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Is a married couple in North Carolina required to be on the same car insurance policy or company or can each spouse have a separate car insurance policy or company?

Married couples can each have their own separate policy for their vehicle in North Carolina if they wish, however each spouse would need to list the other on their car insurance policy as a driver. Typically it is more expensive to carry separate policies then to combine them and get a multi-car discount with your car insurance company.

In some states couples may keep separate policies because one spouse has a bad driving record and wants to exclude the other from their policy however in North Carolina you cannot exclude your spouse from your car insurance policy.

According to the North Carolina Department of Insurance, the insurance regulator for the state, you cannot have a spouse listed on your policy as a named driver exclusion. Due to Financial Responsibility Laws that are in place named driver exclusions are not allowed for Liability coverage in the state of North Carolina. Some automobile insurance companies will exclude drivers for physical damage coverages, Collision and Comprehensive only.

Auto insurance company guidelines differ however usually with NC car insurance companies all members of the household of eligible driving or permit age must be listed whether they drive or not. Some insurance providers however may allow you to set up a driver so they will not be rated.

Since according to North Carolina state regulations, drivers may not be excluded from a private passenger auto policy you could not exclude your spouse from your car insurance policy. Under certain circumstances, however, with certain insurance carriers you may designate an individual's driver status as other than "rated." Such individuals are not included in the rating criteria.

Some acceptable reasons that one North Carolina car insurance company allows someone to be classified as other than "rated" include, but are not limited to:

  1. Persons aged 55 or older who are unlicensed and do not drive the insured vehicles.
  2. Named insured, spouse, or other household family member who is physically or mentally disabled and does not drive the insured vehicle.
  3. Spouse of the named insured who has never been licensed and does not drive the insured vehicles.
  4. Household resident who is 15 years of age and does not drive the insured vehicles.
  5. Household resident who possesses a learner's permit only.
  6. Household resident (other than principal named insured) with a suspended or revoked license and no driving privileges. Note: Physical Damage coverage is not acceptable.

This NC insurer also permits an "other than rated" status to someone that is a licensed household family resident if and only if all of the following requirements are met:

  • She or he does not own or co-own any of the vehicles on the policy;
  • She or he does not regularly or frequently operate a vehicle on the policy;
  • She or he owns or operates a vehicle not listed on the policy;
  • She or he is insured on another auto policy insuring such vehicle and offering comparable limits of liability;
  • She or he is not a spouse of the named insured or a spouse of any other driver on the policy.

Automobile insurance companies will rate on all individuals in the named insured's household, so your spouse and children, and all individuals who operate the insured's vehicles unless the individual is listed on the application and is an acceptable non-rated household resident.

Keep in mind that fraudulent use of the driver status description or willful failure to inquire about and disclose all individuals in the household will result in termination of your car insurance policy with your insurance company. Giving incorrect information about a driver's status or use of a vehicle can be construed as misrepresentation, a form of insurance fraud.

If you and your spouse want to each carry your own car insurance policy on your own vehicles you can do so North Carolina however since you cannot put your spouse on the policy as a named driver exclusion and likely cannot have them classified as "other than rated" you will need to have the spouse on your policy (and you on their policy) and each will be rated as a driver on each other's policy as well. In this situation normally it would be cheaper to have one policy instead of each their own separate policy however to find out for certain you each should shop around for car insurance on your own as well as together.

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