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Do Auto Insurance Companies Check Your Address?

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Do auto insurance companies check your address? The quick answer – yes. 

When you start looking for car insurance, you’ll notice that you need to enter your zip code just to get a quote. When you are ready to sign up for auto insurance, the provider will ask for your address. This is standard practice, but it helps to understand why they want your place of living and what can happen if you give incorrect information.

If you’re in the market for new auto insurance, our experts have carefully analyzed all of the major automotive insurance providers in the country to find the best car insurance companies. We created a free comparison tool to let you easily assess free quotes from local providers. Enter your zip code to get started.

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Why Insurance Companies Ask for Your Address

There are two main reasons auto insurance companies need to check your address: 

  1. Insurance providers have to know where to send your bill and other documents, which is quite practical.
  2. Your location affects your rates just like credit scores and driving records, so it’s important for auto insurance companies to check your address.

Will Insurance Companies Confirm Your Address?

Your insurance company may or may not confirm your address. But if a provider does ask for proof of your address, they may only ask for one or two of these following items: 

  • Driver’s license
  • Utility bill
  • Pay stub
  • Lease agreement
  • Other piece of mail
  • Another government-issued ID

Other insurance carriers may not ask for proof of your address, but that doesn’t mean they won’t confirm it. They may check official records or compare your address to what is listed on your auto registration.

What Happens If You Lie About Your Address?

Even if your auto insurance company doesn’t ask for proof of your address, that doesn’t mean you have permission to give inaccurate information about it on your new insurance application or whenever you’re renewing a policy. Depending on which stage you’re at, several things could happen, and these situations range from mild to severe.

Your Car Insurance Rates Could Go Up

In the best-case scenario, giving false information about your address will change your insurance rates when the company finds out. Full coverage auto insurance premiums and their deductibles can already be expensive enough, so it’s important to remember this.

You’ll Likely Be Denied Coverage From the Insurance Provider

Your insurance agent would be well within their rights to drop your insurance policy and deny any claims if you were already a policyholder by the time the provider realized the lie. Given that nearly every state requires you to have a minimum level of auto insurance coverage, this would mean you couldn’t drive until you found new coverage.

Additionally, other insurance providers would opt not to cover you if they found out you falsified your information. Even a gap in insurance coverage can deter insurers from offering you an auto insurance policy. The bottom line is that one problem would just create another problem in this situation, and so on.

You Could Face Criminal Charges

In the worst-case scenario, you could actually face criminal charges for lying about your address. Your lying would be considered fraud and could lead to a criminal record with jail time in addition to potential fines. While you are less likely to be prosecuted for insurance fraud when lying about your address, it is still a risk that all policyholders should be aware of.

Why Does Your Address Affect Your Auto Insurance Premiums?

As mentioned, the main reason auto insurance companies check your address is to determine your premiums. If you are wondering how exactly your address affects rates in the insurance industry, there are actually many reasons. 

Insurers use pertinent data on crime, theft, accidents and more to assess the risk of policyholders filing for claims. They then use their data results to determine coverage prices in a given area. Some of the most important factors affecting the rates in a location include:

  • Vehicle theft rates
  • Vehicle vandalism rates
  • Accident rates
  • Claims rates
  • Claims costs
  • Population density

You will see a very straightforward link between all of the above factors and the risk you present to your auto insurance company. If there are higher rates of accidents, theft or claims in your area of living, then you are statistically more likely to make a claim.

If the average cost of claims is higher, your insurer will expect your claims to be for larger amounts as well. If you live in a denser area, there is a greater risk of accidents due to the increased traffic.

What Happens if You Don’t Have a Permanent Address?

While in most cases, lying about your address could invoke serious consequences, there are some specific scenarios with writing down a different address that wouldn’t necessarily penalize you – including an address from a different state.

These may apply if you are:

  • Moving to a new address: If you’re going through an address change and will soon be moving, you may be able to use your future address, as long as you can provide proof that you will live there – like a signed lease.
  • Living with a friend or family member: You may be able to use your friend or family member’s address for insurance claims.
  • Currently homeless: If you are currently homeless, your best option is to ask a friend if you can use their address. However, be aware that your insurance may drop you if your provider finds out that you don’t keep your car at the given address.

Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance

Now that you understand why it’s important to give your true address to insurance providers, you can now start comparing auto insurance quotes to find the right company for your needs. After careful evaluation, we suggest GEICO, USAA or State Farm for the best cheap auto insurance. 

