The honeymoon may be over, but the benefits of marriage carry on via cheap couples' car insurance.
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.
Car insurance companies use a variety of rating factors to determine your premium, many of which aren't directly related to your driving history. While not as important as your credit score or location, your marital status is a factor. On average, married couples save 6% per year on car insurance simply by virtue of being married.
|Marital Status||Average Annual Premium|
One of the primary reasons car insurance is cheaper for married couples is historical data showing couples file fewer claims than single drivers. Insurance companies assign slightly lower premiums to married drivers because data indicate they present less risk and cost less to insure in the long run.
While regulations may vary by insurer, most insurance companies will require your spouse be listed on your policy — regardless of whether or not she or he drives. If they do not drive, you can list them as an excluded driver. An excluded driver should not impact your premium and excludes them from all insurance coverage. Let's look at a few examples you might encounter after you get married.
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 vice 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.
Like marital status, credit score is a major rating factor indirectly linked to your driving history. Historical data show drivers with low credit file more claims than do drivers with excellent credit. When drivers with bad credit do file claims, the claims are more expensive than those of drivers with better credit. All of this encourages car insurance companies to protect themselves from exposed risk by assigning higher premiums.
|Credit Tier||Average Annual Premium|
|Very Poor (300-579)||$2,687|
|Very Good (740-799)||$1,395|
In this example, if your spouse has bed credit make sure you are the only named insured. Although there are exceptions, the named insureds on a car insurance policy are the only drivers to have their insurance report ran. But doing this, you can avoid having your new spouse's credit score impact your premium.
Here is more information on finding affordable car insurance with poor credit.
Unless you fall into one of the aforementioned categories, the affordable and easy route is to merge yours and your spouse's car insurance policies. Benefits of merged car insurance after marriage may include a multiple-driver discount and a multi-car discount. These discounts are widely available from major insurance companies, providing rewards for carrying multiple lines of business with a single insurer.
Let’s outline some other ways to save on couples' auto insurance.
Look into consolidating all your insurance policies after your wedding, including renters' or home insurance. By placing all your policies with one insurer, you can receive discounts and reduce the number of insurance companies with which you interact.
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.