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Car insurance for married couples

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Married couples pay lower premiums, on average, than singles. Why? Broadly speaking, insurance companies consider married couples to be more stable financially and less risky to insure. Your coverage needs may change when you get married as well. Because marriage affects your finances and your insurance is designed to protect your finances, getting married presents a good opportunity to review your car insurance needs.

Bankrate’s insurance editorial team analyzed average rates for married couples to help you understand how marriage can affect your premium. We also researched the intricacies of how getting married can affect your car insurance policy, including if you need to add your spouse and if new discounts may be available to you. Our information could help you feel more confident when making adjustments to your policy.

Does being married get me better car insurance rates?

Typically, married couples have lower insurance rates than single drivers. The national annual average cost of car insurance is $1,674 for one driver, whereas the average cost of car insurance for a married couple’s policy is $1,625 for one vehicle. These rates are averages, and your individual premiums depend on your personal characteristics, such as the vehicle you drive, your driving record and your claims history. You may be able to find lower rates by shopping around with some of the best car insurance companies on the market.

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

Yes, you are very likely going to need to add your spouse to your car insurance policy. For the most part, this could be a good thing — you may lower your premium a bit and make it easier to handle your insurance by consolidating your cars on one policy. However, if your spouse has a less-than-stellar driving record, this could result in a premium increase.

Named driver exclusion

The general rule is that if a driver is living in the same household as you, they need to be listed on your car insurance policy. Depending on your insurance carrier, it may be possible for you to list your spouse as an excluded driver on your car insurance policy and avoid premium increases. However, most companies do not allow spouses to be excluded drivers.

If you do go this route, your spouse will not have coverage if they drive your vehicle. If they get into an accident in your vehicle and they are listed as an excluded driver, your insurance company will likely deny the claim.

Marriage discounts

Most companies offer a variety of car insurance discounts to help you save on your premium. While there generally is not a specific “marriage discount,” you may have access to discounts that you did not have access to before you were married.

  • Multi-car discount: When adding your partner and their vehicle to your policy, you may be eligible for a multi-car discount.
  • Marital status: This is another possible discount based on your change in marital status. When updating your personal information from “single” to “married,” your rate may drop 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 or condo –– 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?

If your spouse has a bad driving record or limited experience as a licensed driver there is typically no way to avoid this affecting your premium when you combine policies. Marriage legally binds you together with another person, so it is unlikely that you will be able to get a car insurance policy and not list your spouse.

However, it may not always make sense for you to merge car insurance policies with your new spouse. However, many auto insurers require combined policies, so you’ll need to check with both insurance companies if you and your spouse want to keep your policies separate.

Frequently asked questions

Can I exclude my spouse from my car insurance?

Likely not, but this will depend on the insurance company you choose. Typically, even if spouses wish to maintain separate finances, they usually must be listed as drivers on each other’s car insurance policies. This means that your spouse’s driving history will likely affect your insurance premiums.

How do I add my spouse to my car insurance?

You can add your spouse to your car insurance policy as soon as you’re married. Some insurers also recognize engagement and common law marriage when applying a married discount to your policy. When deciding which car insurance policy to keep, you may want to get quotes. Would it be cheaper to keep your policy or your partner’s policy? Once you’ve decided which car insurance policy to keep, you can add your spouse as a driver on your policy. It does not matter which driver is listed first.

Can you combine car insurance policies if you are not married?

You can share a car insurance policy with many auto insurers as long as each vehicle is kept at the same household overnight. That means you can share a car insurance policy with drivers who aren’t part of your immediate family. For example, many carriers recognize common-law marriages, which means car insurance will work the same way as a traditional married couple. Some insurers will even allow policyholders to combine policies and apply the married discount, if couples are engaged.

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.

Written by
Cate Deventer
Insurance Writer & Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional with over a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent.
Edited by
Managing Editor