McAfee Secure sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Out of State Car Insurance

Out of state car insurance has become a more common area of concern for drivers across the country in recent years, as we have collectively dealt with changing economic conditions forcing more of us to seek work across state lines. There are other situations in which out of state insurance is an appropriate solution for drivers as well. Many auto insurance consumers do not realize the necessity of having proper insurance in these situations, thinking that just being insured and registered in their home states is sufficient. But there are times when this is not sufficient, and it is good to be aware of this fact as well as the existence of coverage options to bring you into legal standing in whatever state you are spending significant time in away from home.

Out of State Coverage Explained

Out of state car insurance is a concept quite a few among us have never even heard of. There is a good and logical reason for this ignorance: most of us have never had to tackle the situation of spending more than a few weeks away from our home state at any given time. But there are a growing number of people in that minority which either know all about out of state auto coverage, or ought to.

Traditionally, in the northern states especially there has been a fairly steady minority of workers in the trades who have worked during the spring and summer months in their home states, the traveled down south to better weather to seek winter work. In the old days, many of these workers just packed up their trucks and headed down without even securing employment first. For someone with a steady hand at any of the skilled trades, there was usually plenty of work to be had. But these workers often did not think about their car insurance situation, even as they were leaving their home state for several months at a time.

Over time, the use of state roads by out of state drivers in situations like this forced state insurance offices to come up with ways to make these drivers meet their standards for auto insurance. After all, if a driver is spending up to half a year in a certain state, he or she ought to know the rules of the road in that state, and be properly insured just like any other driver. These days, there are rules in place in many states to deal with out of state drivers who spend significant time within their state borders.

These rules vary by the state, but they usually involve some sort of time threshold, often 90 days in a calendar year. If an out of state driver is in state for more than that minimum threshold of time, he or she must obtain suitable auto coverage with a provider in that state meeting that state's requirements for insurance. Since every state has different standards for insurance and different laws, the last part of the requirement is very critical. Someone from a northern state, for example, spending the winter in a southern state may have auto insurance back home, but there could be several problems with that policy.

First of all, many insurers do not have offices in every state, and some are not even licensed in every state. Second, what passes as acceptable auto insurance liability coverage, for example, in one state may fall short of the minimum threshold in another. And third, a driver from out of state is harder to keep track of, with out of state license plates and registration as well as auto insurance information.

Shared Time Between States

To simplify things, drivers who share time between states often have to obtain out of state coverage with a provider selling a policy in the state they are visiting or working in. For example, a Michigan carpenter spending six months on a commercial project in Wyoming might be forced to obtain auto insurance in Wyoming and register his truck in that state as well. These policies simple ensure a level playing field among drivers. If there were no rules like this in place, any auto owner could just drive to a neighboring state with more lenient auto insurance rules and get a policy there to save money.

These rules are put into place to promote fairness, not to take advantage of drivers from out of state. Another example illustrates this point. Many northern retires spend their winters down south, in places like Florida or Arizona. Some of them rent time shares and spend several weeks, while others own a second home down south and spend several months there each year. The latter group really has two home addresses, one up north and one down south. Some of them even keep a car up north and one that stays at their southern home. When this is the case, the different states' rules for auto coverage are usually not a problem, because one car is registered in one state and vice versa.

But when seniors splitting time between homes drive their cars down south for the winter, problems may occur. The issue of applicability of the home state's insurance plan can come into play during any event leading to a claim. It is possible the driver could be denied a claim based on the circumstances. If the home insurer finds out that the driver was living part time in another state at the time of the accident (and insurers have a way of finding these things out), a denial of the claim is quite likely, and cancellation of coverage could even result. Better to simply obtain an out of state auto insurance plan for the time you will be spending away from home.

Shop Online for Best Prices

It may seem like something a driver could never afford having to manage two different state car policies, but in reality, you only need one of them at any given time. With good planning ahead of time in terms of the timing of the trip to and from the out of state destination, a policy holder could make arrangements for affordable coverage spanning part of the year at home, and another plan covering the balance of the year away from home.

The best way to find low prices for out of state coverage is online. If you are from Ohio and need to shop for prices in Georgia, it is not really practical to just open up the phone book and start dialing. But by getting online and using a free quote website like this one, you can break through geographical barriers to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Your research may reveal that one provider can effectively handle both policies while giving you a fair price. This would be the ideal just for the sake of simplicity.

Either way, shopping online will give you the best chance to save on out of state car insurance. If you spend a significant amount of time away from home in a certain state, you need to become familiar with that state's laws and find out if you need out of state coverage.


FREE Quotes, Multiple Insurers

Zip Code