Author Topic: Auto insurance question for those that move around a lot  (Read 813 times)

Mr. Green

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Auto insurance question for those that move around a lot
« on: January 31, 2018, 08:24:21 AM »
We have recently moved from Maryland to North Carolina. Our cars are still titled in MD and our auto insurance is in MD. We just rented the house we own in MD. We're currently staying with friends in NC and we have no intention of getting our own place down here. I'm FIRE, but my wife is still working remotely, though we're talking about her quitting too some time before the year is out. She uses the address in NC for work because they wouldn't let her work remotely if we used an address in MD. We plan to travel extensively once we're free from jobs. We're already talking about being gone the entire month of June and my wife has to return frequently to MD for work (1 week every 5-6 weeks). The friends we're staying with are expecting a new baby in June, so it's possible our stay with them may not be that long.

I'm not really sure what to do regarding our car situation. If we were travelling almost full time, our "home" could be one of several different places. Our friends house in NC, my mom's, my sister's, or my grandfather's house in MD. Those are the places we would potentially stay when we're not travelling. I'm hesitant to change our licenses and the title of our vehicles to NC if there's a possibility we might not stay here long term. Who knows what will happen with a new baby in the house. Insurance in NC is also significantly more expensive than it is in MD. We pay $244 every 6 months for each of our cars in MD and the cheapest insurance we can find down here is $440 every 6 months. I'm still a little shocked that it's almost 100% more in NC than what we pay currently in MD.

Is anyone else travelling a lot and not have a "primary residence" that they own? How do people handle these situations?
RE in June 2016. Wife is joining me at the end of June!

Gimesalot

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Re: Auto insurance question for those that move around a lot
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2018, 09:28:09 AM »
We've moved a lot and we've kept the insurance at the address that was the cheapest.  This has worked for us because we only have liability insurance.  It might not be such a good idea if you have comprehensive insurance as well.

Mr. Green

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Re: Auto insurance question for those that move around a lot
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2018, 09:40:27 AM »
We've moved a lot and we've kept the insurance at the address that was the cheapest.  This has worked for us because we only have liability insurance.  It might not be such a good idea if you have comprehensive insurance as well.
We only carry comprehensive on one car. It's only worth about $8,000 so I'd be okay with dropping it if necessary. The comprehensive part of our coverage costs us $242 a year as currently insured, and I just realized they have accident forgiveness included in that.
RE in June 2016. Wife is joining me at the end of June!

Financial Ascensionist

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Re: Auto insurance question for those that move around a lot
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2018, 05:09:31 PM »
This topic is discussed at length on full time RVers forums and the short list is almost always:
* Florida
* South Dakota
* Texas

There are many things motivating the choice of state, but no state income tax, choice of reasonably cheap health care, and not having to come back to the state for yearly vehicle inspection are all big factors.  There are many good blog posts written on the topic and you could probably read one or two to help you decide.  I would personally not move my domicile until going FIRE if I was in your position since it's going to be a much stronger claim if you can tie the new domicile to a significant life event.  I personally went with Texas and I have to say that I really enjoy having the Escapees RV club handling my mail.

Good luck!

Laura Ingalls

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Re: Auto insurance question for those that move around a lot
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2018, 06:50:44 PM »
This topic is discussed at length on full time RVers forums and the short list is almost always:
* Florida
* South Dakota
* Texas

There are many things motivating the choice of state, but no state income tax, choice of reasonably cheap health care, and not having to come back to the state for yearly vehicle inspection are all big factors.  There are many good blog posts written on the topic and you could probably read one or two to help you decide.  I would personally not move my domicile until going FIRE if I was in your position since it's going to be a much stronger claim if you can tie the new domicile to a significant life event.  I personally went with Texas and I have to say that I really enjoy having the Escapees RV club handling my mail.

Good luck!

I think this is more driven by state income taxes than car insurance rates.  Texas and Florida are both higher for auto insurance.  Affordable and easily accessible health care might be more germane than either taxes or auto insurance rates.


ixtap

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Re: Auto insurance question for those that move around a lot
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2018, 06:53:14 PM »
Income tax is not to be overlooked. Generally, if you establish residency in a state, they want their taxes.

Mr. Green

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Re: Auto insurance question for those that move around a lot
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2018, 07:49:33 AM »
Income tax is not to be overlooked. Generally, if you establish residency in a state, they want their taxes.
I'm not really worried about taxes. While my wife is working we're claiming NC as our state of residency. When she stops, we may not meet the requirements to be considered a resident in any state. Both NC and MD use the 6 month rule if you don't own a residence you live in or rent one. It's quite possible that we won't be in any state for 6 months of time once she stops working so state income tax will be "overcome by events."

I just wanted to make sure we weren't doing something where an insurance company could look at our situation and claim it somehow violates the policy, therefore we aren't ensured, and good luck with the accident we were just involved in. I'm not even concerned so much about the damage coverage so much as I am the liability aspect. I just want to make sure we're air-tight covered there, while doing it in the cheapest manner possible for the coverage that we feel is appropriate.
RE in June 2016. Wife is joining me at the end of June!

Rcc

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Re: Auto insurance question for those that move around a lot
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2018, 12:13:14 PM »
And welcome to NC Mr Green!

freeat57

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Re: Auto insurance question for those that move around a lot
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2018, 03:05:52 PM »
Hello Mr Green!  I've been in a similar situation several times in my life.  Most recently, I spent 2016 traveling and staying long term with my elderly dad in KY.  I had sold my house in TX, but maintained a mailing address there, and kept my car registration and insurance there.  I even told my agent.  He didn't care. 

Look at it from the insurance company's perspective.  At any given moment in time, how many cars insured by them are located somewhere outside their home zip code?  A lot! To them it is all averages and probabilities.  They don't really see you as an individual, just a tiny data point in their profitability equation.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Auto insurance question for those that move around a lot
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2018, 12:35:14 AM »
My wife and I are not FIRE but we spend 8 months in Hawaii and 4 months in Colorado. We have two cars and an RV. I have Geico car insurance. When I'm not using a vehicle I will call Geico and get a "storage policy". It's the cheapest policy that I can legally get without having to turn in my plates. The people on the phone are really good at figuring it out.

Our car insurance is around $340/6 months for each car. However, when it's on the "storage policy" it's about $180/6 months for each car. The RV has the cheapest insurance. About half the cost of the cars.