What is car insurance for unmarried 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. So for your insurance company, that can make them a little nervous if they are not a listed driver on your policy. So, car insurance for unmarried couples really comes down to one question: should you or should you not be on one policy? Let's find out.
It's better to combine your policies when...
It is required by your insurance company:
If you’re living with your boyfriend or girlfriend, or even if they use your vehicle frequently (defined as more than 12 times a year), you should consider sharing your policy with them. Most insurance companies will require anyone living in your residence to either be added to your policy as a listed driver, or be excluded altogether. If they are an excluded vehicle, they should not be using your vehicle as it is likely they wouldn’t receive coverage in the event of an accident.
You can get a discount:
Added bonus! By adding another driver (and, most likely, their vehicle) to your policy you can expect a multi-vehicle/multi-line discount. This discount will be especially important if you’re bundling your home/auto or auto/renters with the same company.
It's better to keep your policy separated when...
You are not 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.
You or your partner has bad driving records:
If your girlfriend or boyfriend has a bad driving record, it might make sense to keep them off your policy. Keeping them off your policy would ensure you are not financially penalized for their driving mistakes.
You or your partner has a poor credit score:
Most insurance companies and most states use your credit score as a determining factor for your premium. Just like having a poor driving record, having a low credit score can negatively impact your premium significantly.
You or your partner has an expensive car:
If you drive a Toyota Corolla but your significant other drives a Lamborghini, you should expect a significant difference in your premiums. Your insurance company 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, maybe sharing a policy isn't a great idea.
So, together or not?
Ultimately, the decision to merge auto insurance policies with your partner is up to the both of you. Still, if your boyfriend or girlfriend uses your vehicle regularly and lives with you, you should consider sharing your policy with them in order to avoid any possibility of a headache with your insurance company. You can look at estimates for combined auto insurance policies here