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Just Married? Time to Compare Auto Insurance

October 17, 2014

Wedding cake figurinesYou probably know that you’ll see significant tax savings if you’re married, but did you know you may pay less for car insurance as well? Your savings may not pay for the catering bill from your wedding, but it’s definitely worth getting an insurance quote comparison for you and your spouse. Here’s how to do it.

Why does getting married lower your insurance premiums?

From an insurance company’s perspective, married people are safer, more responsible drivers and thus less of a risk to insure. It seems strange that putting on a ring will magically make you a better driver, but that’s what the numbers say. A 20-year old woman pays 22 percent less for car insurance, on average, if she’s married. A 20-year-old man pays 20 percent less if he’s married.

Here’s another reason to compare car insurance if you’ve just tied the knot — and it has nothing to do with your driving habits. If you’ve been with the same auto insurance company for a long time, your insurer has probably been nudging up your premiums without you noticing. The name for this practice is price optimization — and that optimization benefits the insurance company, not you! “Customers who’ve been with the same insurance company for 11 years or longer have had so many gradual rate increases that they save an average of $426 on their premiums when they finally do switch,” USA Today reports. Yikes. That’s why it pays to get an insurance quote comparison.

How should you compare auto insurance quotes once you’re married?

  1. First, figure out how much you and your spouse are paying separately for car insurance.
  2. Review your coverage limits. If your policy matches the state minimum requirements, you may want to raise the limits to protect your new family’s financial future. A $20,000 limit on personal injury protection, for instance, won’t go very far to pay your medical bills if you’re involved in a serious accident. Here’s a rule of thumb from the Wall Street Journal: “Make sure you’re covered for an amount equal to the total value of your assets (Add up the dollar values of your house, your car, savings and investments).”
  3. How many cars do you and your partner own? Many insurers offer a multicar discount for households with more than one vehicle.
  4. Get quotes from multiple carriers (or use compare.com) in order to compare multiple auto insurance rates. You’re going to find a cheaper rate if you compare many insurers.

What if your spouse has a bad driving record?

If your new husband or wife has a long string of traffic violations or something as serious as a DUI, you may find yourself paying more for car insurance after you’re married. Nevertheless, it will probably be cheaper to insure both you and your spouse with one policy, rather than keeping separate policies. Compare auto insurance quotes for both options from a variety of insurers.

Most insurance companies require notification when there are multiple licensed drivers in one household, because all drivers may access the household’s cars. If your spouse has a particularly bad driving record, some insurers may opt for a named-driver exclusion, which means your spouse isn’t covered and isn’t permitted to drive your car.

Here’s the good news: Now that you’re married, you and your spouse can work together to improve his or her driving record. Driver education classes are one way to reduce insurance premiums; another is to have your spouse drive the oldest, cheapest car in the household. Remember that you’re together for the long haul, and eventually the points will drop off your spouse’s record. How about a cross-country road trip for your 10th anniversary?

Ready to get your free insurance quote comparison? It’s easy and takes just minutes on Compare.com.

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