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Will you get cheaper car insurance rates if you are married? In general, the answer is “yes!” Married people are often charged less in premiums for their car insurance than people of a similar age and driving record who are single. Why do married folks get a break on the price of their insurance?
The answer lies in the secret of insurance pricing known as “statistical analysis.” Actuaries are hired by insurance companies to crunch tons of numbers, all with one purpose: to determine the risk of a person who belongs to a particular group.
“You are never judged only by your own driving record; you are always going to deal with the outcomes of these statistics related to whatever groups to which you belong”
This is why teens pay much higher insurance rates even if they have never had a ticket or accident than thirty-somethings who have had a speeding violation or a fender bender.
This may not seem fair, but you must remember that with the millions of people applying for car insurance each year, there has to be a way to classify these applicants and determine risk factors. Actuaries take the statistics about identifying factors and manipulate them mathematically to come up with a score which will determine your insurance premium rates.
How does this have anything to do with whether or not you are married?
Well, married people tend to have fewer accidents and claims than their single counterparts. There could be many reasons for this. Married people often have children, and may be more careful drivers. They do not tend to go out after work for drinks, resulting in some DUIs among the single group. They tend to buy safer vehicles, resulting in fewer medical claims if a wreck does happen.
However, the biggest reason that married people probably get a break on their insurance premiums is because there are two people, and often two cars, being insured on the same policy. In general, it is cheaper to insure two people on the same policy than to have a separate policy for each person. This is why you can add your spouse and children to your existing policy if you all live together, and get a discount for having more than one person on your insurance.
Unfortunately, most car insurance companies do not recognize those who are unmarried as “spouses,” even if they have lived together for years. This may seem a bit arbitrary, but the logic behind this decision is usually based on the fact that “live-ins” can separate more easily than married couples. Because a live-in roommate can move out with few legal consequences in most situations, insurance companies believe that the person might suddenly decide to dissolve the living arrangement, and still claim a “spousal” discount when in fact he or she is not living with the partner any longer.
If you are a member of a common-law partnership, you can talk to your agent about your company’s policy regarding common-law marriages.
Naturally, these restrictions will not apply to every situation, so people who live together but are not married should search for companies which recognize domestic partnership or live-in arrangements. By offering to put all of your insurance policies with one company, you may be able to persuade the company to give you a married discount if they are allowed to do so. Some companies treat anyone who lives in the household as a member of a “family” and have no problem writing a policy which includes both you and your partner, along with any children of driving age.
Married couples need do nothing to obtain these lower prices than to talk to their agent. If you are recently married, talk to your insurance agent about the best and cheapest way to insure both you and your spouse for every vehicle you collectively own. In most cases, it is cheaper to do this than to buy two policies from different companies.