Does being married lower car insurance rates?

Getting married can make a significant difference in your car insurance rates. Married couples generally pay less for car insurance premiums than single individuals. But that isn’t always the case. Here’s what you need to know to get the best rates if you’re about to get married or have already tied the knot.

Do you get a discount on car insurance for being married?

Many car insurers give people a discount when they get married. The specifics vary from company to company and state to state, but on average, married insureds pay 4% less than singles, but might pay up to 10% less, according to a rate analysis by CarInsurance.com’s team of industry experts.

Average car insurance discount for being married: Find your state

State Discount
Georgia-9.29%
Virginia-7.13%
Minnesota-6.69%
Maine-6.54%
New Hampshire-6.32%
Rhode Island-6.30%
California-6.27%
Tennessee-6.00%
South Dakota-5.92%
Connecticut-5.78%
North Dakota-5.28%
Vermont-5.23%
Alaska-5.18%
Arkansas-5.04%
West Virginia-4.94%
Kentucky-4.82%
New Jersey-4.79%
South Carolina-4.67%
Florida-4.61%
Idaho-4.49%
New Mexico-4.29%
Nebraska-4.11%
Pennsylvania-3.56%
Iowa-3.43%
New York-3.11%
Washington-2.97%
Kansas-2.80%
Delaware-2.78%
Mississippi-2.70%
Wyoming-2.63%
DC-2.51%
Wisconsin-2.39%
Texas-2.30%
Illinois-2.08%
Alabama-1.79%
Indiana-1.29%
Nevada-1.29%
Missouri-1.24%
Michigan-1.06%
Ohio-0.88%
Oregon-0.10%
Hawaii0.00%
Massachusetts0.00%
Montana0.00%
Colorado0.03%
Utah0.27%
Oklahoma0.29%
Arizona1.18%
North Carolina1.40%
Maryland2.45%
Louisiana2.81%

Why is car insurance cheaper if you are married?

Insurers often expect married policyholders to be safer drivers than people who are single – they assume that married people are typically more mature and responsible and are less likely to drive recklessly. But this isn’t just their opinion. Statistics back up the fact that married drivers are involved in fewer accidents than single people and have a lower risk of insurance claims.

A study conducted by the National Institute of Health in 2004 found that unmarried drivers who had never been married had twice the risk of accident-related injury than drivers who were married.

“Many companies offer discounts for being married, with the assumption being that you are a more cautious driver,” says Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute.

“This is probably larger if you are a younger person getting married. By settling down, you may become more reliable and less risky in the eyes of your insurance company. And that means lower premiums. Men under age 25 could see the biggest discounts since they often have the highest rates.”

When two people place both of their vehicles on one policy, they may also receive a discount for insuring multiple cars.

But getting married doesn’t always reduce your rates. If one spouse has a good driving record and the other has a poor driving history, the one with the bad record can negatively affect the rates of both.

“It does depend on your spouse’s driving record,” says Worters. “When you say ‘I do,’ you may be saying ‘I do’ to higher rates if you were a better driver.”

Since a car insurance policy usually covers all licensed household members who are listed on the policy (meaning you, your spouse and anyone else with a valid license in your household), if any of these people have a poor driving record, your insurance premiums can be affected.

 If your spouse has a poor driving record that would boost your rates significantly, you may want to consider options like a named-driver exclusion, which is an endorsement to your policy that states your spouse won’t be covered when driving your car, says Worters. “It may bring a lower premium – but the risk could be very high if your spouse has an accident.”

Car insurance married vs. single

Contact your insurer when you get married to find out what will happen to your rates. The rules vary by state, and each insurer has a different formula for setting its rates.

So, it’s a good time to shop around and find out how your marital status will affect your car insurance premiums with other insurers, too. One company may offer a larger discount than others for married couples, or another company may not boost your rate as much if your spouse has a poor driving record.

Other related factors may also affect your rates with different companies – such as the size of the discount for insuring more than one car with the insurer. Also, your rate could change if you move when you get married. “If you marry and move to another area of the country, you could see rates decrease,” says Worters. “Auto rates are based in part on where your vehicle is housed. For example, if you moved from a hail-prone area of the country to an area that doesn’t have hail, you could save money.”

Also, keep these factors in mind if you get divorced or widowed and your marital status changes again. A study by the Consumer Federation of America found that some insurers raise rates if someone who was married becomes widowed, but other companies didn’t boost rates for policyholders whose spouses died.

See 10 factors that affect car insurance rates for more information about spousal and other discounts. You can also get an estimate of car insurance rates based on your particular driver profile by using the CarInsurance.com Estimator Tool.

The verdict on car insurance and marital status

As a general rule, car insurance is cheaper for married couples than it is for a single person. This is not an attempt to punish those who are unmarried but is based purely on statistics that show married drivers are most often a lower driving risk. Whether married or single, there are things you can do to lower your car insurance rates.

If you are married or getting married soon, don’t forget to contact your insurance company to find out if you can save money on your car insurance rates.

 

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