Moving Out of State - What Do I Do About Insurance?

Fran Majidi
February 15, 2019

You think moving from one town to another is stressful, just wait until you have to move from one state to another! Many of us end up doing this and for a variety of reasons. Maybe you got a new job or your spouse did. Maybe you work remotely and decided to move to a city where you’ve always wanted to live. Or, maybe you’ve been out of work and are moving in with friends or family until you find a job. There are also all kinds of loose ends if you own a business and move premises. Whatever the reasons are for the move, there are things to do before the big day arrives. For instance, will your insurance be valid in the state you’re moving to? What you need to do may be as simple as giving an address change, but let’s look a little more deeply into the different kinds of insurance you have and whether or not you need to do more, like switch insurers.

Car Insurance -- Do I Need to Change My Insurance Company?

You may or may not have to change your car insurance when you move out of state. It all depends on your insurance carrier, who may or may not offer coverage in the state you’re moving to. The big companies, like Progressive, Farmers and State Farm, will likely sell insurance in all 50 states, but if you’re with a smaller carrier, like Wawanesa Insurance, which only services people in the state of California, you’ll likely have to switch carriers.

Car Insurance, License, Registration Grace Period

If you do end up having to change insurers, it’s fine if these details are not sorted out quite yet. You do have a grace period during which you can get a new license, registration and a new insurance policy for your car. Each state has their own requirements and grace period to meet them so make sure to contact that local DMV or their website to find out exactly what you need to do. If you fail to update your license, registration and insurance within this time period, you are looking at paying fines.

Keep in mind that you’ll probably need your car to be insured before you can register that vehicle so take care of your insurance by calling your agent right away. If your agent is local, find another by visiting where you’ll not only get connected with an agent but you’ll also get multiple car insurance quotes from several agents that you can choose from. In fact, look at your situation as the perfect opportunity for you to save some money, possibly with a better plan.

Whatever you do, do not cancel your auto insurance before starting a new one or else you may end up paying way too much in insurance as a penalty. Make sure that your new policy is active before you drive because the consequences of driving without auto insurance can be nightmarish.

Only cancel your old auto insurance after your new one is instated. This tip cannot be stressed enough!

What You Need to Do After Insurance Is Updated

You’ll need to register your vehicle because registration doesn’t transfer from one state to another. You may need some personal identification documents in order to register properly. First, get your passport or other travel documents ready, as well as your old license. Also, make sure to bring along your temporary proof of insurance, which your agent should have sent you to print out via email or through snail mail. You’ll need your insurance card to register so if it hasn’t yet arrived, you’ll have to wait. Remember that you have to pay fees for registering your car.

Getting a New License

You can only drive around with your old license for a while so you may as well take care of this very important part of your move when you’re at the DMV registering your car. Get ready to take a less-than-flattering photo and bring cash or check for the fees.

Homeowners or Condo Insurance on Old Home

If you’re buying a new home, it may be an especially stressful move. Your best bet is to keep your old coverage until you’re finished selling your home. Stay insured until you’re finished moving too. What’s covered all depends on your policy and insurer so look and see what you’re covered for before closing your account. Your personal property portion of your home insurance should cover your move partially. However, breakage and loss are usually not covered with your personal property protection. Don’t pass up the insurance the movers offer you thinking you’re fully protected.

Buying Homeowners on New Property

If you are buying a new home or condo before moving, buy home insurance right away if you haven’t already (most mortgage lenders require it). Make sure your new insurance is set up properly and that you’ve communicated with your agent about all the features that may make you eligible for a discount: having smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, for example, or a burglar detector/home security system. Be familiar with the home’s construction materials, especially the roof. Be sure to give accurate information about other tenants, pets, valuables, mortgage lender and more. If you are still looking for competitive rates for great insurance products, visit and you’ll be paired up with a homeowners insurer in your area.

Make sure that your personal property coverage is updated with new items that you’ve bought or excluding old items you may have sold. Make sure you have an accurate inventory. Your rate will change based on the changes you make to your policy about the valuables you will have in the new home. Also, take into consideration that your policy rate will change based on features in your home. For instance, a swimming pool will present more risk and therefore raise your rate.

Make sure to speak with your agent about add-ons to your homeowners. Flood and earthquake insurance, for instance, are not included in a standard policy. Find out if you’re moving to a region that experiences severe weather conditions that you should protect yourself against.

Keep in mind that homeowners insurance or your auto insurance will only partially cover your belongings if you are moving in your personal or in a rental vehicle. Your best bet: use a mover and use their insurance too.

Renters Insurance

Renters insurance is not as complicated to switch/transfer as Homeowners Insurance or Condo Insurance policy. You can just call your agent and tell him/her to transfer the coverage to your new address, if that state is covered by your current insurer. You will be in a new space, in a new neighborhood, and in a new state. Your rate may go up or down, depending on crime rates, proximity to a fire department and many other factors that are specific to your new home.

If your current carrier doesn’t cover the state you’re moving to, or if you simply want to look for a better rate, visit to get multiple free rate quotes at once. There’s no need to look for a local agent. Smartfinancial will connect you with the agent whose quote you decide you want.

If you buy a new policy for your new home, stop your old coverage the day after you move. Do not count on enters insurance covering your belongings while they are in transit, however. The only insurance that will take care of that risk is moving insurance, which your moving company should offer as mandated by federal law.

Health Insurance

Coverage options vary from state to state. When you move, you may no longer be eligible for the plan you currently have. Moving is considered a Qualifying Event which allows you to start a new healthcare application even after open enrollment ends. Some states, like California, have their own marketplace. To start a new health plan, visit or better yet, find an agent to help you by visiting here. Make sure to do this well in advance of your move, and don’t forget to cancel your old insurance after your new one kicks in. Make sure there’s no lapse in coverage.

Life Insurance

Depending on your insurance carrier, you may or may not have to change your life insurance policy when you move states. Life insurance is designed to follow you your whole life. However, if your insurer is not licensed in the state you’re moving to, you will have to change providers. It’s in your best interest to contact your current life insurance company and tell them about your move to determine if you can keep your existing policy.

Business Insurance

Whenever there’s a change in your business, whether it be new hires or if you change premises, you’re exposing your business to new risks and must therefore report these changes. The size of the new premises makes a big difference and may affect your general liability insurance and your property insurance. Make sure you have enough coverage for new hires by updating your workers’ compensation insurance. Update your errors and omissions insurance too, if you’re working with a new product or service. This is an important one because you’re covered in case of financial damage or personal injury. This type of protection covers you in case of a lawsuit. If your insurer will not cover your business in the state you’re moving to, we can help you find the right agent to handle your business: Just visit here!

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