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Car insurance basics for couples: when and when not to share a policy with your partner  

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. 

 


 

When is it smart to share an insurance policy with your boyfriend or girlfriend?

 

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 a collision.

 

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-policy 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.

 


 

When is it better to have a separate car insurance policy from your partner?

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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 softens 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.

 


 

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.

 

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. 

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Recent Questions:

If my girlfriend and I get auto insurance together (we live together) does it matter who the main owner of the policy is?

You will both need to be listed on the insurance policy to be eligible drivers. I would put the main policyholder as whoever will be the titleholder and registering the vehicle.
Dec 22, 2019 New York City, NY

Can an insured driver use their insurance to cover an uninsured vehicle after an accident?

No. Car insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver.
Feb 26, 2019 Nashville, TN

Will my boyfriend be covered while driving my vehicle if he isn't listed on my policy?

In Michigan, each driver is responsible for damage to their vehicle so the person who was hit would need to file a claim with their own insurance company. Unless your vehicle is also damaged and you want it repaired, you wouldn't need to contact your insurance company as the other driver would have to file a claim with their company anyway.
Mar 21, 2017 Westland, MI

I'm an international student who will be sharing a car with my girlfriend. How do I get insurance and does it cover both of us?

Not all insurance companies will be willing to cover drivers with non-U.S. licenses, but it's certainly not impossible to find insurance as a foreign driver.
Nov 3, 2019 Savannah, GA

Ava Lynch
Ava LynchSenior Analyst

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years.

Ava currently provides insights and data analysis as one of The Zebra's property and casualty insurance experts. Her work has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, Car and Driver, and Yahoo! Finance.

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 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.