Why did my car insurance go up when I moved?

There are lots of ways that insurance companies use location information to figure rates, so your car insurance premium might be affected after you move.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2022

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Things to remember

  • Insurance companies use your location statistics and driving information to determine your auto coverage costs
  • Regulations vary by state, so moving to a new area might change your rates
  • Insurance companies require that you notify them in the event of any move so they can reassess your coverage

Moving is exciting, but it can also be mentally and emotionally stressful, and unexpected costs contribute to that stress. If you recently relocated, you might ask yourself: “Why did my car insurance go up when I moved?” To answer this, it helps to understand how your new address might affect your rates.

Insurance companies set rates based on your vehicle, driving history, and applicable state regulations. In addition, your ZIP code provides information that helps determine how much your coverage should cost. This article discusses which factors companies use to establish rates, how state insurance regulations differ, and why it’s a good idea to notify your insurance when relocating.

Why did my car insurance go up when I moved?

Location is one of the most significant considerations insurance companies use when deciding which policies to offer and how much to charge for coverage. So if you noticed an increase in your rates after a move, it could be due to one of these local factors.

Population Density

Having more drivers on the road contributes to crowded roadways, heavy traffic, and high rates of collisions. As a result, insurance companies charge more for coverage if you live or drive in a densely populated city to offset the cost of potential claims in these areas. Since urban centers are more populated than rural or suburban areas, moving from one to the other can influence what you pay.


Another factor that hinges on your location is the duration or distance of your commute. The more time you spend in your car, the higher your likelihood of being in a collision. A longer commute could mean paying more for coverage, even if you relocate to an area with better driving conditions or a safer environment.

Crime Rates

When calculating rates, insurance companies look at an area’s vehicle-related crime statistics, such as theft or vandalism. Statista has calculated those crime statistics for you. If your vehicle is statistically more likely to be damaged or stolen, companies will charge a higher rate to insure it. Consider the safety of your new neighborhood, as local crime rates can significantly influence the cost of coverage.


It’s easy to overlook the impact of weather on your car insurance rates, but hail, flooding, and strong winds can leave your vehicle vulnerable to damage. Regions that experience severe natural disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and wildfires, handle more claims, so moving to one of these regions could explain an increase in your rates.

How much will my auto insurance go up? Take a look at the table below to see just how drastic increases can be by state.

U.S. ZIP Codes with the Highest and Lowest Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates per State
StateLeast Expensive Zip CodeCityLowest Average Annual Auto Insurance RatesMost Expensive Zip CodeCityHighest Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates
Hawaii96703Anahola$2,198.6296704Captain Cook$2,859.11
Maine04742Fort Fairfield$2,403.9004684Surry$2,785.77
Washington98368Port Townsend$2,461.5498118Seattle$4,079.23
Iowa52241Coralville$2,598.2751501Council Bluffs$3,633.75
New York14830Corning$2,729.5911212Brooklyn$10,751.24
California93401San Luis Obispo$2,731.3290210Beverly Hills$6,324.83
North Carolina28701Alexander$2,860.5928205Charlotte$4,803.84
Montanna59635East Helena$2,866.4559089Wyola$3,457.81
Arizona86403Lake Havasu City$2,883.4685009Phoenix$5,479.07
New Hampshire03431Keene$2,887.7703104Manchester$3,845.88
Missouri65301Sedalia$2,938.1863120Saint Louis$5,220.97
New Mexico88310Alamogordo$2,948.8987121Albuquerque$4,364.29
Oregon97850La Grande$2,953.6097236Portland$4,908.54
Kansas67401Salina$2,954.9366115Kansas City$4,318.12
South Carolina29672Seneca$3,115.5829933Miley$4,519.05
Nebraska68803Grand Island$3,133.8168111Omaha$4,516.91
Texas76901San Angelo$3,157.6878049Laredo$5,538.80
Tennessee37601Johnson City$3,173.6538118Memphis$4,991.62
Utah84721Cedar City$3,239.5884104Salt Lake City$4,580.22
Colorado81504Grand Junction$3,291.1380219Denver$4,762.40
Nevada89406Fallon$3,411.0889101Las Vegas$7,486.53
South Dakota57201Watertown$3,467.8157770Pine Ridge$4,695.24
West Virginia25401Martinsburg$3,519.1025621Gilbert$5,111.14
Arkansas72626Cotter$3,675.9372202Little Rock$4,957.15
North Dakota58104Fargo$3,677.1858538Fort Yates$4,477.64
Rhode Island02842Middletown$3,908.0102907Providence$7,262.39
Minnesota56007Albert Lea$3,976.8055411Minneapolis$6,620.56
Georgia31699Moody AFB$3,976.8230314Atlanta$6,991.02
Louisiana71439Hornbeck$4,332.4870117New Orleans$9,303.50
District Of Columbia20001Washington$4,383.6120002Washington$4,440.79
New Jersey07926Brookside$4,592.1707102Newark$8,512.59
Delaware19930Bethany Beach$4,953.7906340Groton$3,896.10
Michigan48880Saint Louis$7,916.2948201Detroit$30,350.09
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How States Regulate Auto Insurance

In addition to driver information and location statistics, companies must follow state regulations to determine policy requirements. For example, if you move to a new state, you might need to purchase a new policy or additional coverage to comply with a new set of rules.

State laws regarding auto insurance vary, but they can dictate the amounts or types of car insurance needed, the cost of your policy, and whether you are at fault in a collision. Here are legal distinctions that you might encounter after an out-of-state move.

At-Fault and No-Fault Systems

All states fall under one of two broad systems for determining liability for vehicle-related bodily injury. First, most states are known as at-fault states, where the driver who caused the accident is legally liable for damages. If you are at fault, you must cover the cost of any medical expenses.

In no-fault states, each driver must carry personal injury protection to protect themselves and their passengers after a collision. There are only 12 no-fault states in the country, but the rates for insurance in these places are notably higher since you are required to pay for additional coverage.

Mandatory Minimums

Almost all states have established mandatory car insurance coverage requirements to help protect drivers in case of a collision. In these regions, you must purchase specific types of insurance and carry minimum coverage amounts to drive legally. Depending on where you move, you may be required to have:

  • Bodily injury liability: Covers medical costs for any injuries for which you are at fault
  • Property damage liability: Pays for any damage to vehicles or other property that you cause
  • Personal injury protection: Covers medical expenses for you and any passengers injured during a collision
  • Uninsured motorist protection: Pays for your medical costs if an uninsured driver is at fault
  • Underinsured motorist protection: Covers your medical expenses if an at-fault driver has insufficient insurance

You might have to purchase one or more of these policies based on where you move. Keep in mind that many insurance companies offer policies in some states but not in others. If you move out of a company’s coverage area, you might need to find a new one to remain insured.

Why You Should Notify Your Insurance Company When Moving

Since location is a vital component when determining policy options, you must report any change of address. Even if you are only moving a short distance, your insurance company will still need to reassess your policy and rates to ensure adequate and appropriate coverage for your new location.

If you forgot or chose not to notify the company about your relocation, you might have your claims denied, your policy canceled, or your rates adjusted to pay back the cost of any increase. Notify your insurance company when you move to protect yourself and prevent unanticipated costs.

Why did my car insurance go up when I moved? Final Thoughts

If you are concerned about why your car insurance went up when you moved, consider location factors that impact your rates. Pay attention to location conditions and state laws to understand what changes you might experience in your coverage.

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