Below are the basic ratings we give for each provider, where we consider things like each company’s general costs, customer experiences, industry reputation and the quality of its car insurance policies. Each rating is out of 10.

Insurance ProviderIndustry ReputationCoverage
Rating
Cost RatingCustomer Experience RatingOverall Rating
GEICO4.94.24.64.54.6
USAA4.84.75.04.74.6
State Farm4.84.64.64.44.7

No matter which provider you choose, the best way to look at prices side by side is with a comparison tool like our quote box. You can start comparing multiple quotes with just your zip code.

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GEICO: Best Discounts

J.D. Power rating: 853/1,000

Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratingA+

While GEICO is slightly below the industry average in the 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Insurance Shopping StudySM, the company is known for its affordable premiums, great coverage options and record of excellent customer service. GEICO also features an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, which speaks to its ability to approve claims.

As you compare car insurance quotes, you may want to consider some of the discounts that GEICO offers:

  • Federal employee discount
  • Military discount
  • Seat-belt use discount
  • Anti-theft features discount
  • Defensive driving discount

USAA: Best Military Provider

J.D. Power rating: 875/1,000

BBB ratingA+

USAA received the highest ratings across most U.S. regions in the 2022 J.D. Power Auto Insurance StudySM, which reflects its records of positive customer experiences. In addition to having some of the best rates in the industry, USAA offers many ways for policyholders to save, such as the app-based driving program SafePilot®, which can knock up to 10% off a customer’s premium. However, coverage from this provider is only available for military members, veterans and their families.

As you look at car insurance coverage from multiple providers, you may consider some of these other savings opportunities from USAA:

  • Military installation discount
  • Vehicle storage discount
  • Multi-policy discount
  • Safe driver discount
  • Driver’s course discount

State Farm: Best Overall

J.D. Power rating: 885/1,000

BBB ratingA

State Farm was first place in overall customer satisfaction for large insurers in the most recent J.D. Power Shopping Study. The company also offers great opportunities to save money, such as its Drive Safe & SaveTM program that can knock up to 30% off premiums for drivers, or its Steer Clear® program for drivers under 25.

In addition to its good student discount, State Farm offers these money-saving possibilities and more:

  • Passive restraint discount
  • Safe driver discount 
  • Defensive driving discount
  • Student away at school discount
  • Multi-policy discount

FAQ: Do Auto Insurance Companies Check Your Address?

What can I use as proof of address for my insurance company?

The proof of address to give your insurance company will depend on the provider. Some companies may accept your driver’s license, but you may also be asked to show a recent utility bill, paystub, mail from a government agency or even a lease agreement.

How does changing your address affect your car insurance?

When you change your address, you may notice your auto insurance premiums change. This is because where you live is one of the many factors that affect your rates. Insurance companies tend to offer different prices based on your zip code because of factors like varying population density, crime rates and state-mandated minimums.

Can you get car insurance without an address?

You usually can’t get car insurance without giving an address, because insurance companies use locations to factor rates. If you temporarily don’t have an address but already know where you’ll be moving soon, you may be able to use your future address, as long as you can provide proof that you will live there – like a signed lease. If you temporarily live with a friend or family member, you may be able to use their address for insurance.

What happens if I lie about my address?

If you lie about your address or anything else on your paperwork, your auto insurance company will likely deny your application for coverage. If they discover your lie after already giving you coverage, you will likely lose your coverage, have your claims denied or face legal consequences.

Our Methodology

Our expert review team takes satisfaction in providing accurate and unbiased information. We identified the following rating categories based on consumer survey data and conducted extensive research to formulate rankings of the best car insurance providers.

  • Affordability: A variety of factors influence cost, so it can be difficult to compare quotes between providers. Our team considers auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services and discount opportunities when giving this score.
  • Coverage: Because each consumer has unique needs, it’s essential that a car insurance company offers an array of coverage options. We take into account the types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
  • Industry Standing: Our team considers Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, financial strength, and years in business when giving this score.
  • Availability: Auto insurers with greater state availability and few eligibility requirements are more likely to meet consumer needs.
  • Customer Service: Reputable car insurance providers operate with a certain degree of care for consumers. We consider complaints filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), J.D. Power claims servicing scores, and customer feedback.
  • Online Experience: Insurers with easy-to-use websites and highly rated mobile apps scored best in this category.