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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Marriage comes with many changes to a person’s life. These changes not only affect many aspects of daily life but also legal requirements. From the potential for name changes to different tax filings and withholding choices, changing beneficiaries for life insurance and combining health insurance policies, marriage can mean significant interactions with all of your insurance providers.
Car insurance is no exception to this situation. In general, your husband must be added to your car insurance policy. While each state has its own laws, many large insurance corporations across the United States require as part of their policies that all members of a single household who are licensed drivers must at least be listed as a driver on a car insurance policy.
In general, other people in your home will be expected by an insurance company to have the ability to access and drive the same vehicles. There is a presumption that licensed drivers sharing a household can be expected to drive the same vehicles on a regular, frequent basis.
Shopping online for car insurance can help you and your spouse search for the best value for your auto insurance coverage. You can use online tools to compare policies and ensure that your family receives the best coverage and greatest value.
Can your state laws impact the effect of marriage on your car insurance policy?
Every state has its own laws and requirements about car insurance. In many cases, these state laws govern requirements to add members of your household to an auto insurance policy. You could have a legal responsibility to add your husband to your policy. However, in most states, it is the conditions of your car insurance policy and not state law that imposes this requirement.
You can use online comparison tools and sites to see the various options available for auto insurance for your spouse and yourself. These tools can enable you to examine premiums and coverage types to find the car insurance that’s the best fit for your needs.
What changes when you add your husband to your car insurance policy?
There are two different ways you can add your spouse to your auto insurance. If you add your husband as a co-owner of your insurance policy, their credit and other records are fully included in ranking and calculating the premium cost for your policy. This can often be a benefit for the policy owner, but it could lead to higher costs in some cases.
If you do this, your spouse is an equal owner of the policy with you. This means that they can make payments on the policy, log into the online account with the insurer, file claims and make changes to coverage. Your spouse can have full authority over the policy and can take the car in for the repairs authorized by an insurer after a claim.
On the other hand, you could just list your husband as a driver of the vehicle in the household. In this case, the costs of your insurance could change because of his driving record. Other factors like credit would be unlikely to be accessed as he would not be a policy holder directly insured by the provider.
A listed driver doesn’t have the right to make changes to the policy, manage the insurance account, file claims or receive benefits on their own behalf. You would remain the responsible party for those elements of your car insurance.
Different coverage types are available as well as various premium costs from a number of car insurers. You can use online comparison tools to see the different policies available and make sure that you’re receiving the best coverage and value for you and your family.
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How can marriage affect the cost of car insurance?
Depending on you and your spouse’s driving history, marriage can have different impacts on your insurance premiums. These issues can include driving and claims histories and credit scores as well as other factors like the types of cars you drive. When both spouses have good driving records and, depending on the state, good credit records, marriage could have a significant positive impact on cutting your insurance premiums.
Insurers view married drivers as a better risk than those who are unmarried. There are some studies and evidence to back up the insurance companies’ statistical analysis, and that is reflected in the pricing offered to married couples.
In those cases, you could be eligible to save a lot of money by combining car insurance policies with your husband. Sometimes, you and your spouse could each save nearly 25 or 30 percent from your prior individual rates by bringing the policies together.
On the other hand, you and your husband can choose to keep your separate insurance policies and just list your spouse as a driver. This could still affect the price you pay due to your spouse’s driving record.
What if you don’t tell the car insurer about your spouse?
In some cases, deliberately failing to inform a car insurer about the drivers in your home could be grounds for canceling your policy on the basis of misrepresentation. In this case, it would mean hiding information that allows an insurer to accurately price your insurance policy by determining the risk. This could be considered insurance fraud.
If your husband drives your car before you add them to the policy and has a crash, damage from the accident may not be covered under the policy. Sometimes the insurer may cover the damages caused but also require you to pay back any premium difference as a result of your husband not being listed.
How can you exclude your spouse from your insurance policy?
If one spouse has a negative driving record, this could cause an increase in the total cost of car insurance. If they won’t be driving your car, it could be the right choice to specifically exclude your husband from your policy.
If your husband also has serious driving issues on their record or DUI convictions, excluding your spouse may be important. An insurer may not be willing to issue a policy for a person with a DUI or other serious convictions.
Of course, if you do exclude your spouse by name and they drive your car and get into a crash, you will not be covered for the damages caused.
You could also face the cancellation of your insurance, even if your spouse only drove due to an emergency situation.
In many other cases, you may want to add your spouse as a driver but not share one insurance policy. This could be the case if one spouse has bad credit. In some states, insurance companies use credit score as part of determining your premium.
Credit scores don’t generally matter for listed drivers, but they are involved when a person becomes a co-insured. Additional factors to consider around combining policies can include the type of cars driven, the value of the cars, or the number of miles driven each year.
You can help find the best options for you and your husband by using online comparison tools to see the types of coverage and premiums available from different auto insurers.