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Renata Balasco

Senior Content Strategist

Credentials
  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Renata joined The Zebra in 2020 as a Customer Experience Agent. Since 2021, she has worked as licensed insurance professional and content strategist.…

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Jean Lucey, CPCU

Faculty, IIAA Virtual University

Credentials
  • CPCU, Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter

Jean Lucey has researched and written about insurance matters for well over 30 years. A current member of The Zebra's Insurance Expert Review Bo…

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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

Credentials
  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

Ross h…

Car insurance basics for couples  

Although you might not realize it, being in a serious — but unmarried — relationship can have certain insurance implications. Cohabitation often creates a situation in which the sharing of vehicles occurs.

Car insurance for unmarried couples usually hinges on one question: should you or should you not share a policy? We dive into the nitty-gritty of adding your boyfriend, girlfriend or partner to your auto insurance policy below.

Key takeaways

  • Multiple drivers or vehicles on one policy can earn you a discount you wouldn't otherwise qualify for
  • If you or your partner's insurance profiles have negative rating factors, consider keeping separate policies
  • While married couples often pay less for auto insurance, rates may increase after divorce

When is it smart to share an insurance policy?

1. When it's required by your insurance company

If you’re living with your boyfriend or girlfriend, or if they use your vehicle frequently (more than 12 times per year), consider purchasing a shared car insurance policy. Most insurance companies will require anyone living in your residence to be added to your policy as a listed driver or be excluded altogether. If they are excluded from the policy, they should not drive your vehicle, as they would not have coverage in the event of an accident. It's worth noting, however, that some states — like New York — do not allow household members to be listed as excluded drivers.

 

2. When you can get a discount

By adding another driver — and, most likely, their vehicle — to your policy you can expect a multi-vehicle or multi-driver discount. This discount could come in handy if you’re bundling your home and auto or auto and renters policies with one insurance company. Remember to compare quotes from multiple carriers to ensure you get the best value insurance for your coverage.

Get auto insurance for you and your partner today!

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When is it better to have a separate car insurance policies?

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If you aren't living together or do not use each other's vehicles often

Because your car insurance covers people who use your vehicle with your permission and don’t use it particularly often, they would receive coverage in the event of an accident.

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If you or your partner has a bad driving record

If your partner has a bad driving record, it might make sense to keep them off your policy. Keeping them off your car insurance policy would ensure you are not financially penalized for their driving mistakes.

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If you or your partner has a low credit score

Insurance companies in most states use credit score as a determining factor when setting rates. Like a poor driving record, a low credit score can impact your premium significantly.

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If you or your partner drives an expensive car

If you drive a Toyota and your significant other drives a Tesla, the difference in your car insurance costs will probably be substantial. Your insurance company moderates the risk of covering such an expensive car by charging high premiums. If you’re worried about footing the bill if something happens to their luxury car, sharing a policy might not be a great idea.

Average auto insurance premiums for unmarried policyholders

While insurance applicants are not charged more for being single, married couples often pay less for car insurance as companies see couples as less risky clients. Below are some average rates for single people from top insurance companies. 

Company Avg. Annual Premium
Travelers $1,342
USAA $1,365
GEICO $1,542
State Farm $1,569
Farmers $1,786
Progressive $1,886
Allstate $2,413

The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool data methodology — auto insurance

The auto insurance rates displayed throughout this page come from The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool, a proprietary insurance premium estimator that uses the most recent rate filings across the United States at the ZIP code level to provide up-to-date rate data. Most insurance companies file car insurance rates one to two times a year. This data comes from Quadrant Information Services, which sources the latest approved rate filings across carriers in each state from S&P Global. Quadrant then uses an internal QA process to validate the information and build reports before the data is programmed into The Zebra’s dynamic rating tool.

Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage at these levels:

  • $50,000 per person/$100,000 per incident for bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per incident for property damage liability
  • $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage

To provide insight to consumers on how specific personal factors (like age, location and coverage level) can affect your premium, this base profile is then adjusted for different factors commonly used by insurance companies. For more information, see our full data methodology.


How does a breakup impact car insurance premiums?

You will not be charged more simply for being single. The only time your premium will rise after a relationship change is if you file for divorce. Married couples pay less for car insurance because companies see them as less risky clients. However, you could see a change in your premium if you go from a two-driver insurance policy to a single-driver policy.

If you lived with your significant other and shared a car insurance policy, you'll need to take some steps after a breakup. If you've taken responsibility for the vehicle post-breakup, you should get a new car insurance policy immediately. If you’ve been removed from your ex’s policy before you can get a new one, you are uninsured and won't be covered in the event of an accident. 


So, should you share car insurance with your girlfriend or boyfriend?

The decision to merge auto insurance policies with your partner is up to you. If your partner uses your vehicle regularly and you cohabitate, consider sharing your policy to avoid headaches with your insurance company. Get quick quotes for combined auto insurance policies by entering your ZIP code below.

Make an informed decision: compare insurance rates today.

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RECENT QUESTIONS

Other people are also asking...

Can my fiancé and I share an insurance policy?

Thank you for reaching out to us here at The Zebra. You can call our agency at 888-444-8949 to speak to one of our Licensed Insurance Advisors. They can shop you around with carriers we partner with in your state, in order to find you the best policy that meets your needs. If you are interested, yo…
Jul 22, 2022 Birmingham, AL

Can another driver file a claim on my insurance if they were hit by someone else driving my vehicle?

Since insurance coverage follows your vehicle then your policy would pay primary for damage caused by your car even if someone else was driving. That being said, it is possible that through the details of the accident the other driver could very well be considered at fault, in which case, the other…
Oct 6, 2016 Logan, UT

Will a claim on a shared policy affect rates for my other policy?

Thank you for reaching out to The Zebra about this situation. Insurance can get quite confusing, especially with multiple cars and policies.Anytime you file a claim, it is reported between insurance companies. This report is called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange report or CLUE for sho…
Feb 6, 2023 Bridgeport, CT

Should both my girlfriend and I be on the car title?

I would only put the title in one name — whoever will own and register the vehicle. Putting two people on the title may only complicate things unnecessarily and make it harder to sell. As far as the insurance goes, you would both need to be listed drivers on the policy if you share the vehicle and …
Aug 21, 2019 Grand Ledge, MI

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.