Married vs. Single Car Insurance Rates

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Car insurance married vs single: couple in their car

Whether you’re newlywed, engaged, still searching, or enjoying life solo, being married or single can significantly affect your car insurance rates. Being married doesn’t necessarily make you a better driver, but statistics often show that marital status impacts how much you pay for auto insurance

So who pays more? Find out the differences in married vs. single car insurance and what you can expect to pay for car insurance premiums based on one of life’s biggest decisions.

Find the Best Car Insurance Rate Whether You’re Married or Single

The Average Costs Between Married vs. Single Car Insurance

Auto insurance companies use many factors to determine your car insurance rates, including marital status. In general, married drivers tend to receive lower rates than single drivers. The methodology varies, but statistical analysis shows that married people have a lower risk of getting in an accident or filing claims.

If you’re wondering how much married vs. single car insurance rates vary, here is the national average for liability and full coverage car insurance policies.

Average Car Insurance Rates for Married Couples (Individually)

  • Liability only (monthly): $96
  • Liability only (annually): $1,156
  • Full coverage (monthly): $230
  • Full coverage (annually): $2,757

Average Car Insurance Rates for Single People

  • Liability only (monthly): $153
  • Liability only (annually): $1,833
  • Full coverage (monthly): $356
  • Full coverage (annually): $4,272

Based on these statistics, single people pay around 35% more on their auto insurance rates than married couples.

What About Same-Sex or Transgender Couples?

Little research has been done on whether same-sex married couples pay more or less than opposite-sex married couples. But due to equality laws and the legalization of same-sex marriage, same-sex couples should see the same car insurance rates as opposite-sex couples, assuming all other things are the same.

Married transgender couples — or marriages where one or both people are transgender — probably won’t see a dramatic change in the rates of their auto insurance policies compared to other married couples.

However, only Oregon, Maine, California, and the District of Columbia allow residents to get a driver’s license listing nonbinary, not specified, or the gender they identify with. In all other states, transgender people must use the sex assigned at birth when obtaining car insurance, which may affect their rates — males typically pay more for car insurance than females.

If you’re a transgender individual who’s either single or married, you may want to talk to an insurance agent to see how it may affect your car insurance rates.

Married vs. Single Car Insurance: Why Your Rates Might Differ

Man sitting in his car while looking out the window

Historical data shows that married couples tend to file fewer claims than single people. This signifies a lower overall risk for married people — something that car insurers pass on through reduced car insurance premiums.

Aside from lower risk for married couples, they may also get some of the best rates based on some generalized factors. For example, many married couples are also homeowners — another factor insurance providers use to calculate car insurance rates. In addition, married couples typically have better credit scores than singles.

A final decisive factor in why married vs. single car insurance rates tend to favor married individuals is that married couples tend to have multiple policies. For instance, married people often have life insurance, homeowners coverage, and multiple car insurance policies, which can lead to savings by bundling insurance products — also known as a multi-policy discount.

Should Married Couples Consider Separate Policies?

Not every married couple checks all the boxes regarding the factors that determine car insurance rates. For example, one person could have great credit while the other has poor credit. Or one person may have an impeccable driving history while the other has a bad driving record riddled with tickets and accidents.

This leads to an important question: are separate car insurance policies better? Surprisingly, in almost all cases, the answer is no.

Though both parties of a marriage may be at opposite ends of the spectrum regarding being a high-risk driver, putting both people on a single or multi-car policy is usually more cost-effective.

If you’re curious, you can always shop for either a single policy or separate policies. Just remember that you will still need to be listed on each other’s policies as an excluded driver. And always make sure that the person with a better credit score, fewer accidents, or a better driving record is the main person listed on the policy to keep your insurance costs lower.

How Do I Add My Spouse to My Car Insurance Policy?

Woman giving us the thumbs-up while driving her car

It’s simple. When you get married, call your insurer and add your spouse as a new driver on your policy. Your insurance company may ask for an official, notarized marriage certification with wedding dates. Another form of documentation might be a social security card reflecting a name change. It’s a good idea to call your insurer to learn all qualifying criteria and underwriting practices.

Do All States Allow Insurers to Determine Rates Based on Marital Status?

Only three states do not allow insurers to determine rates based on marital statusHawaii, Massachusetts, and Michigan.

What Other Factors Help Determine Rates?

Apart from gender and marital status, auto insurers consider the following when determining the cost of premiums.

  • Age: Generally, younger drivers pay much more for auto insurance than older drivers. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), teen drivers are four times more likely to experience a car crash than drivers aged 20 or older.
  • Driving History: Expect rate hikes when one or more traffic tickets, DUIs, or reckless driving incidents appear on your record.
  • Type of Vehicle: According to AAA, the average cost for a full coverage policy in 2021 for a medium-sized sedan is $1,403 versus $1,296 for a medium-sized SUV. Rates vary by make, model, and model year based on the cost of parts, labor, and specialized expertise required of auto mechanics to repair vehicles.
  • Location: Auto insurers assess rates by state and by ZIP code. Therefore, no-fault states requiring personal injury protection (PIP) or with a higher-than-average rate of uninsured/underinsured motorists should expect higher rates.

For example, per the IIHS, Louisiana has the nation’s highest average annual expenditure for full coverage ($1,557.22). Conversely, Vermont has the lowest average yearly cost for full coverage ($785.37). Reasons for Louisiana’s high average include a higher-than-average percentage of uninsured drivers, vehicle theft rate, highway density, and volume of auto-related lawsuits.

How You Can Lower Your Rates Regardless of Your Marital Status

Don’t stress if you’ve yet to tie the knot. Married vs. single car insurance rates can be more equal than you think if you have a few tricks up your sleeve. For example, you can apply some of these hacks and tips to significantly lower your car insurance rate regardless of your marital status:

  • Save with a multi-car discount: If you’re single and have multiple cars or married and both of you have a car, you can save with this type of car insurance discount. Multi-car discounts — or multi-vehicle discounts — provide additional savings through a discount, while combining multiple cars under one policy is cheaper than separate policies.
  • Look for other discounts: Most insurance companies have multiple discounts beyond a multi-car discount that apply to both married couples and singles. From being a member of a group or organization to staying accident-free, you can find multiple deals to lower your rates.
  • Bundle policies: While married vs. single car insurance rates skew in favor of the married, both sides can get a multi-policy discount by purchasing multiple insurance products through a single provider. If you’re single, adding renters insurance could translate to overall savings. If you’re married, including homeowners insurance or life insurance coverage with your car insurance could provide added savings.
  • Keep a clean driving record: Higher rates almost always accompany a poor driving record. Therefore, you should do everything you can to avoid DUIs, moving violations, and accidents. You can even take a defensive driving course for an additional discount.
  • Choose the right deductible: If you have collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, or full coverage, you have to choose a deductible. And you can choose a higher deductible if you want to pay less out of pocket each month. Just remember that you should have an emergency fund to pay the higher deductible.
  • Maintain a good credit score: Credit scores are one of the factors of car insurance rates and, thankfully, one that you can control. Stay on top of your debt payments, pay on time, and you should see a reduced rate whether you’re married or single.

Plenty of Fish in the Sea of Car Insurance Quotes and Prices

Elderly couple happily driving their car

Whether you’re one half of a married couple or enjoying the single life, cheap car insurance is within reach if you know where to look. By comparing rates for auto insurance semi-annually or annually, you can ensure that you’re always getting the best price possible. So hop in the waters, and you’ll find plenty of car insurance companies vying for your business — if only all relationships were this easy.

Discover Affordable Car Insurance for Married and Single People 

Methodology: All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a driver that owns a Honda Accord. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

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