Moving to a new state is a major life event. You may be changing jobs or employers, kids might be starting new schools, and you’ll definitely have to start over with all-new providers for services. In the middle of all this chaos, many homeowners find that insurance needs slip through the cracks.
Ensure the safety and health of your entire household by following these few steps for a successful insurance transition.
Inform Your Insurance Agent
Notify your insurance agent or agents as soon as you know when you'll be moving. Why get them involved? They'll be a valuable resource for planning.
Your agent, for instance, can assess your homeowners insurance to determine whether your coverage will protect your household goods while in transit. They can also find out if your car insurance coverage will provide emergency roadside assistance. And they may be able to put you in touch with an agent in your new state.
Don't Cancel Too Soon
While you want to involve all your insurance agents in move planning, don't be in a rush to cancel your policies. Keeping the homeowners insurance policy in place even after vacating your home, for instance, may protect your stuff while it's on the moving truck. And if your health insurance policy is in place, it still provides at least emergency coverage if an accident or illness occurs while you're on the road.
Instead of cancelling things too soon, plan to stop most policies after the move, and coordinate those cancellations with the start of policies in the new state. It's better to pay a few extra dollars to cover two houses for a short time than to leave yourself open to risk.
Protect Goods in Temporary Housing
Will you be moving directly into your newly purchased home? Then you can probably just cancel your old homeowners insurance policy and start the new one for the appropriate state. But many people have transitional housing when they move. This could include staying with family or friends, leasing a home while looking for a new house to buy, or simply deciding to rent a place for the foreseeable future.
If you're in any of these situations, make sure that you get appropriate coverage for your unique situation. If you’re staying with family or friends while shopping for a house, a short-term renters policy may cover both your stuff in the home and anything placed in a storage unit. If you'll be renting a home for a while, trade in your homeowners insurance for a longer-term renters policy.
Apply in the New State
Finally, it's time to set up new insurance coverage for your assets. For most people, this should include four major aspects: homeowners or renters insurance, car insurance, health insurance, and life insurance. Contact an insurance agent in your local area for help ending and starting the first two types of policies to protect your goods.
Health insurance may be a little more complicated, as states handle it differently. If you get health insurance through your employer and will have a gap, talk to your agent about qualifying for coverage on the state health insurance marketplace. Moving to a new area is generally considered a life event that allows you to buy coverage between open enrollment periods.
Life insurance is generally the last coverage item most people change over. You may or may not even need to change policies — perhaps you’ll only have to notify the carrier of your new address.
At Rowell Insurance Agency, we've helped families and individuals successfully navigate the confusing world of insurance since 1972. We can help you too. Call today to learn more about covering your move in or out of South Carolina.