Can You Still Have Cheap Car Insurance if you’re Married to a Bad Driver?
Most of the time, married individuals are considered a lower risk than a single person. In addition, it is often less expensive to insure two vehicles on one policy rather than two individual policies. However, if a new spouse has a lot of tickets, accidents or insurance claims, it is likely to increase the cost of covering your vehicles if you ask a company to write the policies together.
If two individuals who both have clean records get married they might save as much as $900-1,000 every year on coverage. However, if one has a less than stellar record, the savings quickly disappear. If the new spouse has a major violation, such as a DUI, the other party may lose his or her preferred status, causing the cost to increase even more. Only a few companies offer affordable coverage to high-risk drivers.
It is important to report your marriage to the insurance company, even if it will increase the premium. State laws often require all licensed drivers in a household to be covered with the same policy, due to the fact that all have access to the car. This means his or her record will affect your rates. In most cases, the car insurance rate will decrease. However, in others the auto insurance coverage cost will increase.
When it is time to merge auto insurance policies it can pay to shop around. Begin with a quote from each of the partner’s current insurers. Then ask for quotes from other companies. Be sure to look for discounts for having more than one car or including homeowner’s or renter’s insurance along with the auto insurance.
In some states it is possible to get separate coverage. Even if both drivers have a good record, if one must use the vehicle for business or provides a vehicle for an employee to use, this may still be a good idea. Ask the agent if your state allows spouse to be an excluded named driver and if his company allows this practice.
With separate policies, you will give up the multi-car discount. In some cases, it may be recommended by the agent or company to exclude the driver to avoid cancellation of the policy. If one of the spouses is not covered, he or she should not be allowed to drive the vehicle. If the excluded driver is in an accident, the coverage is not extended to him or her.
Once you are married, you should consider not allowing the new spouse to drive your vehicle until you are both covered on a policy. Even if the car insurance were to decide to pay for an accident it is likely they will cancel the policy. You may also be held responsible for back premiums for the spouse until the wedding date.
To keep rates low, consider assigning the spouse with the worst driving record to the least expensive vehicle. In addition, consider carpooling or using public transit to reduce the number of miles driven annually. Fewer miles can translate into a lower premium for coverage for car insurance.