Explore the best ways to save money on car insurance after tying the knot.
The average cost of car insurance for a married couple is $1,116 for a standard six month insurance policy. Because car insurance companies see married drivers as more likely to share driving responsibilities, their individual premium rate is typically $89 less than a single driver. This is why it's so important (and smart!) to start shopping for new car insurance after you get married. Let's explore some of the cheapest car insurance companies for married couples, as well as additional factors you and your spouse should consider.
We discovered the average married couple pays $186 per month for car insurance. By selecting Geico, however, you can lower this monthly payment to $108 per month, for a total of $648 for a standard six month policy.
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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.
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.
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 actually drops by an average of $74 a 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.
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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 because insurance companies see the likelihood of roommates (married or not) sharing vehicles to be very high and thus, more of a risk — they are either covered drivers or completely excluded, and 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.
You might be surprised to learn that it doesn’t always make sense to merge your car insurance policy with your husband or wife. Here are three big things to consider before thinking about adding an additional person to your policy:
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.
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.
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If you drive a Toyota Corolla but your significant other drives a Lamborghini, 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, think about getting your own policy.
This isn’t advice specific to newlyweds but is helpful nonetheless. Unlike your home, your car loses value over time. Meaning, the collision and comprehensive coverage you once had for your 2005 Toyota 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 aren’t required by law and are expensive, the general rule of thumb in the insurance world is if your vehicle's value is less than $4,000, you should consider dropping them.
You can determine the value of your vehicle through Kelley Blue Book and NADA online.
Understand that your 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:
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.
It’s all about the little things when it comes to discounts. While each discount may be small, they can add up to be significant.
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 could be saving.