What Can Happen if You Move Without Telling Your Insurance Company
The last thing on most people’s minds when something major happens or changes in their life is to alert their insurance company, but if you don’t update your information it may end up costing you in both time and money later down the road. If your insurance company is working off of outdated information, especially contact information, it could prevent you from getting the right amount of coverage, or it may even lead to trouble in renewing or keeping your policy.
When you move and change addresses, even if you have an online account that you use to manage your insurance policies, you should be sure to change your mailing address information right away so that you receive all the important mailed notifications from your insurance company. If you happen to miss a renewal notice, it’s very easy for your policy to be canceled. Although most companies are required to send a written cancellation letter, if the mail is still going to your old address, your policy may lapse without you even realizing it. This carries the risk that you’ll be left footing the bill for all expenses out-of-pocket if you happen to be without coverage in the event of an accident, disaster, or health emergency. It also comes with the added consequences of possible fines or fees, since it’s illegal to not have auto insurance or health insurance in the United States. If you happen to get a ticket for a traffic or moving violation, and they find you don’t have car insurance, you will not only face a fine for that, you may also be charged a higher rate for a new policy because you’re now considered a higher risk driver.
If you find that your coverage has lapsed, you’ll need to purchase a new policy as soon as possible! But starting a new policy with a gap in coverage could possibly cost you more than if you were continuing your old policy (for example: if you have a previous health condition, a new health insurance policy may cost you more), or changing to a new policy while still being covered. Also, you may find that you’re unable to get the same benefits since the insurance company changes and updates their policies and coverage plans throughout the year. To avoid all these problems, be sure to track all the monthly bills over a 6-month period, since some plans are billed at different monthly intervals, and be sure to alert each company of any changes to your address.
The most common scenarios where you should consider reaching out to your insurance company to update them on life changes, would be:
● Having a baby
● Changing cars/purchasing a new vehicle
● Getting married
● Health issues
It may be hard to keep track of all the different places you’ll have to contact when there are significant life changes, but remember, if nothing else, request mail forwarding from your local post office! For the first couple months after you move, it will prevent you from missing important notices – and forwarded mail will also come with a sticker that reminds you to update your information with the individual companies as well.
Have you had a claim denied due to late notifications? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.