Do we insure the chicken or the egg first?

If you write in more than one state you get the question often, do I get my title first or my insurance?  Depending on the state – the titling could take weeks or months. And if they get insurance first that may present an issue with claims.


I had an older client – a snow bird.  Each year in October he would leave his residence in Iowa and drive to his house in Florida.  Once there he would remove his Iowa plates from the brackets and replace them with his Florida license plates that he kept in the trunk of his car.  In April, he would repeat in reverse.

You guessed it, the vehicle was registered in two states.  I don’t know how he did it.  Knowing the squeaky clean driving record he had, no one ever caught it.  We all know he saved a lot of time, money, and aggravation when he made his final move from Iowa to Florida.

So what is the correct way to go about changing registration from one state to the other?

For instance, if the insured lives in New York, Nevada or Georgia, the authorities are paying to attention to if you have insurance or not.  Municipalities may ticket you if you have a vehicle without valid registration.

If the insured is in an accident and it is uncovered they live in Minnesota, but all their paperwork says Wisconsin, the claim could run into issues or stall.  Especially if the insure has had ample time to get new paperwork and insurance.  On the other hand insurance on a vehicle registered in one state but insured in another could result in a claim issue as well.

Please don’t expect the states to become reciprocal or to ‘streamline’ their efforts.  These agencies generally have a four hour hold time to speak to someone let alone research what the neighboring state is doing.

In my own state, I say title it first, then insurance, then register.  If they were moving out of New York, I would tell them to title, register, then insure before canceling their New York information.

That’s why it’s best to know the state and the course of action.  Talk with the company representative, they may be familiar with what the states require and length of time required to get things settled for the insured.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s