but did you know that you are supposed to tell your insurance company too? Each insurer calculates these factors differently, but you may save some money if you move. Or, conversely, your rate may go up. Let us explain.

You may have wondered why agents make you repeat your address whenever you get a car insurance quote. Sometimes, agents use confusing terms like “garaging address” too. What’s that about, you’re asking? They want to know exactly where you park your car overnight.

With insurance, accuracy is key when providing personal information for a quote. One detail may make a difference of $1,000 easily, so be grateful if you get an agent that repeats all your answers.

Cities vs Suburbs

There are many reasons why your address affects your car insurance. For one, you’re paying less if you live in the suburbs and not in a big city, which makes sense, right? The suburbs are less populated and usually not a hotbed for unlawful activity. Your premiums will be much lower in low-crime areas because the risk of theft and vandalism is greatly reduced.

Insurers also look at the number of accidents reported in your area. Your premium will fluctuate based on a rise or decrease in local collisions and also accidents involving wildlife.

Crime

Even if you don’t live in a big city, if the area you live in has high-crime statistics, you’ll likely be paying more in car insurance. If break-ins and thefts run rampant in your neighborhood, you’re likely to file a claim as a victim of a crime, which is the reason you’re charged a higher premium in advance.

Garaging Address

If you park on the street, expect to pay more than if you park in a garage or driveway. And, of course, if you’re a homeowner, you pay the least of all because homeowners are always discounted on car insurance, even when you have a different insurer on your home. That’s why agents always ask for a “garaging address” because they want to know exactly where your car is when you’re sleeping. Insurance companies have their ways of finding out exactly how exposed your car is if you live in an apartment complex too (some are gated with underground parking, others are not).

Commute

Yes, you’ve heard people tell you to live closer to work to save on gas but did they mention that you’d save in car insurance premiums too? Well, you would. The longer your commute, the more you pay in car insurance every year. If you drive more than 15 minutes to get to the office, you are looking at a significant increase. The reasoning behind the rate hike is that the longer you are on the road, the more risk you are exposed to. You are therefore more likely to have an accident at some point if you have an hour commute than if you drive 10 minutes to get to work. Makes sense, right?

Discounts

You can always take measures to lower your auto insurance rate if it is high due to circumstances you cannot control, like a job that’s far away but that you simply love!

  • Safe Vehicle Discounts. If you have anti-theft devices, anti-lock brakes, passive restraint, a new car or daytime running lights, you may see a price break.
  • Senior Discounts: It’s sometimes called a mature driver discount, but it pays to be a seasoned driver!
  • Low-Mileage Discount: The less you drive, the less you pay. It’s that simple.
  • Group insurance discount: Ask about discounts for fraternities, sororities, organizations, employers, alumni.
  • Accident-Free: After three years, you’re entitled to a discount by your insurer if you have no accidents on your record. Kudos.
  • Homeowner Car Insurance: Homeowners are considered lower-risk people. Go figure!
  • Multi-Car Discounts: This is a very commonly offered discount by most insurance companies. 
  • Bundling/Multi-Policy Discounts: This is also very commonly offered by insurers.
  • Paid-in-Full Discounts: Pay upfront and pay less.
  • Loyalty Discounts: Not always, but sometimes, you can get a discount for being with a company for several consecutive years.
  • Safe Vehicle Discounts. If you have anti-theft devices, anti-lock brakes, passive restraint, a new car or daytime running lights, you may see a price break.
  • Telematics Discounts: Devices that track driving behavior often qualify drivers for discounts for safe driving.
  • Military Discount: Many insurers offer this so if you're service member, find a carrier who will honor you.

If you’re not comparing auto insurance rates, you’re probably paying too much for car insurance coverage already. See if you can do better! Start your quotes process by simply typing in your zipcode below and answer a few questions (honestly, otherwise, the carrier will raise your rate for lying, which is seen as risky behavior). In a matter of a couple of minutes, you’ll be able to choose a plan from several low car insurance rates. Yes, it’s that easy.

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