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 insuran...

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Written by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Agent for 15 Years Rachael Brennan

Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: May 2, 2022

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Key takeaways...

  • When filling out applications, some drivers may wonder, “Do car insurance companies check your address?”
  • Car insurance companies do check addresses because proof of address for insurance has a major bearing on the insurance rate you’ll pay for car insurance
  • The ZIP code where you live can affect your liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage rates
  • If you live in a high-risk ZIP code, it means that property crime rates and claims rates are high in the area
  • Your auto insurance company will not physically come to your address to verify you store your vehicle there
  • Some insurance providers will use advanced address software programs to verify that you’re being honest

Do car insurance companies check your address? When you give proof of address for an insurance company, you are giving your insurer more than just a physical location where you receive mail.

Car insurance agents ask applicants and existing policyholders to provide their addresses so that they can send mail to the customer and also so that they can see what area the insured property will be in for a majority of the time.

When you’re providing your address, it’s important to be honest. It’s tempting to use an address that receives favorable rates but it’s a risky practice as well.

Car insurance companies might not come knocking at your door to verify you live where you say you do, but there are ways to verify that what you’re saying is true.

No matter where your address is, you can save money legally if you get car insurance quotes. To find the best price for the car insurance you need at your address, enter your ZIP code in our free comparison tool.

Why do car insurance companies check your address?

Do car insurance companies ask for proof of address? Do insurance agents check your address? Sometimes, when you’re applying for an insurance product, the insurance agent will go to your home. They might inspect the property or meet with you to get your signatures.

The car insurance marketplace isn’t quite so personal. Most business can be conducted in the following ways:

  • on the phone
  • by email
  • by logging into an online account

When you first sign up for car insurance, all of the documents that reference your coverage will be sent to you in the mail. Some companies have paperless types of programs in place to reduce waste.

If you opt to go paperless, you’ll get your documents online. No matter what you choose, your agent won’t come to your home just to verify your giving the right garaging address. However, your address is important to insurers, so they will check where you live through other methods.

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What kind of car insurance do you need?

The minimum coverage requirements for car insurance vary by state. Most states require you to have bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. Some states also require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection. Check your state’s insurance laws for minimum coverage to be sure.

For many, the minimum coverage is not enough. Talk to an insurance agent about additional coverages you might need based on your situation.

Why does your address change your car insurance rates?

How does your address affect car insurance? Car insurance proof of address for national insurance companies is required because they have to consider how much you’re exposed to risk when they are setting an adequate and personalized rate for your auto policy.

Some of the factors that are used involve exposure to risk and other factors involve how risky you are as a driver. As far as your address is concerned, it’s all about where your car is parked overnight and how exposed it is to potential loss.

You might think that claims can happen anywhere, but you are prone to file more claims when you live in certain high-risk ZIP codes.

There are few reasons why a driver in one ZIP code might file more claims than a driver in another. Here are the common factors that are considered when rating the risk in ZIP codes:

  • The rate of vehicle thefts reported in the area for the year
  • The rate of property vandalism reported in the area for the year
  • The accident rate and claims rate reported in the area
  • The average cost of a car insurance claim after it’s settled

In addition to address, companies consider personal factors like credit scores, driving records, age, gender, and more when assigning rates for auto insurance coverage. Rates for drivers with poor credit history or a bad driving record will be considerably higher.

Are you interested in how insurance companies verify your address? Keep reading to learn more.

How do car insurance companies verify addresses?

Since a car insurance company could go from collecting just $800 per year from a customer to $2,000+ because of their ZIP code, it’s crucial that there’s some sort of system of checks and balances in place.

Luckily for insurance companies, there’s a system in place that uses advanced technology to determine how often a car is in a specific ZIP code.

Do car insurance companies check your address with USPS? The system that more and more car insurers are using is called GarageConfirm. It’s an advanced tool that a company named VeriRisk developed to help confirm the validity of an address provided and a commute.

Towers sight different vehicles in an area and report how often they are in that ZIP code. If it looks like your data is showing hits in a different area, that could be considered phantom garaging.

Giving a phantom garaging address is considered fraud and it can void your coverage if proven.

If you’re moving to a new address, you should prepare yourself for how that move is going to impact your insurance premiums. Drivers who are moving to another state have to do more than just change an address, they have to change their entire auto insurance policy.

This may be a time when you look at different companies when moving, such as Progressive versus Geico car insurance after an address change.

What happens when you lie about your address for car insurance?

Most drivers are tempted to lie about their addresses to get better insurance rates. If you lie about your address and are caught, this is considered fraud. At best, you will be dropped or have your auto insurance claim denied. At worst, the insurance company will pursue criminal charges against you.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), every year $40 billion in the insurance industry is lost to fraud.

What makes up these huge losses? The different types of fraud that result in a $40 billion loss every year include:

  • Purposefully putting incorrect information on applications, such as lying about your address or miles driven
  • Filing fraudulent claims, such as making up fake costs on an auto accident or faking an accident entirely

Insurers may also commit fraud, such as refusing to pay legitimate claims or “forgetting” about benefits customers should have. However, this is less common than customers committing fraud.

Bottom line? Don’t lie about your address. Not only will you be dropped by your insurer, but you will find it difficult to find a new insurer. That’s not a situation anyone wants to find themselves in.

If you’re having trouble affording your insurance, shop around for auto insurance quotes from different companies and see which will give you the lowest rate. If you’re having difficulty finding cheap rates, use our quote comparison tool to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your situation.

What are the most expensive ZIP codes for car insurance?

