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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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 3, 2022

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Key takeaways...

  • Your physical address where your vehicle is stored is used to assess how often you’ll be exposed to loss
  • You can give your auto insurance agent a different mailing and physical address if you receive your mail elsewhere
  • If someone else lives in your home, you have to decide if you want to buy insurance under the same policy
  • If you buy separate plans, you don’t have to list your roommate on your auto insurance policy as long as they’re insured
  • If someone is using your address without your permission, make sure you contact the carrier to let them know

Who knew changing your address could have such an impact on your auto insurance rates? Just a difference in one or two digits of your zip code could lead to a significant rate increase because of how premiums are calculated.

While your premiums aren’t a priority when you’re looking for a place to live, you should always consider the implications of moving before you start the process.

Insurance companies can sell insurance products to more than one person at a single address under separate personal auto insurance policy contracts.

Make sure you’re getting a fair rate for your auto insurance. Enter your zip code into our free rate comparison tool to get started.

If you live with someone who’s buying insurance at the same address or you have received mail in someone else’s name, here’s what you need to know about insurance and addresses:

Why is your physical address so important?

You are required by law to purchase car insurance from a licensed carrier that sells products to the public in the state.

Rates can vary from one state to another depending on how much the department allows their carriers to reasonably charge their clients, so all companies with a license have to file rates for approval.

State rates are unique, but the base rate fluctuates based on where your car is physically garaged or parked within the state. You’ll have to provide the street address and also your zip code so that your rates can be estimated.

The zip code must be provided when you apply for coverage, but it also needs to be updated if you move.

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What does address have to do with car insurance rates?

Anytime a rating factor can change how much you pay for coverage, that rating factor is believed to have an effect on lost exposure.

The higher the premium, the more likely the drivers on the policy are to be exposed to any type of covered loss. Covered losses may include:

  • Thefts
  • Collisions
  • Vandalism
  • Uninsured motorist accidents

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There are few different ways that your address can change your exposure to loss. One thing that the insurer will look at is the crime rates in the area.

Not all crime rates are considered, but those that are relevant to motor vehicle theft and property vandalism will be. You can find out what crime rates are in your area to determine if your local rate is negatively impacting your rates.

Another factor that’s going to be reviewed is the accident rate as it relates to the population in your zip code.

If you live in a densely populated area where there’s a high accident rate, you’ll pay more than someone in a rural area where there are fewer people and fewer accidents.

The type of car you see driving down the road can also matter.

If someone else lives in your home, can you buy insurance together?

If you live with your family, your partner, or a roommate, you’ll have a decision to make. You can either buy insurance separately or you can combine the coverage together to get insurance under the same policy.

Buying a policy with someone else is usually beneficial because you’ll get more discounts.

When you’re related, married, or in a long-term relationship with the other party, you can find a company that will sell you a joint plan. If you have a roommate, however, you’ll probably be asked to buy coverage separately since there’s no real relationship there.

Each of you can have your own insurance in your own name at the same physical address.

If you buy insurance separately, do you have to list your roommate?

You’ve decided to keep everything pertaining to your auto insurance separate.

One of confusing aspect is that you don’t know whether or not you should list your roommate and risk paying for your insurance. After all, if your roommate has a poor driving record, they could significantly change your policy rate.

You’re asked to provide the names of all of the people who live in your home when you’re applying for insurance. If someone moves in or out of your home, you’re supposed to make policy updates.

When buying insurance separately you still have to list your roommate as a deferred operator, but they won’t be rated as long as they have their own insurance.

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What happens if someone who’s not living with you is using your address?

There’s no rule that says that more than one person can’t buy insurance with the same physical address.

Sometimes, problems will arise where people will use an address they don’t live at because it’s a low-risk area or the individual will forget to change their address after moving.

If you get policy documents in the mail addressed to someone else, it could be a hint that someone else is using your address under their car insurance, which will be confirmed when your insurer runs your CLUE report and the other policy information is on the report.

Someone Is Using My Address to Buy Car Insurance: What you need to know

One of the biggest issues, when letting someone use your address for car insurance, is when you have a claim. The insurer will do a lot of investigations and may try to see if you’re hiding residents who live in your household.

If someone is using your address for insurance elsewhere, it might look like you’re hiding information. Call your insurer and let them know what you have discovered.

Auto insurance contracts can be confusing. You have a lot of duties as a policyholder that you might not know about. Make sure that you’re disclosing residents in your home and changing your policy whenever you’re supposed to.

If you don’t think you’re paying a fair rate, it’s best that you start shopping for coverage with other companies.

Get several instant auto quotes, try different zip codes to see if you’re living in a high-risk area. Get started with our free comparison tool today.