Marriage always comes hand-in-hand with financial decisions, and one area to discuss with your spouse is the car insurance policies. Car insurance companies use many rating factors when determining your premium and one of the factors used by many is your marital status.
Why Does Marriage Affect Car Insurance?
In 2004 a study was done by the National Institutes of Health. Polling 10,525 adult participants, the study revealed that drivers who have never been married had twice the risk of driver injury than drivers who were married. In other words, someone who is married is LESS likely to be in an accident than someone who is not married. Auto insurance companies take these findings into account when determining insurance rates. It may be presumptuous and borderline discriminatory, but accident statistics support this theory.
Auto insurance companies stick to the numbers when determining your insurance rates, meaning that they determine the driver’s risk of making a claim or getting into an accident. They take the risk analysis number and translate it into the premium you pay. For example, those who have poor driving records, drivers with high-risk occupation, or drivers who are under 25 years old will pay a higher rate.
What would be the best way to handle your car insurance after you get married? Many couples believe that it would be better to combine their policies, but there are other factors to consider. Combining the auto policies does not automatically mean saving on premiums.
Driving records of both you and your spouse will be factored into your new rate, so if your spouse has had a few tickets or accidents, you could see your rates increase.
Other considerations as to why it may be better to keep separate policies. If your spouse:
- Drives a car model that is more expensive to insure.
- Drives a valuable classic car.
- Travels many more miles per day/month than you.
- Some auto insurance companies offer domestic partnership policies. These policies are often similar in terms as those for married couples. Because there is a lower chance of domestic partners being in accidents, compared to singles, rates can decrease.
Likewise, your rates may decrease if your partner:
- Drives fewer miles than you.
- Has a driving record as good or better than yours.
- Has a car model that is not expensive to insure.
Consult with your auto insurance agent with any questions about how combining your policies will affect your rates.
Splitting the Rent and Splitting a Car
Have a roommate who might be driving your car? In that case, you will need to submit a list of all the licensed drivers who may borrow your car. Doing so might lead to a rate increase due to the added number of drivers on your policy.
In some states, you can choose to exclude drivers in your household. Be aware that by doing this, you are certifying that they will not drive your car. If they do and have an accident in your vehicle, you may be liable for all injuries and property damage.
Save Money with Multiple Cars and Drivers
If you have more than one car in your household, consider the possibility of multiple vehicle discounts. This discount can provide the same coverage and a lower rate than insuring each of the household’s cars separately. If your insurance company offers this program, all vehicles need to be insured with the same company and with the same policyholder’s name to qualify.
Changing a Policy After Divorce
Due to personal situation changes, your car insurance rates can change after divorce. If you shared a policy under your name with your ex-spouse, remove them from the policy. Next, examine the changes in your life that can affect your insurance premiums.
Inform your insurance company in the event of any relevant status changes, such as:
- A change in address.
- A change in your financial situation.
- Changes in household members, such as children.
- Changes in mileage driven.
Chat with Your Car Insurance Expert
It’s smart to reevaluate your car insurance when you make changes to your living situation by getting married or divorced or just moving in with someone. Your auto insurance agent should be able to guide you through how these changes can affect your premiums and if it’s a better choice to combine your policies.