To combine or not to combine? Car insurance isn’t usually the stuff of great romance novels, but in reality your relationship status can greatly impact your insurance coverage and premiums. Here’s what you need to know.

Getting Married

If you and your partner have good driving records…
You might want to let your auto insurer know you’re tying the knot — many’ll offer lower rates for safe drivers who are legally coupling up. Plus, insuring more than one car under the same policy might also earn you a Multi-Car discount. Not legally wed, but living together? Some insurers offer the same discounts to couples in legal domestic partnerships, so be sure to check with yours.

If one or both of you has poor driving records…
Say your partner has a less than stellar driving record. Think: lots of claims and moving violations. Keeping your policies separate might actually save you money. Even if you’re a “low-risk” driver, combining households with a “high-risk” driver will likely hike up your rates. But it might be worth pricing it out both ways. Two cars on your policy, for instance, could land you a Multi-Car discount. And that discount could offset the cost of your pricier-to-insure spouse.

When to consider driver exclusion…
Depending on your state, you might have the option to “exclude” your spouse from your policy. Excluding your spouse could make sense if they have coverage from another insurer and you decide to keep separate policies. In some cases, excluding a driver can work out to be more affordable.


Breaking Up

If you’re divorcing and you have joint auto insurance policies in place, then it’s just a matter of time before you’ll need to separate them.

Get consent from both parties…
Make sure you and your ex discuss separating your policy in advance — that way you can both have new coverage in place before the switch is made.

Your rates might change…
First, do a few price checks to help you gauge how a policy separation might affect your rate. You could lose your Multi-Car discount, for example. Or you could gain new savings … especially if your ex had a spotty driving record. If you’re moving to a new city or state, that’ll likely impact your rates as well.

Have more questions about love and auto insurance? Get answers on marriage and auto insurance and divorce and auto insurance. Esurance customers can also go online to get a free car insurance quote on combined car insurance policies.

Insurance 101 | Car insurance 101

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about Rebecca

Rebecca is a freelance copywriter and editor living in the SF Bay Area with her husband and two kids. She enjoys productively channeling her anxiety into safety-minded articles for home and garden, running with her robot trainer, and advocating on behalf of the Oxford comma.