What are the highest cost ZIP codes? It sounds extreme that an applicant would go as far as to list someone else’s address to save money on their premiums.

As extreme as it all sounds, it’s not a crazy premise when you consider how much the average driver pays in the highest cost ZIP codes.

Here’s an example of ZIP codes you don’t want to live in because the rates in these areas are so high:

Most Expensive Zip Codes for Car Insurance
Zip CodeCityAverage Annual Car Insurance Rates
48201DETROIT, MI$30,350.09
48206DETROIT, MI$29,791.56
48227DETROIT, MI$29,374.46
48204DETROIT, MI$29,281.79
48202DETROIT, MI$28,946.15
48213DETROIT, MI$28,556.49
48210DETROIT, MI$28,417.19
48215DETROIT, MI$28,186.14
48238DETROIT, MI$28,148.98
48228DETROIT, MI$28,073.12
48216DETROIT, MI$28,040.22
48211DETROIT, MI$28,033.06
48205DETROIT, MI$27,952.29
48208DETROIT, MI$27,867.09
48226DETROIT, MI$27,767.58
48207DETROIT, MI$27,424.94
48212HAMTRAMCK, MI$26,925.66
48203HIGHLAND PARK, MI$26,923.65
48224DETROIT, MI$26,758.51
48214DETROIT, MI$26,730.26
48209DETROIT, MI$26,710.79
48126DEARBORN, MI$26,665.38
48234DETROIT, MI$26,566.42
48235DETROIT, MI$26,516.65
48223DETROIT, MI$26,031.27
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The state of Michigan has the most expensive ZIP codes in the whole country. To save on rates in your area, use our free tool below to start shopping.

What are the least expensive ZIP codes for car insurance?

If the most expensive ZIP code rates make you wince, the good news is that there are plenty of places where the cost of car insurance is cheaper. Take a look at the list below to see where you can find the cheapest car insurance rates in the country.

Least Expensive ZIP codes for Car Insurance 
ZIP codeCityAverage Annual Car Insurance Rates
24450LEXINGTON, VA$2,018.13
22802HARRISONBURG, VA$2,031.22
24401STAUNTON, VA$2,033.51
22815BROADWAY, VA$2,034.01
24060BLACKSBURG, VA$2,035.11
22840MC GAHEYSVILLE, VA$2,036.30
22834LINVILLE, VA$2,037.09
22853TIMBERVILLE, VA$2,038.95
24416BUENA VISTA, VA$2,039.40
22833LACEY SPRING, VA$2,041.03
24073CHRISTIANSBURG, VA$2,042.79
22812BRIDGEWATER, VA$2,043.31
22801HARRISONBURG, VA$2,044.17
22939FISHERSVILLE, VA$2,044.69
24471PORT REPUBLIC, VA$2,046.56
22821DAYTON, VA$2,046.69
22841MOUNT CRAWFORD, VA$2,048.17
22830FULKS RUN, VA$2,048.95
22848PLEASANT VALLEY, VA$2,049.22
22803HARRISONBURG, VA$2,050.19
24141RADFORD, VA$2,050.57
22811BERGTON, VA$2,050.97
24435FAIRFIELD, VA$2,053.78
24486WEYERS CAVE, VA$2,055.76
22824EDINBURG, VA$2,056.80
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If you live in Virginia, you have the cheapest rates in the country.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Do car insurance companies check addresses?

Do you still have more questions about your address and car insurance? Read on to see what others are asking.

#1 – What is the difference between a mailing address and a garaging address?

What is an insurance address? We aren’t talking about your Cloudinary address or your vacation address, but your physical address. You can put two different addresses on your car insurance policy.

The garaging address on the policy is the one that is rated. When you change that physical address, there’s a good chance that your premiums will be influenced by the endorsement.

Your mailing address is only recorded as the place where the named insured receives mail. When you change where documents are mailed, it doesn’t change your rate at all.

#2 – Does your registration have to match your insurance address?

Does auto insurance and registration address have to match? You have to insure your vehicle in the same name that it’s registered in. Since it’s the legal owner that has the sole burden of satisfying state insurance laws, you can’t ask a friend to insure the car and expect the DMV to be satisfied.

If the names don’t match, the DMV will reject the proof of address for car insurance that’s provided and you’ll be treated like an uninsured driver.

Motor vehicle agencies aren’t quite as picky with addresses but some states could reject electronic insurance verification when all of the details don’t match.

If you list a different mailing address on your registration then you have provided to your insurer, check to see if this will affect your good standing with the DMV.

#3 – How do I know which address to use for car insurance?

You should always use your permanent address for your proof of address insurance policy. If you are moving to a new place, you should be able to switch your address on your car insurance before you move in.

If you currently don’t have a permanent address, such as if you are crashing at a friend’s house for a few months, then see if your insurer will let you use your friend’s address if that is where your car is parked every night.

#4 – What is VERIFI DMV?

VERIFI is a DMV system in New York that allows dealers to easily sell vehicles and transfer registration. You can reach VERIFI at the VERIFI DMV phone number (+1 833-837-4346) or by email ([email protected]).

#5 – Can I use a P.O. box for my car insurance?

Most drivers want to know, can I use a P.O. box for car insurance? The answer is no. Using a P.O. box may result in denial of your application or your insurer dropping you.

However, your insurer may mail you your documents to the P.O. box for convenience, but you need to have a physical address for your application.

Want to make sure you have the best rates when insurers check your address? To start saving on car insurance companies’ insurance rates at your address, use our online rate quote tool and you can get instant quotes today.