If you work in a different state than you live, you might be interested in purchasing auto insurance in another state. But can you have out-of-state car insurance?
In this article, our review team discusses whether it is possible to have out-of-state car insurance and answers frequently asked questions about the buying process. If you are looking to buy insurance, enter your zip code in the tool below or call (844) 246-8209 to start comparing car insurance quotes.
In this article:
- Can You Have Out-Of-State Car Insurance?
- Why Is It Illegal To Buy Out-Of-State Car Insurance?
- Can I Use My Car Insurance Out Of State?
- Can I Have Car Insurance In Two States?
- What Happens If I Get Into An Accident Out Of State?
- Our Recommendations For Car Insurance Providers
Can You Have Out-Of-State Car Insurance?
While most car insurance policies in the U.S. will cover you when driving in all 50 states and Canada, you cannot buy out-of-state car insurance. In most cases, you need to buy car insurance in your state of residence.
Why Is It Illegal To Buy Out-Of-State Car Insurance?
It is illegal to buy out-of-state car insurance because each stat has a different minimum level of insurance coverage needed to drive in the state. State governments require you to purchase car insurance in your state of residence to make sure you have the required level of car insurance coverage.
Many people move to a different state and forget to purchase a new insurance policy. By not updating your insurance policy, you risk having your coverage removed or miss out on insurance claims payments.
There are a few exceptions to this rule:
- College students who attend school out of state: You may need to buy car insurance for college students in another state if you are attending college there. Different states have different laws on this matter. For example, in Connecticut students are required to register vehicles in the state. If you are from another state and attend college in Connecticut, you need to purchase car insurance in that state.
- Seasonal residents of another state: If you own a home in a different state and leave one of your vehicles there, you may need to insure and register the vehicle in that state, depending on the specific state’s laws.
- Military personnel: Most states allow members of the military to keep their car insurance and registration in the state where they maintain their residence. Even if you are deployed to a different state for years, you do not typically have to buy car insurance in the new state.
Can I Use My Car Insurance Out Of State?
Yes, your car insurance will cover you when you are driving outside of your state. Car insurance companies generally cover you anywhere in the U.S. for short trips up to three or four weeks. And, it does not matter how frequently you make those out-of-state trips.
For example, it is common for U.S. citizens to live in one state and commute to another one for work. If you live in New Jersey and drive to New York for work, you will be covered by your auto insurance.
Can I Use My Car Insurance In Other Countries?
Some car insurance policies will cover you outside of the country, and some will not. Call your car insurance company before you travel to ask whether or not it will cover you outside of the U.S. If you don’t already have international coverage, your company may be able to sell you coverage for the duration of your visit.
Can I Have Car Insurance In Two States?
It is possible to have car insurance in two states. Car owners who keep one of their vehicles in a different state may have to insure that vehicle in the state of their alternative residence. For example, Florida requires you to register a vehicle if it stays in state for 90 or more days in a year. Since you have to insure a vehicle in the same state in which it is registered, you would need to purchase Florida car insurance for that vehicle.
What Happens If I Get Into An Accident Out-Of-State?
If you get into an auto accident in another state and that state has a higher minimum level of coverage than the amount of insurance you own, your insurance company will help you. It will act as if you had the minimum level of coverage required in that particular state to help pay for your expenses. While the insurance company will help you pay for your bills, your car insurance rates may rise.
Our Recommendations For Car Insurance Providers
We reviewed the top car insurance companies in the nation – considering factors such as cost, coverage, and industry reputation – and Progressive and Geico were two that came out on top. If you or your spouse are a member of the military, we also recommend USAA car insurance because of its outstanding military benefits.
Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and rates. In addition to the auto insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history can affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.
Use our tool below or call (844) 246-8209 to start comparing personalized car insurance quotes:
Progressive: Best For High-Risk Drivers
Progressive is one of the biggest car insurance companies in the United States. It has thousands of positive reviews from satisfied customers and high ratings from top names in the auto industry like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and AM Best.
When you buy Progressive car insurance, some of your options include comprehensive car insurance, collision insurance, and liability car insurance. In addition, Progressive offers roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, custom parts and equipment coverage, and rideshare coverage. Progressive has many money-saving features, including a deductible savings bank, bundling, usage-based insurance, and the Name Your Price® tool that quickly lets you find a plan to fit your budget.
Read more in our full Progressive auto insurance review.
Geico: Best Overall
We’ve found that Geico auto insurance is a great insurance company option for students. Geico offers competitive rates and numerous discounts for car insurance. It has an A+ BBB rating, an AM Best financial strength rating of A++, and impressive scores in numerous J.D. Power studies. With those high marks and a variety of insurance discounts, Geico is a strong contender for most drivers.
When you’re looking at insurance options from Geico, you’ll have your option of basic coverage, as well as more comprehensive coverage plans and add-ons like mechanical breakdown insurance.
Read more in our full Geico auto insurance review.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
Read our other articles on car insurance: