If you’ve recently gotten married, you and your new spouse are probably in the midst of merging many things, from your books to your bank accounts. Though adding another item to your to-do list might feel overwhelming, don’t forget to let your car insurance company know you’ve tied the knot, and consider merging your policies. If you and your spouse are both good drivers, you should be able to get the best rates by buying car insurance coverage together.
Look at whether to combine insurance
Buying one auto insurance policy with your spouse is usually the best way to save money, even if one of you has a less-than-stellar driving record. That’s because you stand to benefit from a multivehicle discount and, possibly, a multiline discount if you also bundle your homeowners or renters insurance with your auto policy.
Keep in mind that even if you and your spouse don’t combine policies, your insurance company will typically take your spouse into account when setting rates. That’s because your insurer will want all licensed members of the household to be listed on the policy.
If your spouse has a very bad driving record, the only way to ensure that his or her record doesn’t affect your rates is to “exclude” your spouse as a driver on your policy, in states where it’s possible. This means your spouse will have no coverage while driving your car, and that you’ll be personally responsible for any damage.
Decide on a coverage amount
Generally, it’s smart to buy more than just the legal minimum amount of car insurance. State-mandated liability levels are almost never enough to cover a serious accident, and if you don’t have enough coverage to pay another driver’s repair or medical bills, you’ll be on the hook for the rest. Always carry enough protection to cover your assets.
As your finances improve over your life, you’ll want to buy more coverage on each car than you did when you were single. If you carry insufficient coverage, you leave yourself open to lawsuits that could cost you a lot more than just your wheels.
Shopping around is the easiest way to save money on auto insurance when you get married. Although you or your spouse might be happy with your current rate, there’s no telling whose company will provide a better rate for the both of you once you’re married — or maybe you’ll be better off going with a different company altogether.
Ask about car insurance discounts, too. Most insurance companies will give you a lower premium for getting hitched, and some insurers, such as Liberty Mutual, might give you a separate discount on top of that for being a newlywed.
Want to explore the best car insurance rates you can expect once you get married? Check out NerdWallet’s car insurance estimator tool.
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