Sharing Auto Insurance with a Spouse: I Do or Don’t

It only seems natural that when you mesh two single lives into one you share essentially everything—bank accounts, mortgage,  tax filings, and insurance policies.

And, it’s no secret that when couples marry they receive cost-cutting privileges when they combine certain bills. Auto insurance policies in particular can save a significant amount of money, because insurance carriers have statistically concluded that married couples are less likely to file claims than their single counterparts.

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But, there are a few things you need to know after saying “I do” and before signing on the dotted line.

While there can be a great financial benefit to sharing one auto policy, you need to have a frank talk with your partner before embarking on this new “what’s yours in mine” policy. If you’ve always carried a clean driving record but your spouse’s record isn’t so spotless, you could experience a shocking increase instead of the discount you were expecting.

Being married doesn’t mean you have to pay for your spouse’s past.  If they have citations, a DUI, or multiple accidents on their auto insurance history, you don’t want to blemish your own record after working so hard to maintain low rates.

One way you can offset the costs and still reap some discounts is to insure at least two vehicles on one policy so you can get a multi-car discount. Also, consider joint homeowners insurance and life insurance through the same carrier, and you may be entitled to further multi-policy discounts.

Other surprising characteristics can also factor into your annual premium:

1. Your auto insurance carrier may note how and when you pay your other bills by monitoring your credit score. Incur a lot of late fees? Always pay the minimum balance? It could reflect on your annual insurance bill.

2. Educated couples often get a lower vehicle premium. If you or your spouse holds a college degree in certain areas like business, math, science or history, auto insurance companies have deemed you to be statistically lower in getting into auto accidents than other professions. Teachers, engineers, and members of the military also have been found to be more responsible drivers.

3. Finally, age plays a big role in determining your annual premium. With age comes driving experience, and the more experienced you are, the fewer accidents you should get into. So, if you and your spouse are below the age of 25, your rates will be higher than that of a married couple in their 30s.

In the long run, auto insurances rates never stay the same and there’s always the opportunity to save more money down the line. Just keep clean driving records, pay your bills on time, and your rates should continue to improve.