And the wheels go zip zip zip (code) all the way home

Show of hands. How many of you know that car insurance rates vary by Zip (postal) code?

Indeed, criteria such as number of accidents, uninsured motorists, thefts and so on are factored in establishing rates, including within a single location.

That is to say, rates can vary widely within a city or township. Why, once here in Tacoma, I moved to a residence three miles (4.8 km) away. Three miles. And my insurance rate dropped like $80!

Then of course each state has its own insurance regulations and laws that determine the rates.

I move a lot – that’s no secret – and part of my deft preparations involves calling my insurer with guesstimated or likely Zip code at the new location for a ballpark rate.

And I brace for bad news if for no other reason than precedence.

So here’s how it went down yesterday:

Me: Hi, I’m so-and-so and my policy is such-and-such. I’ll be moving and with no change in policy, I’d like to know the ballpark rate at my destination state, anticipated Zip code such-and-such.

Insurance gal: Please hold, I’ll check that for you.

{pause calculate calculate}

Her: Your current state requires this and this. Your new state requires that and that. {basically industry terminology}

{I’m waiting with bated breath for the dollar figure.}

Her: With no changes to your policy, you’ll be paying X.

X being half of what I’m paying now!!!


That speaks as much about my destination as my current state and neighborhood.


Great news is great news is great news.

And so continue the signs I’m heading in the right and fruitful direction.

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Flamingo Dancer
    Jun 17, 2011 @ 17:16:40

    In Australia, car insurance is influenced by zip (post) code, if the car is kept in a garage, and some policies even by how much you drive it! Having a driver on the policy who is under 25 shoots the price up too.
    House insurance is influenced by crime rates in the area, and whether you have window locks, alarms, security screen etc.

    Insurance is a big issue in Australia at the moment as after the recent floods the companies are doing anything to get out of paying money to clients and are all defining “flood” as different things. There is flash flood, creeping flood, dam run off, storm water damage etc etc.

    Evil people.


  2. allycatadventures
    Jun 17, 2011 @ 19:21:39

    @FD – Rates based on yearly mileage, garaging and age of other drivers and queries thereof when relocating or changing policy, are standard. With your view of insurers as evil, I presume you therefore opt out and choose to handle any calamity yourselves then?


  3. trayflow
    Jun 18, 2011 @ 02:54:11

    In Missouri it made sense for us to live further from downtown, it made a huge difference in rates. It really is amazing the differences in rates from area to area. Those actuaries hard at work! Can I ask which state you are going to? I don’t know if I have missed it or if you haven’t said. I love following people’s journeys and it always interests me why people go where they do….we all have these inner wants and needs, etc.


    • allycatadventures
      Jun 18, 2011 @ 10:23:38

      @trayflow – You didn’t miss the announcement. đŸ™‚ I’ve not announced the destination … and when it is revealed, the various reasons for that choice will not be publicized. What I can say – and this is no secret – is that leading the path is the Sun. I’m done, permanently done, with a sunless cold gray damp climate and everything that’s gone with it. Done. Finished. Buh-bye and good riddance.


  4. inaformerlifeanexpat
    Jun 18, 2011 @ 03:01:24

    Yup, and so does the $$$ for a used car.


    • allycatadventures
      Jun 18, 2011 @ 10:24:45

      @Expat – Uh huh. Rates are high in my area. I tremble thinking what they are 50 miles to the north in Seattle.


      • inaformerlifeanexpat
        Jun 19, 2011 @ 04:07:50

        At least you are not in the 18-25 age bracket. When son was put on the policy, our premium doubled!


        • allycatadventures
          Jun 19, 2011 @ 11:42:06

          @Expat – Ohhhhhh yeah! Males in that age group are like blowfish to insurers. No touching ’em without a 10-foot pole wrapped with hundred dollar bills!


          • inaformerlifeanexpat
            Jun 19, 2011 @ 12:51:58

            Have always thought that was unfair. To wit as I was leaving the parking lot after dropping wife unit off this morning, I was nearly t-boned by a driver backing out, a young woman with most of her attention paid to the cellular phone conversation she was having with someone.


            • allycatadventures
              Jun 19, 2011 @ 13:19:19

              @Expat – That raises a good modern point. Statistically, what percentage of accidents involving cell phones are female and male drivers. I’d bet anything the female population is greater. Wonder whether insurers have researched this phenomenon. They should and adjust rates accordingly.


  5. Karyn @ kloppenmum
    Jun 18, 2011 @ 16:28:08

    Pleased that it’s going to be cheaper for you. Signs that you’re headed in the right direction are exciting!


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