Is it a bad idea to use an old address for your auto insurance?

It’s bad to use an old address for auto insurance to get better rates because lying about your address for car insurance is a form of fraud. If you’re caught using your parents’ address (or some other address) for auto insurance, you could have your claims denied, your policy could be canceled, and you might even be charged with criminal fraud. Rather than making the bad decision to use an old address for car insurance, save on your rates by comparing quotes from multiple companies online.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati.com. ...

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2021

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Can't-Miss Facts

  • Using an old address for your auto insurance may be considered fraudulent
  • Consequences of using an old address can include cancellation of your policy, denial of claims, and even criminal charges
  • Better ways to save on your insurance include asking about discounts and comparing rates from multiple companies

If you’ve moved recently and seen an increase in your auto insurance rates (or you’re concerned you will), it may be tempting to use an old address on your car insurance.

But is it bad to use an old address for auto insurance? What if you forgot to change your address on your car insurance? Is using your parents’ address for car insurance an issue?

Read this article to find out everything you need to know about whether or not you should insure your vehicle from a different address than where you live or where you typically park your car at night.

Before we get started answering your questions about whether it’s a bad idea to use a different address on your auto insurance or not, take a minute to enter your ZIP code in the tool on this page to get free auto insurance quotes from companies in your area.

Is it okay to use an old or different address for your auto insurance?

It is never a good idea to use an old or different address for your auto insurance. It may be tempting to do so, particularly if you live in an area with higher insurance rates than somewhere you previously lived (or where your parents live), but you can get in serious trouble if you do so.

Why? Using an old or different address for your auto insurance can be considered fraud, and depending on where you live, this can carry serious consequences.

What happens if you’re caught using an old address for your auto insurance?

While using a different address may seem like no big deal, there are significant ramifications if you’re caught. Your insurance company may cancel your policy, deny a claim, or even get law enforcement involved.

Depending on where you live, committing insurance fraud may be considered a felony (like in California), which comes with severe and even life-changing consequences.

Don’t assume insurance companies won’t find out that you’re lying about your address on car insurance forms. There’s a good chance your insurance company will discover the lie if it goes on long enough, especially if you end up needing to file a claim at some point.

Why does where you park your vehicle at night matter to your insurance company?

Insurance companies use various factors to determine how risky you are to insure and adjust your rates accordingly. One factor is your ZIP code (specifically the ZIP code where you park your vehicle at night).

Companies look at crime and accident rates by ZIP code and use this data to determine the likelihood of you filing a claim.

This means you may see radically different auto insurance rates in the same city. For example, take a look at this table, in which we’ve included average rates for a subset of ZIP codes in Los Angeles:

Example Los Angeles Auto Insurance Rates by ZIP Code
Los Angeles ZIP Code Average Annual Auto Insurance Rate
90720$3,598.57
90266$3,775.94
90503$3,777.44
90623$4,051.94
90260$4,066.06
90401$4,877.15
90061$4,877.19
91307$5,032.92
90034$5,046.01
90047$5,102.20
90027$5,897.67
90029$5,934.84
90212$6,041.05
90038$6,048.15
90020$6,132.45
90010$6,201.00
90210$6,324.83
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Using a different ZIP code than where your vehicle is parked to get better rates puts the insurance company at risk of unexpected or higher claims because they don’t have accurate information to use when adjusting your rates.

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What are some better ways to save on your auto insurance rates?

There are several legal ways you can save on your insurance rates. Ask your company about car insurance discounts.

Safe driver discounts, bundling discounts, discounts for being a member of specific organizations or groups, even discounts for going paperless or enrolling in automatic billing may be available and can save you money on auto insurance.

It also pays to live responsibly. The less risky you appear to insurance companies, the lower your base rates will be. This can include driving a safe vehicle, having good credit, and even being married.

However, the best way to save is to comparison shop. Shop around by getting at least three quotes from different companies before you buy auto insurance to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Depending on the type and amount of coverage you buy, you could save up to 51% on your rates by comparing quotes. You can use the free tool on this page to find affordable auto insurance companies near you today.

Is it a bad idea to use an old address for auto insurance? The Bottom Line

Using an old address for auto insurance may seem like a good way to save on your rates, but if you’re caught, you could be in trouble. Your insurance company could deny any claims you file or cancel your policy.

If this action is determined to be fraudulent, you could even face criminal charges.

Comparing multiple auto insurance quotes is one of the best ways to save (and won’t get you in trouble like using an old address for your auto insurance might). Enter your ZIP code below to get free auto insurance quotes and start comparing rates right now.

Frequently Asked Questions: Is it a bad idea to use an old address for auto insurance?

Are you still wondering about whether or not you should use an old address (or your parents’ address) on your auto insurance forms? Read these frequently asked questions for more information.

#1 – Should you double-check that your auto insurance company has the correct address?

As we noted earlier, if your address doesn’t match the information your auto insurance company has, you can face serious consequences.

It’s always a good idea to confirm your auto insurance company has all the correct and most up-to-date information on where you’re living and driving.

#2 – Should your driver’s license and car insurance addresses match?

It’s not technically illegal for your driver’s license and car insurance address to differ (particularly if both addresses are in the same state and city). Still, to ensure your insurance company doesn’t deny your claims, it’s a good idea to make sure your license is changed quickly.

If you move to a new state, there may be laws in place that indicate how long you have after moving to update your driver’s license with your new location.

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