Your car insurance is actually a fairly personal product. After all, auto insurance companies set your rate based on your personal information and driving history. Your premiums are based on your address or where your car is usually located. So, what happens if you take a trip out of state? Are you covered? Read on to find out if you’re covered and when you may need to buy auto insurance in another state.
Am I Covered by Car Insurance if I Travel Out of State?
Just because your auto insurance is based on the state you live in, it doesn’t mean your coverage is limited to just that state. Your auto insurance will protect in every U.S. state, no matter where you drive.
It may be confusing, especially if you’ve read that your insurance company doesn’t provide auto insurance in a particular state. You may wonder if this means that you aren’t covered. Rest assured you are. The ability of an auto insurer to sell auto insurance in a particular state is completely separate from covering you in that state should you have an accident. And even if the state you are driving in, or have an accident in, has higher minimums than you carry on your policy you will still be covered as long as you have the minimums required in your home state. In this case, your insurance company will usually make up any difference for you.
When You May Need Car Insurance in Another State
While you are covered when you travel from state to state, there are some common situations when you may need to purchase auto insurance in more than one state.
Snowbirds – Increasingly, Americans are on the move to warmer climates in winter. If you live part-time in one state and part-time in another, you may need to buy car insurance in both states. Each state has its own requirements, so make sure you know the laws of the states you spend time in, as well as the requirements of your insurance carrier. If you are in an accident, your claim may be denied if you are in another state for an extended length of time and do not carry insurance for that state.
College Students – College students who move to a different can be in a bit of a gray area. There are no cut and dry rules, with some states allowing out-of-state registration and insurance and other states requiring students to obtain insurance, especially if the student owns the vehicle and lives in the state full time. As with snowbirds, you need to know the laws of the state and the rules of their insurance company.
Military – Car insurance for military personnel is a little bit different. Military personnel are required to declare a home state. Sometimes they can be stationed in another state, or several different states, for months or years at a time. If you are in the military and you are in a state other than your home state for your military service, the general rule is that you should have your vehicle registered and insured in your home state.
If you find yourself having to buy auto insurance in another state, InsuranceWins can help. Simply fill out our form with the state you’re interested in and you’ll get quotes from national insurance companies, many of whom are beginning to accommodate drivers needing coverage in more than one state.