D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2021

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Just the Basics

  • It’s bad to use an old address for car insurance because it’s considered insurance fraud to lie on your application for cheaper rates
  • If you get caught, your claim could be denied, and your policy could be terminated, leaving you to pay out of pocket
  • Insurance fraud costs American families between $400 and $700 each year

Is it bad to use an old address for car insurance? Yes, lying on your insurance application for cheaper rates is considered car insurance fraud.

Below, learn why lying about your address on car insurance applications is never worth the risk, and discover some legal, easy ways to reduce your car insurance costs.

After reading why you shouldn’t use an old address for car insurance rates, enter your ZIP code into our free tool above to compare reputable and reliable quotes from the top providers near you.

Is it bad to use an old address for car insurance?

Using an old address for affordable car insurance rates is a form of insurance fraud. Insurance fraud is illegal.

Lying to your provider about your address to secure cheaper premiums is also called rate evasion.

Rate evasion is not a victimless crime. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), insurance fraud costs the average American family $400 to $700 annually.

None of the major car insurance companies will cover your damages if you use a false address on your policy, submit a claim, and then get caught. This leaves you responsible for paying out of pocket.

As a result of your deceit, the company may also terminate your policy. This could lead to a lapse in your insurance coverage, which causes your premiums to increase.

Plus, securing new coverage is more difficult because other insurers view you as a high-risk driver due to your irresponsible choices.

Insurance providers have access to shared data and information about you and will discover the discrepancy.

Unless you’re a legitimate college student who still technically lives at home, it’s not worth using your parents’ address for car insurance just to get cheaper rates.

If you simply forgot to change your address on your car insurance, inform your provider right away to avoid the same negative repercussions. However, expect your car insurance rates to change.

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How does your ZIP code impact your car insurance rates?

There are many different factors that affect the price of car insurance, including your ZIP code.

Specifically, the weather patterns, crime rates, and traffic levels in your ZIP code impact regional car insurance rates.

Even if you move to a new ZIP code within the same city, your car insurance costs could be dramatically different, especially if you live in a huge metropolitan area.

Compare the average annual car insurance rates for the top three least and most expensive ZIP codes in New York City in the table below.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in New York City by ZIP Code
New York City ZIP CodeAverage Annual Car Insurance Rates
10021$5,783.72
10023$5,780.61
10024$5,793.64
11212$10,576.93
11213$10,499.21
11233$10,545.72

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Other factors that influence car insurance rates by city include the number of DUI citations, the rate of uninsured motorists, and the overall population.

Road conditions also come into play, especially if you live near notoriously dangerous streets where frequent car accidents occur.

How can you save money on car insurance legally?

Fortunately, there are plenty of legal and easy ways to save money on your car insurance. Instead of lying about your address, try shopping around and comparing quotes from multiple providers.

If your family uses more than one vehicle, consider a multi-car policy, which usually leads to substantial rate reductions. Bundling home and car insurance and other multi-policy discounts are also great options for families.

Always practice safe driving techniques. Avoiding claims and citations is a sure-fire way to keep your rates low.

If you already have a poor driving record, enrolling in a defensive driver course may help reduce your premiums. Or seek out a company that offers an accident forgiveness program.

Plus, each provider offers dozens of car insurance discount options to drivers that often stack together. You likely already qualify for some of the most common ones, so ask your provider about:

  • Anti-lock brake discount
  • Anti-theft device discount
  • Automatic billing discount
  • Claim free discount
  • Low-mileage discount
  • Multiple policy discount
  • Paperless discount

Driving an insurance-friendly car also helps keep your premiums down. Avoid sports cars, luxury vehicles, or classic cars.

Finally, if budget is a big concern, ensure your purchasing only the necessary coverage limits. You might consider increasing your deductible or shifting your coverage options to help make your rates more affordable.

Don’t buy car insurance using an old address simply to save money. There are better options that lead to more substantial savings without compromising your coverage or breaking the law.

The best way to secure cheap car insurance rates is by comparing quotes online from multiple providers and asking about any available discounts. Just ensure you’re honest on your application. 

Now that you know not to use your old address for car insurance quotes, enter your correct ZIP code into our free tool below to compare car insurance quotes from the best companies near you.