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Many people don’t realize this, but your marital status plays a role in the cost of auto insurance. In fact, married couples pay, on average, about 10% less for insurance than single people of the same age. This applies especially to men, who are viewed as much riskier to insure as bachelors than when married. There are a few reasons why married couples pay less for auto insurance:
— Statistically, single men get into more serious collisions than women or married men. Although the specific reasons for this phenomenon are unknown, bachelors tend to drive more recklessly, speed more often and wear their seat belts less frequently than men in relationships. This leads to a higher percentage of fatalities among accidents involving single men.
— Married couples tend to have more assets to insure than single people. For example, they may have multiple cars to insure under a single policy, or they may own homes, boats or other assets that need insuring. Many married couples also get life insurance policies, which may be sold through the same provider as the auto coverage. The more policies you have through a single carrier, the more your risk becomes diluted and the less insurance will cost for each policy.
— It’s generally cheaper to combine two policies than it is to carry two separate policies. A single policy with multiple vehicles nearly always costs less than two policies with one car each. The only time that combining policies does not lead to a discount is if one spouse has a bad driving record. In that situation, one person’s driving history well negatively impact both drivers’ premiums. Most married couples merge their auto policies in order to simplify billing and take advantage of lower rates.
Insurance companies keep track of a driver’s marital status and adjust rates accordingly. For example, divorcees generally pay more for insurance than they did when they were married. This is due in large part to the loss of multi-driver discounts, but it also relates back to the driver’s overall risk.
What About Same Sex Couples?
In states where civil unions, domestic partnerships or same-sex marriage is legal, gay couples get the same benefits as heterosexual partners. In other states, however, insurance companies traditionally do not offer discounts to same-sex couples. In these areas, the cohabiting couples are treated as roommates rather than spouses. They may qualify for some discounts, like those for multiple policies, but their marital status will be listed as “single” on the policy and they will not be placed in the same risk bracket as legally married couples.
One company that handles this differently from its competition is Esurance. They were one of the first insurance companies to offer discounts to couples in civil unions and domestic partnerships, and they’ve recently made this option available in all states. Even if same-sex partnerships do not have the same legal standing in a given state, Esurance will still extend the discount. This means that same-sex couples can get the same 10% discount as any other couple no matter where they live.
This inclusive offering from Esurance is just one of many user-friendly discounts the company provides. Esurance offers several other innovative discount programs, such as discounts to drivers who follow the company on Facebook and to single parents. Now owned by Allstate, Esurance has a long history of marketing products to young, technologically savvy and eco-friendly consumers, and their open support of LGBT couples will help maintain and grow its customer base.
Over time, other insurance companies may begin to follow Esurance’s lead. Allstate, MetLife and Prudential have all taken active steps to reach out to the LGBT community, so universal discounts for civil unions may be just around the corner. Since car insurance is so competitive, it’s unlikely that any company will resist this opportunity to widen its customer base for long.
When shopping for insurance, it’s always worthwhile to ask what discounts you qualify for and whether a certain discount will apply to you. If the company cannot provide you with a discount, you can always search for a competitor who will. This can help weed out some providers and enable you to choose the best company.
Depending on your needs and individual situation, Esurance may or may not offer the best deals on auto insurance. You should, however, always take advantage of every discount that’s available to you. This will help ensure that you get the best possible deal on auto insurance regardless of your marital status, gender or any other factors.