I recently moved to a nearby suburb of Oklahoma City, and I managed to do so for a grand total of $80. That was just the move itself. However, as I have mentioned earlier, I also encountered some unexpected expenses AFTER the move, such as higher utility bills at the new home, the need to pay the final utility bill at the old home and the new utility bill at the new home....in the same month. On top of that, I can't participate in the average monthly billing program I was taking advantage of with the gas utility. Now, a new expense has reared its ugly head.

I called my insurance agent to notify him of my change of address for my auto and renter's insurance (I'm not renting, but I don't own the home, either. It's my father-in-law's, and he's letting us live in the place rent free until he moves here in a few years. Thanks, Dad!) My agent's secretary took my information, and then informed me my auto insurance rates just increased by $100 every six months. Huh?

Did I have an accident recently? Nope. Was I given a traffic ticket in the past year? No. Was I convicted of DUI? Absolutely not. My rates went up because of my new zip code.

Mind you, I moved a grand total of 15 miles. It's not like I moved to a high crime area where auto thefts are common. In fact, I moved to a much nicer neighborhood where SUVs and luxury sedans are the most-spotted vehicles on the street. Me? I drive a KIA.

I asked why my insurance rates had increased so much in the span of 24 hours, when none of my driving history had changed. The secretary explained that I now lived in an area where the rates are higher. I protested.

"But, my commute to work has dropped from 15 miles to less than a mile. How could the rates go up so much?" She responded it was the price of moving to a new area where the rates are higher. I say it's just not fair.

Before I moved to Oklahoma, I lived in areas where the insurance rate was based on one's driving history, not some crummy zip code. In some states, such as California, legislation has been enacted requiring insurance companies to do just that.

At least I don't live in Louisiana. That state has the highest auto insurance rates in the U.S., edging out New York, according to Insurance.com's 2007 Auto Insurance Pricing Report. The Ten Most Expensive States for auto insurance are:


1. Louisiana
2. New York
3. New Jersey
4. Washington D.C.
5. Delaware
6. Rhode Island
7. Kentucky
8. Maryland
9. West Virginia
10. Nevada

The Ten Least Expensive States for auto insurance are:

1. Ohio
2. Wisconsin
3. Iowa
4. Maine
5. Idaho
6. Indiana
7. Vermont
8. Oregon
9. Kansas
10. Illinois

So, a word to the wise: if you plan to move and want to estimate your new budget in your new home, be sure to check with your auto insurer to see how the relocation might affect your auto insurance rates...even if it's just a few miles.

3 comments

  1. vh // February 4, 2008 at 8:59 AM  

    That's right! It's one of the most infuriating things about being forced to purchase insurance.

    My zip code is one of the country's most expensive places to insure a car, thanks to the red-light runners at many major intersections in the area. SDXB (Semi-Demi-Ex-Boyfriend) moved to Sun City and found his car and homeowner's insurance dropped by 50 percent!

    Makes a person consider reconsidering living in the old folks' ghetto....

  2. Becky @ FamilyandFinances // February 4, 2008 at 4:49 PM  

    I used to work in auto insurance, so I understand your frustration! Sometimes the rates would change when a person moved from one ZIP code to another within the same city!!! Very weird.
    My word of advice would be that this is the perfect time to check around for a new auto insurance quote with various companies. Just because one company considers your new ZIP code to be worth a higher premium doesn't mean that another insurance company will. They will all differ with the different ZIP codes.
    :)
    Congrats on scoring the free rent. That's awesome!

  3. Monroe on a budget // February 9, 2008 at 7:39 PM  

    Most of our relatives live in Ohio and don't quite "get it" when I try to explain how much our auto insurance went up when we moved to Michigan.

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