You May Not Have to Be Married to Save on Auto Insurance

Did you know that you may not have to be married to your significant other to get a multiple car discount on auto insurance? I had no idea.

My boyfriend and I own a home together. We are both on the title. I recently switched him to my auto insurance company to save money, and they asked if we wanted to be on the same policy. What?

We use a small, local insurance company--I don't know if the big-name companies do this. But if you live with your significant other, ask your insurance company if you can both be on the same policy, even if you aren't married. This will qualify you for a multiple car discount, which means that you may both be able to save money on your auto insurance premiums.

In fact, now that I think about it, there may be other circumstances where you can join forces with someone else to share insurance. I'm not sure how this works, though, and you'd need to be willing to have a financial relationship with this person, which can be complicated. You'd also need to have some faith in their level of driving skill and responsibility, since their rates, if they file a claim, will affect yours.

Before deciding to be on the same auto insurance policy, there are a few things you and your significant other should consider:

-You will have to have identical coverage amounts. If one of you currently has higher coverage than the other and you opt to both have the same policy, you will need to agree on coverage amounts. When the person with lower coverage increases their coverage, you may not end up with a lower premium overall. However, the person who had lower coverage may now have better coverage at little to no extra cost. In our case, we were able to get better coverage and still save hundreds of dollars.

-If you want to share cars, it's probably better to share insurance. If you get pulled over and you're driving the vehicle of someone you have no obvious connection to, I suspect it could cause a major hassle. How would the police officer know you weren't driving a stolen vehicle? If the name of the person the vehicle is registered to also appears on your insurance card, on the other hand, you shouldn't have any trouble. (Note: I have not consulted any law enforcement officers on this topic, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but it just seems like common sense that things would work this way.)

-What are your driving records like? If one person has a poorer driving record than the other, will this cause both parties to pay a higher premium? Or, if one person has a better driving record than the other, will this help compensate for the poorer driver, effectively lowering the premium of the poorer driver?

-The policy may have to be in only one partner's name, with the other partner as an additional insured. I'm not sure what the implications of this are, but I don't think it matters--the important thing seems to be that everyone is insured, at least in my household's case.

-Combining policies is probably a bad idea if you haven't already combined your finances. If one person files a claim, a rate increase will affect both of you. Also, unless you drive identical vehicles, have identical driving histories, and drive a similar number of miles per year, your insurance rates will be different. If you don't already share finances, you will have to come up with a formula for sharing the insurance premium fairly, which may be complicated.

This isn't the first time I have been surprised to learn that I could be on the same policy as my boyfriend even though we aren't yet married. I was also able to get on his company dental insurance plan since I qualified as a domestic partner after having lived with him for six months (and have the option of being on his health and vision plans, too, though I choose not to). Perhaps recent advances in gay rights are starting to benefit others as well? I'm all for it, since getting married seems to be a giant losing proposition in terms of finances. But that's a subject for another post.

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Photo by fooosco

Post by Amy Fontinelle

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