Couples can opt to purchase a joint car insurance policy, whether they’re married or not. Usually, a joint policy is best suited for those who live together or frequently drive each other’s vehicles.
However, you also have the option to have separate coverages and add a driver to your existing car insurance plan. You can use MoneyGeek’s car insurance tool to determine whether a joint policy is cost-effective.
Our guide explores when combining insurance is a good idea, when it’s not and what to do if you have a joint policy but you and your partner go your separate ways.
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Consider several factors before adding your partner to your car insurance policy, even if you already live together. These may include his driving record, credit score or car.
A joint car insurance policy is usually more affordable than paying for separate plans for married couples.
You can always apply for a new car insurance policy if you and your partner break up and you’re taken off the policy.
Can You Have Joint Insurance With a Girlfriend, Boyfriend or Fiance?
Couples can purchase joint car insurance even if they are unmarried. However, most car insurance companies require that they must be living together to do so. Combining insurance policies may not be an option if you don't.
Permissive use is typically enough for couples living in separate houses. It ensures your policy protects your partner when they drive your car.
Permissive use applies when you permit a person to drive your car, like when you lend it to your partner. Your policy's coverage extends to them if they get into an accident, even if you didn't name them in your car insurance plan.
When to Add Your Girlfriend or Boyfriend to Your Policy
Insurers only require you and your partner to have the same residential address to add them to your policy. The table below shows other situations when combining insurance may be the best option for you besides living together.
You Live Together
Adding your partner to your policy when you live together is the safest choice. Some carriers might deny an insurance claim if you didn't name them in your car insurance plan.
Your Car Insurance Company Requires It
People living with you become part of your household. Some car insurance companies require you to add members of your household that have access to your car. So if you and your partner live under the same roof, you must put their name on your plan.
You Use Each Other’s Car Often
Some couples frequently use each other's cars, but this doesn't automatically fall under permissive use. In these situations, adding your partner to your policy is safer. Otherwise, your carrier might deny your claim if your partner was uninsured and in an accident.
When Not to Add Your Girlfriend or Boyfriend to Your Policy
Typically, you can only add your partner if you live under the same roof. But even if you live together, joint car insurance shouldn't be a given. You may want to consider other factors to decide if it's the best move.
For example, you may want to reconsider if your partner has a bad driving record. The same applies if they have a poor credit score or own an expensive car. All these may result in a higher annual premium.
Your Partner Has a Bad Driving Record
Drivers with violations on their driving record typically pay higher car insurance premiums than safe drivers. Finding affordable full-coverage car insurance may be challenging if your partner has tickets, at-fault accidents or a DUI.
Your Partner Has a Poor Credit Score
Your credit score determines your risk level. Insurers think you're more likely to pay your premium on time and less likely to file claims if you have good credit standing. Expect your policy to cost more if your partner has a bad credit score.
You Don’t Live Together or Use Each Other's Cars Often
Couples that live separately might not need to combine car insurance, especially if they rarely use each other's cars. Typically, permissive use is enough to protect your partner when they’re behind the wheel.
They Have an Expensive Car
Several factors make car insurance expensive, and the car you drive is one of them. If your partner has a luxury or a sports car, adding them to your policy may increase your insurance costs.
How to Add Your Partner to Your Auto Insurance
First, contact your provider to add your partner to your policy. Ask about the process and the requirements because these may vary between carriers. Provide your partner's information and wait for the insurer to approve your application and update your policy.
Joint Car Insurance for Married Couples
If you're married, insurers may see you as more financially stable and risk-averse. As a result, you're more likely to get affordable rates.
Remember, you and your spouse don't necessarily have to have joint car insurance. However, it often makes sense because it can be the most affordable option. You'll likely combine your policies, especially when you live together.
Even if your spouse has poor credit standing or violations on their driving record, combining car insurance often comes out cheaper than maintaining separate policies.
What to Do With Joint Car Insurance After a Break-Up
You may wonder what happens to joint car insurance if you and your partner decide to part ways. First, see who ends up with the car post-breakup. If it's you, inform your provider that your partner is no longer a driver, and your policy shouldn't cover them in the future.
If your partner gets the car and takes you off the policy, don't worry — you can always sign up for a new one. However, you may not qualify for the same discounts you had under a joint policy. It's best to contact your carrier and get an estimate. This way, a higher premium won't surprise you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions people ask about car insurance for couples. These can help you decide if it's your best option.
About Mark Fitzpatrick