By Madeline Klein
If you've recently gotten engaged or married, let us channel our inner-Oprah and say, congratulations—you (probably) get a better auto insurance risk profile! Of course, we have to say "probably" because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to insurance rating factors, but there are general guidelines. So, from positive, negative and zero effect on rate, here's our marriage breakdown for you!
Better Risk Profile
Your insurance premium is the product of multiple rate factors coming together to form what insurance providers call a "risk profile." Each factor has some sort of claims statistic or cost association for insurers to gauge how much money it will take to insure each driver's risk. Your marriage status happens to be one of those factors.
In fact, statistics show married drivers are two times less likely to get into an accident than single drivers. Whether it's because a married couple shares driving duties and reduces the collective time spent on the road, or it's because their love inspires them to be safer drivers, when insurance companies see a driver is married, they typically offer a lower rate.
Depending on whether or not your insurance provider rates your household, your spouse's driving record may or may not change your insurance rate. For instance, at Say Insurance, we factor in all of the licensed drivers in a household, including spouses, roommates, teenage drivers, etc. So, if you were already living with your spouse, marriage would not alter the household driving records factored in.
If you and your spouse recently moved in together, your insurance provider would need to update your policy to factor in another household member. If you both have perfect driving records, you shouldn't see a major change. However, if your spouse has any accidents, tickets or DUIs on their driving record, your rate will most likely increase to reflect the additional risk.
If your spouse's driving record raises your rate significantly, or your insurance provider will no longer offer you coverage, some states will allow you to exclude a driver from your policy. Excluding a driver means that driver is not allowed to drive your vehicle, and if they do, your insurance will not cover anything that happens as a result of that driver being in control.
If your insurance provider doesn't already rate the household and you plan to combine insurance policies with your spouse, both driving records will now be factored in. In addition to the potential changes we mentioned above, you may see your insurance premium go up if your spouse drives a more expensive car or drives a lot more mileage than you. Some companies may offer a multi-car discount, which may save you some money, but be sure to weigh your options before making the decision to combine or not.
Posted January 2, 2020 in Insurance Know-How.