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Car insurance by marital status

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Getting married is life-changing for a variety of reasons, but one impact you may not initially consider is a change in your auto insurance rates. Typically, married people pay less for auto insurance than single drivers, but this is not always the case — nor is it always a substantial difference. There are several factors that determine how much you pay in premiums, and marital status may be one of many. Insurance providers not only view married drivers with a different level of risk, but there may be additional discounts married drivers qualify to receive.

Does marital status impact car insurance?

One of the questions you will be asked to answer on an application for auto insurance is whether or not you are married. Marital status is one of the many factors that influence the cost of insurance premiums, although the impact is generally small. Insurance providers assign rates based on risk and married people are generally considered to have a stronger financial foundation than single individuals, reducing their insurable risk. This means auto insurance rates may be lower when you are married.

There are states that do not allow marital status to factor into the cost of insurance rates, as is the case with Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan. It is also important to note your premiums are based on several personal factors, including where you live, the vehicle you drive, miles driven per year, and your driving record. Depending on the state you live in, your credit score or gender may be a factor too.

Car insurance rates by marital status

The table below shows the difference a married driver might pay versus a single driver. The rate is based on the national average cost of full coverage car insurance per year. A licensed insurance agent can provide a more accurate quote of your individual rates, whether you are married or single.

Marital status Average annual full coverage car insurance premium
Single $1,674
Married $1,625

Car insurance for married drivers

When you get married, it is possible for your premiums to decrease. You will typically need to add your spouse to your policy or submit an application for a new policy and add them as a driver. In rare cases, you and your spouse may be able to have separate policies, but most carriers require all eligible drivers living in the household to be added as a driver. With this in mind, there may be little to no financial benefit by keeping your policies separate.

Primarily, the simple act of transitioning two separate policies between you and your spouse to a single shared policy will usually reduce overall expenses. It is generally cheaper to have two people and two or more cars on the same policy than it would be to have a different policy for each car, especially considering that both spouses will have to be added as drivers.

Not only does being married increase the chances of earning lower premiums, but it could help you qualify for additional discounts. While a “married discount” isn’t common, there are several discount opportunities available that you will likely qualify for once you are married. This could include policy bundling, multi-driver or a multi-car discount. When you do get married, be sure to submit the changes to the insurance provider and take advantage of all available discounts.

Average cost of car insurance for married drivers

Average annual full coverage car insurance premium
Married 40-year-old female $1,618
Married 40-year-old male $1,633
National average $1,625

Car insurance for single drivers

Gender may also factor into auto insurance rates in addition to marital status. The chart below shows the differences between average annual premiums for 40-year-old single female and male drivers with a full coverage policy, based on Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums. Typically, married female drivers pay less than married male drivers, but single female drivers who are age 40 may pay the highest full coverage rates on average. Otherwise, insurance rates for males tend to be higher at nearly every other age.

Single drivers also have access to a variety of discounts, including safety equipment on their vehicles, claims-free driving, auto-pay or good student discounts. A licensed insurance agent can provide exact quotes for your individual policy while also helping to ensure you take advantage of as many discounts as possible.

Average cost of car insurance for single drivers

Average annual full coverage car insurance premium
Single 40-year-old female $1,701
Single 40-year-old male $1,648
National average $1,674

Car insurance rates by marital status and company

Although individual rates are based on each driver and may vary, the chart below illustrates the difference married drivers may pay versus single drivers. These rates — gathered from Quadrant Information Services — were pulled from the top car insurance companies, based on market share size.

Average annual full coverage car insurance premium

Car insurance company Single Married
Allstate $1,921 $2,039
Geico $1,405 $1,359
Progressive $1,509 $1,376
State Farm $1,457 $1,456
USAA $1,225 $1,031

Does being divorced affect car insurance?

Getting divorced can impact how much you pay in auto insurance premiums. When you are married and living together, you are joint owners of the policy. However, when you get divorced and live in separate homes, you will need separate policies. This can impact your rates when you apply as an individual. If you have children who have access to either you or your ex-spouse’s insured vehicles, it’s important to ensure they are added to both policies as a driver to ensure proper coverage.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

Finding the best car insurance company is possible if you are open to doing a little homework. When comparing insurance providers, perhaps start with providers’ customer service reviews, financial strength ratings with AM Best, digital experience online or through the app and review the coverage options and discounts. This will help you decide which provider is the best for your situation and driving needs.

Can I be married and stay on my parent’s auto insurance policy?

Once you are married, most insurance providers require you to purchase your own policy. An exception to this may be if you are still living with your parents while married. While having a policy for you and your spouse will still likely make the most sense, you should also be added as drivers or household members to your parents’ policy. It is often best to apply for your own policy, especially if you decide to move out on your own.

Do I have to add my spouse to the auto policy?

Almost all insurance carriers will require you to add your spouse to your policy once you are married, simply because of the high likelihood that your spouse may drive your vehicle. While it is possible to maintain two separate policies for your vehicles, each policy should include both spouses, and some insurance carriers will require all vehicles in the household to be listed on the same policy. Furthermore, it’s usually financially advantageous to insure both your’s and your spouse’s vehicle on the same policy, rather than keeping a separate policy for each vehicle.

What factors determine my auto insurance rates?

Auto insurance rates vary from person to person because of the numerous personal factors involved. Not only can the state in which you reside affect the cost, but so does the vehicle you drive, the amount of miles you drive per year, and your driving record. In some cases your credit score, gender and marital status are also factored in.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

Marital status: Rates were evaluated based on the following marital/family status: single (base), married, 40 year married man and woman with a 16-year-old teen driver.

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Written by
Sara Coleman
Former Insurance Contributor
Sara Coleman is a former insurance contributor at Bankrate. She has a couple of years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as The Simple Dollar, Reviews.com, Coverage.com and numerous other personal finance sites. She writes about insurance products such as auto, homeowners, renters and disability.
Edited by
Insurance Editor