Marriage and Auto Insurance: What You Need to Know
Is marriage in your future? Are you currently married, but headed to divorce court? Your legal relationship status can have an effect on your auto insurance. How so?
Statistics show married people get into fewer accidents than singles, so insurance companies usually offer married couples lower rates. If you were recently married or you are headed to the altar, put “contact insurance company about lower rates” on your to-do list. Many newlyweds are surprised to learn just how much their rates change after tying the knot.
There are instances in which combining policies might not be the best option for you and your spouse. If either of you has had a recent gap in coverage or your driving record is less than stellar, being on the same policy together can actually cost more. Ask your insurance company to provide quotes for both combined and individual policies. In some cases, individual policies might offer more overall savings.
You should also request insurance quotes from more than one company, especially if the two of you are currently working with two different companies. Sometimes it is cheaper to move coverage for both of you to one company, even if you do not combine policies.
Unfortunately, even if you have separate policies, your premium can increase if your spouse incurs frequent moving violations. Insurance companies consider the driving history of everyone in a family when setting rates for a household, so just living with a high-risk driver can affect your rate negatively, even if you have a spotless record.
Some couples might want to consider speaking with their insurance provider about a driver exclusion. This can help you keep your premiums low, but it means your spouse is not covered to drive your vehicle. Should he or she need to drive your vehicle, even in an emergency situation, and an accident occurs, you are on the hook for all of the charges. Not all states offer driver exclusions, so if this is something that you think could help you, contact your insurance provider for more details.
And what about if your marriage is ending?
You need to notify your insurance carrier. Updates will need to be made to your policy, especially once your divorce is final and you and your former spouse no longer share an address. Your rate is likely to change, but your specific circumstances will determine whether this is positive or negative. If you have concerns, ask your insurance provider if there are any policy changes you can make to offset the increase in premiums.
Want help finding the best rate as life changes occur? Use our free search tool to see what’s available.