Unmarried couples often overlook the option of sharing a car insurance policy. However, if you live together and occasionally drive each other’s vehicles, it might be worth considering. Many insurance companies now offer policies specifically designed for unmarried couples, such as non-relative insurance, roommate insurance, non-married insurance, and domestic partner insurance.
Understanding Insurable Interest
Historically, insurance companies prohibited unmarried couples and domestic partners from sharing auto insurance policies. They argued that only married couples had insurable interest, meaning they owned each other’s property. However, as families have evolved, insurers have come to recognize that insurable interest can exist outside of marriage. To qualify for a joint auto insurance policy, you may need to demonstrate that you share an address or have established a stable and committed relationship. Some insurers may even require proof of engagement before issuing such a policy.
To explore the availability of joint policies for cohabitating couples, it’s advisable to contact your insurance company. Keep in mind that regulations and guidelines can differ significantly depending on your location and the insurance company you approach. It may be necessary to request quotes from multiple insurers to find a policy that suits both you and your partner.
When Should You Combine Auto Insurance?
Sharing a single auto insurance policy can offer financial and administrative benefits for unmarried couples who live together. Generally, you cannot add your partner to your policy unless they reside with you. However, you can still list your significant other as an alternate driver if they frequently use your car.
Some insurance providers may require you to include your partner on your policy if you live together and they drive your vehicle at least once a month. Failure to do so, if required, could result in the insurance company automatically making the change upon discovering another household member. While rare, intentionally withholding this information could be deemed fraudulent in the event of a claim.
If your partner drives your vehicle without being added to your policy, any damages claim resulting from an accident may be denied. Additionally, if you occasionally drive your partner’s car, you cannot insure that vehicle and obtain coverage unless the car’s owner is also listed on your policy.
It’s important to note that sharing a joint auto insurance policy with your partner may not be advisable if they have a poor driving record or a history of costly claims. Adding such a person to your policy will increase your rates significantly due to the heightened risk of filing an expensive accident claim.
This advice also applies if there is a significant difference in credit scores between you and your partner. In many states, auto insurance companies consider credit score when determining rates, resulting in higher premiums for individuals with poor credit.
Similarly, if your partner drives a high-performance sports car while you prefer a reliable sedan, it may be more cost-effective for each of you to maintain separate auto insurance policies. Repairing and insuring an expensive car can significantly increase premiums.
Age differences can further complicate the process of combining auto insurance with your partner. Insurance costs generally decrease once you reach 25 years of age. If one partner is 26 or older while the other is 23 or younger, the older partner will face higher auto insurance rates. This discrepancy is especially pronounced when the younger partner is male, given the elevated accident risk in this age group.
Benefits of Combining Auto Insurance
According to AutoInsurance.org, insurance companies offer average discounts on multi-car policies. For example:
- GEICO provides a 25% discount
- State Farm offers a 20% discount
- Nationwide provides a 20% discount
- Progressive offers a 10% discount
- Liberty Mutual offers a 10% discount
- Traveler’s Insurance provides an 8% discount
Some insurers may even offer discounts of up to 30% for policies covering multiple vehicles.
If you live with your partner, you will likely require homeowner’s or renter’s insurance as well. Combining your auto insurance policy with your home insurance policy presents another opportunity for discounts.
Options for Combining Car Insurance
If both you and your partner have vehicles, one option is to add them as a qualified driver on your car insurance policy. Alternatively, you can request a quote from your insurance company for a shared policy with you as the sole driver.
Keep in mind that if your relationship ends and you need to remove your former partner from your policy, your rates may increase as you will no longer qualify for the multi-car discounts mentioned earlier.
If you and your partner do not live together and they rarely drive your vehicle, there may be no need to include them on your insurance policy. In such cases, your policy should still cover any accidents that occur when your partner borrows your car infrequently.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the same rules apply when adding household members to your car insurance policy if you have roommates. Before entering a shared housing situation, review your policy documents to avoid paying higher premiums due to your household members.
By carefully considering these factors, you can protect your finances and make an informed decision about joint car insurance with your partner.
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