Gianetta Palmer is a writer for CarInsurance101.com, copywriter, and essayist. Her work has appeared in EverydayHealth.com, Healthline, and The Dyrt Magazine. She is the author of Scrunchie-Fried and writes a lot about car insurance in her spare time.

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert

UPDATED: Aug 6, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Using a different address for your car insurance for the purpose of getting cheaper rates is considered fraud
  • Your policy can be invalidated by your insurer if they find out, which means your claim will be denied and all damages will have to be paid out-of-pocket.
  • You can save money on your policy in legitimate ways, such as: keeping a good driving record, raising your credit score, searching for discounts you qualify for, and shopping around.

One of the first pieces of information you’ll be asked to provide 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. Car insurance rates are different by state and can even fluctuate between neighborhoods, so you may have wondered: Can I use a different address to get cheaper car insurance?

While it may be tempting to using someone else’s address for car insurance to get better rates, you should not do this. We’re going to cover why you shouldn’t falsify your address to get insurance rates and provide you with some honest ways to get discounts.

There are several reasons why giving a false address can cause problems with your insurance. Let’s take a look at them.

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Can I insure my car from a different address?

Can I use a different address for my car insurance? Using someone else’s address for car insurance will get you into trouble.

If your insurance company learns that you’re 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.

Car insurance rates are based on your address. Where you live can greatly affect your car insurance rates. As previously mentioned, some areas are more expensive than others. Car insurance companies calculate risk based on crime rates, driving conditions, weather, and other factors. Take a look at the table below, which shows you different premiums for different ZIP codes in Los Angeles.

Average Car Insurance Rates by Los Angeles ZIP Codes
ZIP CodesAverage Annual RatesAverage Semi-Annual RatesAverage Monthly Rates
90001$4,873.83$812.30$406.15
90002$5,023.86$837.31$418.65
90003$5,266.11$877.68$438.84
90004$5,928.00$988.00$494.00
90005$6,040.60$1,006.76$503.38
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As you can see, people are paying different car insurance rates even within the same city.

Insurance fraud is any deception perpetrated against an insurance company for financial gain. Lying about your address to get better rates qualifies as deception. So what is insurance fraud?

    • Padding or inflating an insurance claim
    • Putting false facts on an insurance application
    • Filing claims for injuries or damages that never occurred
    • Staging car accidents

A study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC) showed that fraud accounted for somewhere between 15 and 17 percent of total car insurance claims related to bodily injury in 2012. The study reports that between $5.6 billion and $7.7 billion was fraudulently added to pad existing claims, compared to somewhere between $4.3 billion and $5.5 billion just ten years prior in 2002.

In fact, the FBI estimates that the cost of insurance fraud costs each household $400 to $700 each year, and it’s estimated by the Insurance Information Institute (III) that about 10 percent of insurance claims are fraudulent.

Depending on the situation, you could have criminal charges pressed against you for committing insurance fraud.

This video from Shouse Law Group shows some ways you may be accused of committing fraud, and number four is claiming you live at a different address.

Having your policy canceled due to fraud will make it extremely difficult to obtain insurance in the future, as any potential insurer you approach for a quote will be able to see this on your record.

Using a Fake Address Can Lead to Claims Being Denied

If you’re involved in an accident and your insurer discovers your fraudulent activity during the course of the claim, that claim will be denied. This means that you would 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’re unable to pay the claim. You may also face a lawsuit if the accident was severe.

Why did my car insurance claim get denied? Below are possible reasons:

  • Your car insurance company is not liable for the damage
  • You do not have enough coverage to pay for damages
  • You violated policy guidelines
  • Your loss is not covered in your insurance policy
  • You committed insurance fraud

If a car insurance company determines their driver is not at fault for a car accident, the driver filing a third-party claim will be denied. If you don’t have comprehensive insurance, your claim for repairs or to get your vehicle replaced will be denied. If a person who is not on the policy tries to file a claim, that claim will be denied.

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You cannot file a claim for maintenance not covered in your policy. If your car insurance company believes you are guilty of committing insurance fraud, you will have your claim denied.

Drivers with a poor insurance score are more likely to file a claim. An insurance company will use an insurance score to see how a driver manages their finances. Below is the difference between insurance credit history and standard credit history.

  • Credit History – the record established by your credit cards and loans
  • Insurance Credit History – the record established by your credit and past insurance claims

Your insurance credit score is not the same as your credit score. The video below explains how car insurance companies use your credit score to determine your insurance score.

Insurance credit scores help an insurance company determine the potential risk of a driver applying for a policy.

A False Address Means Any Insurance Information Will Go to the Wrong Address

Having a wrong address on car insurance means that even if you’re not charged with insurance fraud, all of your information will be sent to the address on file with your insurance company. For example, if you’re 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.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

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How can you 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 could look for who offers the best pay-as-you-go car 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 potential trouble and inconvenience.

If you can’t 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 insurers, and some companies offer more discounts than others. Below are discounts you may qualify for as a driver from different insurers.

