When you move, whether it’s across town or cross country, there are many things to do. Go ahead and add “shop for auto insurance” to the list. Depending on your situation, it may or may not be beneficial to switch. Doing your homework is essential in making the decision that is right for you when you move.

Regardless of whether or not you decide to switch providers, you must notify your current company when you change addresses. First off, your zip code affects your rate. Second, they need your correct address to send you insurance cards and a bill.

When you call to update your address, the insurance agent will re-quote your rate based on your new zip code. If they do not mention anything about a rate change, be sure to ask. Moving across town may not change your rate. However, moving to a different state may drastically affect your rate, or your provider may not offer coverage there. Either way, this is a great opportunity to shop around.

Do not cancel your current insurance while obtaining quotes from other providers. For one thing, this can put you at risk of serious liability if you are involved in an auto accident. Your current provider doesn’t need to know you are shopping around if you don’t want them to either. But, if you tell them, that may inspire your agent to work that much harder to lower your current rate and keep your business.

The major benefit of keeping the same insurance provider for a number of years is tenure. Typically, the longer you are with a company, the better the rate. But be careful. Some insurance companies bank on the assumption that you won’t do your homework. Since you already have to call your agent to notify them about your move, ask for a better rate.

If your new house or apartment requires homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, ask your auto insurance agent to quote you a renter’s policy. Usually they will offer a discount if you get both from one place.

When it comes to insurance agent/customer relationships, chivalry is not dead. There are still companies out there that value their clients. Use that relationship to your advantage. The best way to do that is by doing your homework and knowing what is fair. Know the insurance requirements and average rates of your new town, then discuss with your agent. If you feel your agent isn’t listening to you or satisfying your insurance needs, look for someone who will.

There are countless auto insurance providers out there. If you do your homework, you can find one that’s right for you regardless of where you live.