Car insurance for married couples

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Getting married can be very exciting and is a big step for anyone. It can also be a bit stressful with all of the changes. One of the biggest changes is combining households and possibly finances, including auto insurance. Combining car insurance isn’t mandatory, of course, but could provide benefits and help you save money. Premiums can decrease just by being married; however, there are several instances where this isn’t the case.

Does being married get me better car insurance rates?

It’s often assumed that married couples save money when they combine their auto coverage into one policy. Occasionally, this is the case, but not always. Sometimes separate car insurance policies make more sense. The average cost of car insurance for singles is $1,674 while the average for married people is $1,625, only a 3% differential.

If one person has a bad driving record or poor credit, for example, then this may be a reason couples choose to keep separate policies. Here’s a look at when to consider breaking up your auto insurance and when to combine it.

Do I have to add my spouse to my car insurance policy?

The short answer is yes, you’re most likely going to have to add your spouse to your car insurance policy. For the most part, this may not be a big deal. However, if your spouse has a less than stellar driving record or credit card, or another determining factor, this could result in a premium increase.

Many times, the general rule is that if they’re a driver living in the same household means a person has to be listed on your car insurance policy. It may be possible for you to list your spouse as an excluded driver on your car insurance policy and avoid premium increases. This depends on the insurance carrier and you’ll have to ask if it’s possible.

If you do go this route, your spouse absolutely can’t drive your vehicle. If they do and they get into an accident, your insurance company will refuse to cover the claim.

Marriage discounts

While it can’t be assumed that being married will lead to a cheaper car insurance policy, there are some benefits you can take advantage of that most single people can’t. When you’re looking for the best car insurance, check to see if they offer these discounts on car insurance for married couples.

Multi-car discount

When adding your partner and their vehicle to your policy, you are usually eligible for a multi-car discount.

Marital status

Another possible discount is based on your change in marital status. When updating your personal information from “single” to “married,” your rate drops an average of $50 per year. Whether or not it’s true, married people are considered more stable drivers who likely share driving responsibilities.

Multi-policy discount

As newlyweds, you may also be moving in together –– whether renting or buying a home –– and this could offer a chance to combine all of your insurance policies with one company, potentially leading to discounts.

Should my spouse and I have separate policies?

It doesn’t always make sense to merge car insurance policies with your new spouse. There are some major situations to consider before thinking about adding them to your policy.

Bad driving records

Driving records are one of the biggest determining factors when it comes to finding out what your insurance premium will be. If you’re a better driver than your spouse, you could help lower their premium, but they may raise yours. If you’re going to be driving each other’s vehicles, you may as well merge your policies as you’ll need to add each other as a driver anyway.

Poor credit

Most insurance companies consider credit score when determining your premium. Having a low credit score can negatively impact your premium significantly. So if your spouse’s credit score is lower than yours, it might negatively impact your insurance premium and you may want to consider taking out separate auto insurance policies.

Specialty/expensive cars

More expensive cars lead to more expensive repairs. So, if you drive an Accord but your significant other drives a Camaro, you should expect a significant difference in your premiums even if driving records and credit scores are comparable.

Frequently asked questions

Can I exclude my spouse from my car insurance?

It will come down to the state you live in. Some states do not allow people to exclude spouses on their car insurance policy. This is typically done when one spouse has a very poor driving record, credit score, or a particularly expensive car.

If your state does allow exclusions and you choose to do this, your insurance company won’t cover damages or injuries if your spouse gets into an accident while driving your car.

Are spouses covered under car insurance?

To be covered properly, spouses should be added as a driver to one another’s policies. Actually, in most cases, all licensed household members should be listed on the policy.

Can you stay on your parents’ auto insurance policy after marriage?

In most cases, you’ll need to get your own policy after getting married and moving out of your parents’ house.

Can married couples have separate car insurance?

Yes, they can. However, you may find that it’s less expensive to combine your auto insurance when you’re married, or even living together. Oftentimes, if you’re living together, your separate policies will require you to add your significant other as a driver anyway.

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

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

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.

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