Car Insurance Discounts Offered by Top Companies
Discount TypeAllstateAmerican FamilyFarmersGeicoLiberty MutualNationwideProgressiveState FarmTravelersUSAA
Adaptive Cruise Controlxxx
Adaptive Headlightsxxxx
Anti-lock Brakesxxxxxxxxxx
Anti-Theftxxxxxxxxxx
Claim Freexxxxxxxxxx
Continuous Coveragexxxxxx
Daytime Running Lightsxxxxxxxxx
Defensive Driverxxxxxxxxxx
Distant Studentxxxxxxxxx
Driver's Edxxxxxxxxx
Driving Device/Appxxxxxxxxx
Early Signingxxxxxxxx
Electronic Stability Controlxxxxxx
Emergency Deploymentx
Family Legacyxxxx
Family Planxxx
Farm Vehiclexxx
Federal Employeexxx
Forward Collision Warningxxx
Full Paymentxxxxxxx
Further Educationxxxx
Garaging/Storingxxx
Good Creditxxx
Good Studentxxxxxxxxxx
Green Vehiclexxxx
Homeownerxxxxxxx
Lane Departure Warningxxx
Life Insurancexx
Low Mileagexxxxxxxxxx
Loyaltyxxxxx
Marriedxxxxx
Membership/Groupxxxx
Militaryxxxxxx
Military Garagingx
Multiple Policiesxxxxxxxxxx
Multiple Vehiclesxxxxxxxxx
New Addressx
New Customer/New Planx
New Graduatex
Newer Vehiclexxxxxxxx
Newly Licensedx
Newlywedsx
Occasional Operatorx
Occupationxxxxxx
On Time Paymentsxx
Online Shopperx
Paperless Documentsxxxxx
Paperless/Auto Billingxxxxxxxxx
Passive Restraintxxxxxxxxxx
Recent Retireesx
Safe Driverxxxxxxxxx
Seat Belt Usex
Senior Driverxxx
Stable Residencexx
Students & Alumnixxxx
Switching Providerxxxx
Utility Vehiclexxx
Vehicle Recoveryxxxxxxxxxx
VIN Etchingxxxxxx
Volunteerx
Young Driverxxx
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Whenever you contact a new company, be sure to give them the most up-to-date information so they can provide you with an accurate quote. That way, you’ll know what to expect when it’s time to pay your premiums.

How can you compare car insurance rates?

The best way to compare car insurance rates is to use a comparison tool. If you use a comparison tool you can get unbiased rates from different insurance companies. You should compare more than two companies at a time, and be sure to check the financial rating of each one to make sure that it’s legitimate.

You can also check the insurance company’s rating with J.D. Power’s study for customer service or A.M. Best Ratings for an insurer’s financial stability.

Give honest information when you’re getting an insurance policy — lying about your address on car insurance isn’t worth it. Don’t avoid getting car insurance because the policy might be too expensive.

Find a different company with lower rates. We hope this guide gave you a better understanding of why you should give honest information to car insurance companies.

Want to know how much your new address will impact car insurance rates? Start comparing rates from top companies now by using our FREE tool below.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Can I use a different address to get cheaper car insurance?

If you still have questions, take a look at our FAQ section below, and we may be able to answer it.

#1 – Can you have multi-car insurance at different addresses?

You probably can have multiple addresses for car insurance, but expect it to cost more than the same address car insurance. If it’s in a different state, you’ll still end up paying for the rates in the location.

You still have to tell your insurer that these cars are kept at different premises, or the policy may be voided.

#2 – What happens if I don’t change my car insurance address?

Does the wrong address invalidate car insurance? It’s imperative that you let your insurer know when you move. If you get into a car wreck and wind up needing the coverage, your car insurance company can cancel the policy for misinformation if you didn’t keep them up-to-date. If you forgot to change the address on your car insurance after a move, your insurance company may backdate the change to the date that you moved.

#3 – Does your driving license address & car insurance address have to match?

What happens if my car is insured at a different address from what’s on my license? If your car insurance address is different from your driving license, it’s highly recommended to change over your information ASAP. Each state has its own set of requirements for how long you have to change your license over.

However, it’s much more important to notify your insurer. Your policy can be voided if you have the wrong address listed. While it’s not against the law to have separate addresses, you should make them match as soon as possible after moving.

What about registration? Does your car insurance and registration have to be under the same address? As a general rule, yes. Again, you should update all addresses when you move.

#4 – I’m using my parents’ address for car insurance while away at school. Is that ok?

Most car insurance companies will allow you to be insured on your parents’ policy while you are away at school, as long as that is still your permanent address. Once you move out and establish your own home and address, however, you will need to use that address for your insurance policy.

References:

  1. https://www.insurance-research.org/news-releases/insurance-research-council-finds-fraud-and-buildup-add-77-billion-excess-payments-auto
  2. https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/insurance-fraud
  3. https://www.iii.org/article/background-on-insurance-fraud
  4. https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2019-us-auto-insurance-study
  5. http://www.ambest.com/ratings/index.html