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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Buying a joint car insurance policy with someone you’re close to can present several different advantages.
Not only can combined policies keep your premiums down, they are much easier to service when you need to make updates and changes. Unfortunately, many people are quick to assume that they can only buy joint car insurance when they’re married.
In the past, car insurance companies would only offer joint rates to couples who were legally married and living together. Now, the rules are a bit more lenient with most of the larger carriers.
Not only can you combine insurance with your spouse, you may also be able to buy a multi-car policy with other individuals who live in your home. If you’re interested in learning about your options, here’s a guide to help:
What are the requirements for traditional auto insurance policies?
Traditional underwriting guidelines require couples who are living under the same roof to be married before they can hold insurance together on their vehicles.
Requiring couples to be married was always common because spouses are co-owners of each vehicle in the household. Since each partner has a legal stake in all of the vehicles in the home, joint insurance is always an option as long as both partners have acceptable driving records.
Many Companies Allow You to Combine Insurance With Other Household Members
It’s hard to find a straightforward answer in your policy that clearly defines who you can and can’t buy joint auto insurance with.
You’ll have to ask agents what their companies allow when you’re trying to enjoy the benefits of a joint car insurance policy as an unmarried car owner.
The first requirement with virtually all auto insurance companies is that you must live in the same permanent residence as the other car owner. If you don’t live in the same home and you don’t have proof of your residency, you aren’t eligible for a modern joint car insurance policy.
Here are some of the people that you can combine insurance with as long as you reside at the same address:
- Registered domestic partners
- Unmarried couples
- Parents and adult children
- Other resident relatives related by blood, marriage, or adoption
- Roommates (not always eligible for joint policies)
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What are the benefits of combining your insurance with a partner or relative?
You might wonder why you should go through all of the trouble to find an insurance company that offers joint policies to unmarried couples.
There are several legitimate reasons that you should jump to get joint insurance when you’re eligible. Some of the benefits involve money and others involve convenience.
Here are the most common benefits:
- You’ll be eligible for loyalty discounts if the other insured has an established auto insurance policy
- You’ll both be eligible for a multi-car discount that can lower premiums by 20 percent or more
- You’ll receive a multi-line discount if one or both of you have multiple lines of insurance with the same insurer or an affiliate provider
- You’ll receive the same affinity discount that the other vehicle owner receives
- You can purchase more coverage for less than you would pay for a low-limit policy
- You can reduce the risk class on your policy if one of the drivers has more experience than the other
- You only have to contact one insurer to update payment information or policy information
Problems to Avoid When You’re Combining Policies
You never want to tell a lie just to keep your premiums low. You can always say that you and your significant other are married, but when the time comes to file a claim your insurer could deny the claim if you’re not being honest.
This is why you need to be upfront with the insurer before you take discounts that you may not be eligible for.
One of the biggest problems that arise when unmarried couples and resident relatives get joint insurance has to do with the names and how they are listed on the policy.
Most states with mandatory insurance laws want the policy to be in the same name as the registration. If one of the owners isn’t named as a policyholder, it could pose a problem when you’re trying to verify your coverage.
It’s All In the Wording
When you’re building a multi-car policy, you do have the option to put multiple named insureds on the policy.
When there are multiple named insureds, it’s all about the wording that you choose. If you separate both names with the word and, it can pose problems cashing claims checks or complying with insurance requirements.
It’s best to separate both of the names on your policy with the word or instead of and. When you choose or, only one of the insureds must sign off on a claims check to cash it. Having or on the policy also makes the policy more flexible when you’re complying with compulsory laws.
Getting insurance with a partner or relative can really save you money. Get quotes online to compare the difference in premiums today. Once you see how much you’ll save, you’ll be ready to search for a carrier with lenient underwriting requirements.