Most car insurance companies require all licensed drivers living in the same household, especially spouses, to be listed on the policy as drivers. This way, the auto insurance company can accurately assess the risk you and your spouse pose as drivers and calculate your premiums accordingly.
Do I have to add my spouse to my car insurance?
You should do it, or you could pay out of pocket for accidents your spouse causes while driving your car. If you fail to inform the car insurance company that you are married and don’t add your spouse to your policy, accidents your spouse causes might not be covered.
An insurer could deny the claim if your spouse drives your car and has an accident. It’s essential to contact your insurer as soon as you get married to make sure your spouse is covered if he or she plans to use your car.
Adding your spouse to your policy can reduce your rates. The rules vary by state and insurer, but many insurance companies charge married couples lower car insurance premiums than single individuals. Insurers say their data shows that married policyholders are safer drivers and have a lower risk of insurance claims. And when two people place both of their vehicles on one policy, they may also receive a discount for insuring multiple cars.
However, adding your spouse to your policy could increase your premiums if your spouse has a poor driving record. Your rate could also rise in some states if your spouse has a low credit score. Suppose their driving record would boost your rates significantly. In that case, you could consider getting a “named-driver exclusion,” which is an endorsement to your policy that states your spouse won’t be covered when driving your car, says Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute.
These rules can vary by state – some states let you exclude your spouse as a driver, but others don’t exclude family members. Consider this option only if your spouse never drives your car.
How to add your spouse to your car insurance
Contact your car insurance company to add your spouse to your policy after you get married.
Insurers have different formulas for assessing risk, so some may offer a larger discount than others to married drivers. The impact of adding a spouse with a poor driving record can also vary by insurer.
This is an excellent time to compare car insurance quotes from several insurance companies to determine which offers the best rates for you and your spouse.
— Kimberly Lankford contributed to this story.