Can I use a different address to get cheaper car insurance?

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Melanie Musson
Recognized Insurance Expert

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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One of the first questions you will be asked when filling out a request for a car insurance quote is your address. Where you live plays an important role in determining the cost of your insurance. Premium costs vary from one state to the next and can even fluctuate between neighborhoods. There are dozens of geographic factors influencing the cost of your coverage: the weather, the crime rate, the population, the number of uninsured drivers in an area, the number of DUI convictions in an area, and so on.

If you move, your car insurance rates may change due to your new address, even if you’ve only moved a few blocks away. While it may be tempting to provide an old or inaccurate address to your insurance company in order to get better rates, you should not do this. There are several reasons why a false address can cause problems with your insurance:

— It’s Insurance Fraud!

If your insurance company learns that you are not living at the address your vehicle is registered to or that the vehicle is not being used at the address on the policy, you may have your insurance policy canceled. Depending on the situation, you could also have criminal charges pressed against you. Having your policy canceled due to fraud will make it extremely difficult to obtain insurance in the future, and any potential insurer you approach for a quote will be able to see this on your record.

— It can lead to claims being denied!

If you are involved in an accident and the company discovers your fraudulent activity during the course of the claim, that claim will be denied. This means that you will need to pay for all damage caused out of your own pocket. You may have your license suspended until the claim is fully paid off, and your credit could be damaged if you are unable to pay the claim. You may also face a lawsuit if the accident was severe.

— Any insurance information will go to the wrong address!

Even if you are not charged with insurance fraud, all of your information will be sent to the address on file with your insurance. For example, if you are involved in an accident, the claims check will be sent to the address on your policy. This could result in lost payments or other inconveniences.

Of course, sometimes people do have multiple addresses. It’s best to be upfront and honest with your car insurance company about your situation. For example, if you live in one place but have a vehicle parked at your summer home, let your insurance company know that you only drive the vehicle in that area and during certain times of the year. This way the company can adjust your rates accordingly without any risk of being investigated for fraud.

How to ethically save money on your car insurance policy?

If you’re paying too much for car insurance, there are many ways that you can reduce your premiums. You can speak with your insurance company to see if there are any discount programs you may be able to enroll in. For example, some companies provide safe driver discounts that can reduce your premiums. You may also be able to take a defensive driving course or install anti-theft devices on your vehicle. Depending on your driving habits, you might even wish to consider opting for a “pay as you go” insurance policy that monitors your driving and charges you only for the miles that you drive.

Regardless of how you choose to reduce your premiums, being honest and up front with your insurance company will save you a lot of heartache and inconvenience. If you cannot get good rates with your current company, you can search for a free quote online from another company. You can often save money by changing insurance companies and you may qualify for a discount at one company that you did not before. Whenever you contact the new company, be sure to give them the most up-to-date information so that they can provide you with an accurate quote. That way, you’ll know what to expect when it becomes time to pay your policy premiums.

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