Of all the things that could impact your car insurance rates, you might not have anticipated that your marital status could be one of them. While a great financial benefit of marriage is a combined car insurance policies with your spouse, the best type of car insurance to get if you’re married will depend on a number of factors. So it is worth considering a variety of options to decide what type of plan is best for your needs.
As with car insurance in general, your rates are determined on the basis of your driving history and the likelihood that you will make a claim. Single drivers only need to think about their own past, but when you get married and are thinking of combining policies, keep each spouse’s driving record in mind.
Is it better to have separate or combined policies?
Does combining policies give you the best rates? Not always. It may be more financially wise to remain on separate policies depending on your individual driving records. Perhaps you have different insurance companies and the new rates for a combined policy would be more expensive than separate policies. Maybe you drive very little and so low-mileage discounts would be available to you separately that would no longer apply on a combine policy.
At the same time, if you have a poor driving history and your spouse has a flawless one, joining your spouse’s policy may raise your rates overall. This would also be the case if one of you has a higher risk vehicle.
In general, however, rates do to tend to drop for married couples on a combined plan, so it is likely that some savings would accrue to your family. At any rate, before you make any decisions about combining or switching policies, look into all the possible permutations to determine what the best financial move is for your family.
What are the discounts that apply to married couples?
If you do end up combining policies, look for special discounts available to married couples. Consider, first of all, a multi-car discount. If you and your spouse each have a car, then you can get an overall better, lower rate when you insure both vehicles.
You can extend the same thinking to cars your child may use. The multi-car discount applies to all the cars you own as family, so do not be afraid to take advantage of possible savings here as well.
When you combine you and your spouse on a single policy, put some thought into who should be listed as the primary driver and who should be the secondary driver. Depending on the facts surrounding each of your driving histories and how much mileage each of you logs, this can have an effect on your rates.
The infrequent driver discount, for example, which is available to those who drive very little, might kick in for your spouse as a secondary driver and so reduce your rates even more.
Bundling policies can save more money
Another way to save is bundling your policies. If you have multiple insurance needs, such as home, auto, and life insurance, then you can bundle these together for significant savings. This multiple policy discount is a smart financial move for couples who have several policies through the same company.
At the end of the day, whether it is wiser to combine policies or remain separate, what discounts are available to you, and how much you ultimately save by bundling are going to vary depending on your unique situation. There is not a “one size fits all” answer when it comes to car insurance, so do a little research to find out what is best for you and your spouse.