Does multistate car insurance work across states?
July 21, 2022
The odometer is rising, but the miles are worth it as you travel out of state with family and friends to your final destination. But while you’re racking up those core memories, you experience one of those unfortunate, “what if'' scenarios — you get into an accident on the road. The accident happened in another state and you’re not sure how your car insurance works. The concept of multistate insurance doesn't actually exist, but our insurance team will clear a few things up on the topic and share some insight on how your car insurance policy applies across states.
Why multistate car insurance doesn’t exist
If this is your first time hearing about multistate car insurance, we’ll consider that a good thing. Why? Because multistate car insurance doesn’t exist, as it relates to your policy. It’s not a special “add-on,” product, feature or requirement to travel in different states.
Insurance is state regulated. Meaning, most states will require drivers to have some type of car insurance or proof of financial responsibility. This is typically where you reside or call home. Because car insurance is regulated from state-to-state, there’s no such thing as a multistate car insurance policy that originates from two or more states.
Car insurance is a tricky concept, we know—so let’s talk about how your car insurancein multiple states works.
Will my car insurance cover me in another state?
Now that we’ve explained that multistate car insurance doesn’t really exist, we should talk about how your car insurance policy applies across state lines—whether it relates to a family vacation or first-time move for school.
Here’s a hint: A standard car insurance policy will generally provide coverage across all 50 states.
Residency, aka where your car calls home, is an important aspect of your car insurance policy and how it applies in other states. You should always purchase insurance in the state where you primarily reside (think six-plus months of the year). This is where you may have a home or driver’s license.
Any change of address needs to be reported to your insurance company to help ensure adequate protection and proper rating.
A little advice? If you find yourself in a new state and new surroundings, it’s not a bad idea to take a look at your current policy and see if certain coverages should be adjusted based on your new residency.
For example, if you recently moved from a small town in rural Nebraska and find yourself in a metropolitan area of Arizona—surrounded by more vehicles and more traffic—you may want to consider adjusting your newArizona policy to help provide more coverage to you in the event of a claim.
But for the summer vacationer, what happens in the event of a car accident in another state?
Car accident in another state
On vacation or those occasional road trips, if your car insurance policy is set, you know that your policy will apply to any loss covered by your insurance—whether that’s in or out of state.
What if you’re at fault for an accident out of state? This is where your liability insurance comes into play. Let’s set the stage.
As a HiRoad car insurance customer and Arizona resident, you’ve purchased the minimum requirements necessary to be insured in the state:
$25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for one person and $50,000 per accident and,
$15,000 in property damage liability coverage
While on vacation in Indiana, you cause an accident that costs more than the $15,000 property damage liability coverage found on your Arizona car insurance policy. What happens?
In most cases, if the state the accident or claim was made in has a higher minimum requirement for property damage liability your car insurer will meet that requirement. So for this example, in Indiana the minimum property damage liability coverage is $25,000 which would mean that our team at HiRoad would meet that requirement, not the $15,000 found on your policy.
With that in mind, it’s important to review all limits available and purchase what you individually can afford/need for coverage.
Insurance in multiple states
The miles and the memories you make on a road trip or family vacation are worthwhile, especially when you’re not having to worry about things like your car insurance policy. Now that you know that multistate car insurance doesn’t exist and your policy can cover you in all 50 states, what are you waiting for? It’s time to hit the road, with HiRoad.
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