Find love, and an insurance discount, when you tie the knot
If you’re reading this because you’re about to get married, here’s some good news about car insurance for newlyweds. Thanks to your new marital status, you and your new spouse may get a modest car insurance discount. How much will depend on a combination of factors, including your driving history and the types of cars you drive. Let’s take a look at the basics.
Does getting married lower insurance rates?
In a word, yes. Chances are, you’ll enjoy slightly lower rates when you change your marital status from single to married on your insurance policies. But, when it comes to car insurance for newlyweds, your rates will depend on your and your new spouse’s driving histories, the types of cars you drive, and other factors.
The insurance industry views married couples as lower risk — a determination that’s based on statistics, data and actuarial science. This applies to other types of insurance in addition to car insurance.
Is there an official “married discount” for all insurance?
No, there isn’t a “married discount” for insurance products, but married couples have — on average — lower insurance premiums. The savings aren’t solely based on marital status. When you combine households, you can also combine or bundle policies such as home and car insurance, as well as policies that are unique to you and your home, such as flood insurance and “floater” policies for valuables such as jewelry and collectibles. Bundling policies with the same insurance carrier could offer significant savings. Plus, AAA members can save up to 8% on insurance.
There’s also an added bonus time-wise. Combining policies can save you time because you’re managing just one policy instead of two.
Do married couples have to be on the same car insurance policy?
Generally speaking, yes. Most insurance carriers will not write a policy that excludes a spouse. In fact, most insurance carriers require that all licensed household members are listed and rated on a policy.
Why should married couples be on the same policy?
In the eyes of the law, married couples are jointly liable for each other. As a married couple, you’re viewed as one entity. For example, if either spouse crashes a car and gets sued, the other is automatically sued as well. This is known as joint liability exposure.
What happens if one spouse doesn’t drive?
When you get married, be sure to tell your insurance agent — even if your spouse isn’t a licensed driver. Insurance carriers will list your spouse as a second-named insured and non-rate for them as an unlicensed driver in the household.
When can newlyweds update car insurance?
Your wedding day is a wonderful time, and insurance is probably one of the last things you want to worry about. So, it’s a good idea to schedule some time with an insurance agent before the big day to discuss all your options and find the best car insurance for couples.
Depending on your carrier, your agent may be able to place you together on the same policy as “named insureds” prior to your wedding day. Once you’re officially married, your agent will update your status from single to married. If your carrier can’t do this in advance, you can speak with your agent to ensure that everything is ready to be updated as soon as you say, “I do.”
If you’re already married, rest assured that your agent can help you to update your policy at any time.
What about driving history?
If you’re marrying someone, it’s a good idea to know the good, the bad and the ugly of their driving history.
If you have a good driving record and are marrying someone with a poor driving record, your rates will likely go up. Conversely, if you have a poor driving record and are marrying someone with a good driving record, your rates may go down. That’s because insurers divide risk evenly between you.
But regardless of your marital status, poor driving records can negatively impact car insurance rates.
Finding the right car insurance for newlyweds
When it comes to car insurance for newlyweds, many couples discover that they have significant differences between each other’s policies. For example, you might not have updated your policy since graduating college and only have the state minimums — or you rejected coverages such as Personal Injury Protection or Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Your new spouse, on the other hand, has made annual updates.
Getting married is a good time to review your insurance needs and shop around. AAA Washington insurance agents can help you find the best coverage. (Don’t have an agent? Connect with one here.)
Is there a deadline?
There’s no deadline to make policy changes to car insurance after you get married, but agents recommend that you start the process before you tie the knot or soon after. However, when it comes to car insurance for newlyweds, it’s never too late to update and combine policies.
Make anniversary plans
Tying the knot is an ideal time to review and update all insurance policies held by you and your spouse, including life insurance and umbrella policies. When you make updates, you can also update your beneficiaries and ensure contact information is up to date.
Scheduling an annual review with your agent is also a good idea to ensure you have the right coverage to meet your needs as a married couple, especially if you’ve been married for a couple of years. Consider it an anniversary present to yourselves to review your policies every year.
To learn more about car insurance for newlyweds, as well as car insurance for unmarried couples, reach out to your AAA Washington insurance agent. Whether you purchase your insurance from AAA Washington or just need advice about combining car insurance from someone you can trust, our insurance professionals are available to answer your questions.
—Written by AAA Washington staff
—Top photo: Jackfrog/AdobeStock