Car insurance for married couples: what to know

 

The average cost of car insurance for a married driver is $116 per month. By tying the knot, the average driver can save about $8 per month on auto insurance — or $96 per year.

Let's review some of the cheapest car insurance carriers for married couples and some other factors worth considering when comparing insurance quotes

Cheap insurance companies for married drivers

CarrierAvg. 6 Mo. PremiumAvg. Monthly Premium
USAA$619$103
State Farm$652$109
GEICO$772$129
Progressive$781$130
Nationwide$847$141
Farmers$1,002$167
Allstate$1,219$203

The amount you pay for car insurance depends on an array of factors, not least the insurance company you choose. Based on The Zebra's survey of insurance rates from thousands of ZIP codes across the U.S., USAA and State Farm provide the cheapest insurance rates for married drivers.

Compare rates and find the perfect policy for you.

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Car insurance for newlyweds: tips and info
 

Once the glow of nuptials has passed, there can be a lot of overwhelming aspects of new married life you might have expected. A big facet of this is your car insurance. Whether you know it or not, most car insurance companies require any married couple to list their spouse on the policy — regardless of whether they're an eligible driver. What this can mean for you as well as additional ways to save are all things we will explore in our breakdown of car insurance for newlyweds.

 
Get a joint policy with your spouse

Most of the time, it's simply smart to consider a joint car insurance policy with your spouse. Let's explore the benefits of going in on a joint policy.
 

Find insurance discounts for married couples

Usually, when you add your partner and their vehicle to your insurance policy, you are eligible for a multi-car discount. The reason being for this discount is the additional line of revenue for your insurance company by insuring more than one vehicle with them. This increased revenue (somewhat) returns the favor with a decreased premium.

Another discount that you should consider is based on the change of your marital status. By updating your personal information from “single” to “married,” your insurance rate may decrease by $96 per year. This is because of the way your insurance company sees you as a married client; married people are considered more stable drivers and more likely to share driving responsibilities — which may mean fewer claims payouts for them.

Marital StatusAvg. 6 Mo. PremiumAvg. Monthly Premium
Married$823$137
Widowed$849$141
Divorced$901$150
Single$903$150

Simplify your insurance situation

It might seem like a pain to get your spouse added to your policy, but it’s actually less of a hassle than you may think. If you and your spouse live together and have separate policies, your respective insurance companies will most likely require you to either add or completely exclude your spouse from your policy altogether.

This is required because insurance companies see the likelihood of roommates — married or not — sharing vehicles to be high (and thus, more of a risk). Drivers who share a single car are designated as either covered drivers or completely excluded. In the latter situation, any damages they potentially cause would not be covered by the insurance company. If you and your spouse decide to stay on separate policies, you will not be allowed to use the other’s vehicle unless you want to risk not getting any coverage in the event of an accident.

Furthermore, only having to worry about one joint bill to pay for one policy is certainly easier and more convenient.


When to keep your car insurance policy separate from your spouse's insurance
 

You might be surprised to learn that it doesn’t always make sense to merge your car insurance policy with that of your partner.

Below are three circumstances in which it's worth reconsidering adding your spouse to your policy:

 
If your partner has a bad driving record

Car insurance companies couple all available data together to determine what you will pay in premium — and driving record is a big one. If you're a better driver than your spouse, adding yourself to their policy can lower his or her risk level by association. In doing so, you can lower their premium but raise yours. If you're going to be using your spouse's vehicle and vise versa, you are going to have to merge your policies. But be aware of how their driving record can impact you. If you have a preferred car insurance policy (i.e., a company that does not like risky drivers), you can be dropped by adding a driver with a poor driving record.
 

If your spouse has a low credit score

Most insurance companies and states use your credit score as one of the determining factors for your premium. Just like having a poor driving record, having a low credit score can negatively impact your premium significantly. If your spouse has worse credit than you, make sure you are the only named insured on the policy. This way, only your credit report is used in your premium.
 

If your partner drives an expensive car

If you drive a Toyota but your significant other drives a Tesla, you should expect a significant difference in your premiums. Your insurer has to soften the risk of insuring such a high-value car by charging a high premium. If you’re worried about footing the bill for their fancy and expensive car, consider getting your own policy.
 
 


Additional ways to save on insurance after marriage

 

The below advice is not specific to newlyweds but could come in handy.

Unlike your home, your car loses value over time. The collision and comprehensive coverage you once carried on your 2005 Corolla might no longer be necessary. High levels of coverage — while not required by state law — are designed to replace or repair your vehicle if it's damaged after a covered claim.

Considering collision and comprehensive coverages aren’t required by law — and can be expensive — the general rule of thumb in the insurance world is if your vehicle is worth less than $4,000, consider dropping these coverages.

You can determine the value of your vehicle through Kelley Blue Book and NADA online.
 

Choose your coverage carefully

Understand that your car insurance coverage should only be used when the value of the repairs is greater than the premium increase you would receive. Here’s how to tell:

  • After an accident, get an estimate for the repairs
  • Use The Zebra's State of Insurance data to see by how much an at-fault accident would raise your premium. Consider that most companies will charge you for three years after an accident.
  • Compare the value of the damage to the premium increase plus your deductible. If it's cheaper to pay the out-of-pocket costs yourself, go for it.

This only applies to your vehicle in at-fault collision accidents. If the driver whose vehicle you damaged wants to file a claim, you don’t have an option. Moreover, comprehensive claims tend to be much less impactful on your premium than collision claims as they are considered outside the control of the driver.

 

Use discounts

It’s all about the little things when it comes to auto insurance discounts. While each discount may be small, they can add up to be significant.

  • Multi-policy discount
  • Good driver discount
  • Good student discount (ages 16-25)
  • Telematics programs
  • Payment by bank account
  • Paid in full discount
  • eSignature discounts
  • Paperless billing discount
  • Multi-vehicle discount
     

Compare insurance rates

At the end of the day, you might be paying too much for car insurance simply because you’re with the wrong company. The best way to make sure you’re getting the best rate is to see what other insurance companies can offer you. Enter your ZIP code below to see how much you can save.
 

Compare rates and save on your next insurance policy.

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Is car insurance any different for same-sex married couples?

 

Although insurance is state-regulated, the Supreme Court caseObergefell v. Hodgessupersedes that authority and gives same-sex couples the legal right to marriage and the benefits that may come with it. As a result of that precedent, equal auto insurance rights and laws are owed to same-sex couples.

If you suspect you are the victim of insurance pricing discrimination, contact your state's Insurance Commissioner

Ava Lynch
Ava Lynch LinkedIn

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years. Currently providing insights and analysis as one of The Zebra’s resident property insurance experts, Ava has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, and Yahoo! Finance.