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How does marriage affect car insurance premiums?

By Insurance.com Posted : 01/01/2011

In many cases, your rate will decrease after marriage. By combining car insurance policies with the same insurer after you're married, you likely would qualify for a multiple vehicle discount. If you purchase home or renters insurance from the same insurance company that provides coverage for your cars, you might also qualify for a multi-line discount.

In addition, some insurance companies rate married people as lower risk than single people – which would also impact the premium in your favor.

However, rates could increase if your new spouse has a poor driving record. You'll need to get insurance quotes to see whether the discounts associated with marriage outweigh your spouse's poor driving record.  

Other factors impacting car insurance rates

Gender, age and credit rating also impact the cost of insuring a spouse. Insurers generally view men as higher risks than women, when all else is equal, and they view younger drivers as higher risks than older drivers. So if your new spouse is a 20-year-old guy, and you're a 20-year-old-woman, he'll likely be viewed as riskier than you.

How's your beloved's credit rating? Insurance companies also consider an applicant's credit history when setting the premium. Insurers say data shows that customers with poor credit ratings are more likely to file claims than customers with sterling credit ratings.

Even if your spouse has never filed an insurance claim, he or she will pay higher premiums after making bad credit mistakes.

The type of cars you drive will also influence premiums. Some models are much more expensive to insure than others. If you plan to purchase a car together, check with your insurance agent or get quotes to compare insurance costs of the models you're considering.

You may determine that maintaining separate auto insurance policies is more cost effective than combining polices. Your policy may require that you let the insurer know that someone else lives in your household. Ask your insurance agent about a named driver exclusion to allow you to keep your policies separate if you determine that's the cheapest route to go.

Finally, encourage your new spouse to drive safely. Even minor infractions can increase car insurance premiums.

For more, see small violations with a big impact on car insurance costs.

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