I’m a snowbird; how does car insurance work if I drive a car in another state?
If you’re a snowbird, you might be anxious to get out (or back into) town before the weather gets unpleasant, but you should take a moment to address the issue that operating a car in another state brings up.
Generally, you should register and insure your second car in the state where it is primarily driven. Your state of residence isn’t as important to your car insurance company as the address where your car is physically located. Insurance companies use the location of your vehicle to determine a rating factor. Your rates for your two cars will be different because their different locations have different risks. The insurance requirements may be different, too.
To protect your assets, it’s best to carry more liability coverage than the state requires, such as 100/300/50. And if you want your car to have coverage for damage it may receive, you need physical damage coverages of collision and comprehensive on each car in each state.
You might be tempted to register your car only in your home state to save on car insurance rates, but that strategy could backfire and end up costing you more in the long run. For example, you could get a ticket at a traffic stop if you're caught without proper a state’s proper registration and insurance requirements. And worst, if you were in an accident, the insurance company can find out you misrepresented the car's location, and refuses to pay your claim.
And just a FYI, anyone who has a vehicle in Florida for more than 90 days a year (and the days don't have to be consecutive) is required to register the car and meet the Florida car insurance minimum requirements.
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