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minivanIf you’re getting ready to move, whether for personal or professional reasons, you need to consider how this change of location will affect your auto insurance policy. Here are five questions to ask yourself and your agent in order to better understand the true effect your move will have on your policy.

  1. Are you moving out of state? If your move is not taking you across state lines then it may not change much more than just the address on your policy. However, if you are moving to another state you may need to get an entirely new auto insurance policy. Insurance is not regulated on a federal level, but on a state level. That means that each individual state has its own requirements for auto insurance policy conditions, limits, deductibles and more. Give your agent a call before you move and share with them the details of your relocation in order to determine how it will affect your auto insurance policy.
  2. What new risks are you facing? The area you move to may have completely different risks of accidents, theft and vandalism then the area you currently live in. For example, if you currently park in a monitored garage but will be moving to an area with unmonitored, outdoor parking only, then your insurance premiums may change. In addition, you may wish to increase your limits in order to ensure complete protection, decrease your deductible so that you reduce the amount of self-insuring you must do, and add additional coverage options such as comprehensive so the theft or vandalism of your car is covered. Talk to your insurance agent about the various changes in risk that your move will bring and the ways that you can compensate for them.
  3. How much will the move change your driving habits? If you are moving closer to your place of employment then you will drive your car less. In addition, if you are moving to a location with a strong public transportation system, you may substantially reduce the amount of miles that you put on your car each year. Both of these situations can help you reduce your overall auto insurance premium as it can reduce your risk of accident. Let your insurance agent know how your move will affect your daily driving needs in order to determine how it may affect your auto insurance rates.
  4. Will you be changing banks? If your auto insurance policy’s premium is automated and your move will require you to change financial institutions, then you’re at risk for the possible collapse of your policy should you forget to change automatic payment information after your move. If your automatic payments are set up through your auto insurance company, there is an ACH (Automated Clearing House) form that your insurance agent can give you to update information. If you scheduled automated payments through your bank, make sure to give your new bank the information to take over that transaction.
  5. Can you keep your agent? When moving to another location within your same state, even if that location as far away from your current agent’s office, chances are good that you will be able to stay with the same agency. Insurance agents are licensed by individual states so as long as you don't leave the confines of your current state of residence, no change in insurance agent should be necessary unless you’re unhappy with the service you’re receiving. If you move to another state, however, you should find out if your agent is licensed to sell insurance within that state too. If he or she isn't and no one in the agency office is, then you may wish to ask that agent for a referral. Otherwise, you can look online for an agency in your new state. When looking online, try to find an agent whose website makes you feel both comfortable and confident with their knowledge level and their willingness to educate their customers.

If you have questions about how your move will affect your Tampa auto insurance policy, give us a call at 866-933-6691. We can help you determine whether a change in policies will be necessary or whether you can simply adjust the limits, deductibles and coverages in your current policy.

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