If you are about to say “I do”, there are a lot of preparations that need to be made. These preparations extend far beyond the wedding day; in fact, many of these preparations are much more important than the wedding itself.
That’s right: you need to plan for your future together as husband and wife. This means that you not only have to plan for your living situation, but you also have to plan things for auto insurance. While it probably doesn’t sound very romantic, after you get hitched, your auto insurance is extremely important. You want to ensure that both you and your spouse are properly covered in the event of an accident or some other type of incident, which is why contact your insurance company to let them know that you exchanged vows is important.
Why Should You Let Your Auto Insurance Provider Know You Are Married?
While the rules and regulations surrounding auto insurance vary, generally, married couples must be listed on each other’s policies. The reason? – It’s assumed that both parties in a married couple will have equal access to a vehicle. In other words, a husband will have equal access to his wife’s vehicle, and a wife will have equal access to her husband’s vehicle; you can drive one another’s vehicle at any time.
In order for someone who drives your car to be covered by your auto insurance policy, he or she must be listed as a primary driver. In the case of married couples, insurance carriers view both spouses as primary drivers, as they have equal access to each other’s vehicles. If you are married and your spouse is using your car but is not listed on your auto insurance, your carrier may be hesitant to pay out a claim in the event of an accident; in fact, your carrier may actually end up denying the claim.
Why? – Because whenever someone has regular access to your vehicle and drives it on a frequent basis, there is a greater risk that the individual will get into an accident. As you can imagine, the increased risk of an accident also puts the auto insurance carrier at greater risk, meaning that the likelihood that they will have to pay out a claim is greater. Therefore, if your spouse is not listed on your policy and is involved in a crash, your carrier reserves the right to refute a claim.
Will Your Auto Insurance Company Ask For Paperwork?
Now that you know why it’s important to list your spouse on your auto insurance policy after you get married, you’re probably wondering what type of information your carrier will ask for.
In order to verify the marriage, you might have to show your car insurance company the social security cards of both you and your spouse, and they should illustrate changed names, if applicable. Your insurance company might also ask to see a copy of your official marriage certificate to verify that you are, indeed, married. The marriage certificate should be notarized and contain all of the pertinent information, including the date of the wedding and the signatures of those who witnessed your exchange of vows.
As to whether your insurance provider will ask for this paperwork or not, it all depends on the company. Some insurers do and some do not. Regardless, it’s best to have this paperwork available in case they do ask for it.
How Will Adding Your Spouse to Your Auto Insurance Affect Premiums
It depends. Generally, auto insurance companies offer discounts for married couples. Why? – Because, statistically speaking, married couples are less likely to be involved in collisions. The reason for this is unclear; however, it has been speculated that married drivers drive less than single drivers, thus reducing the chances of an accident. It’s also been hypothesizes that married drivers take less risks than single drivers (perhaps because they are considering their spouse when they are driving).
Whatever the reason is, since statistics show that married couples are less likely to be involved in motor vehicle collisions, the rates for married couples are usually less than single drivers. Therefore, if you add your husband to your policy and he ditches the policy that he had while he was single, you will likely pay less than you would when you each had your own individual policies.
However, while generally speaking, married couples pay less for auto insurance, there is a chance that your rates could increase when adding your husband or wife to your policy. For example, if your husband has been involved in several accidents or has multiple moving violations on his driving record and you are adding him to your policy, your premiums will likely go up.
Should You Ever Keep Separate Policies?
While adding your spouse to your auto insurance policy is recommended (and generally required), it might still be a wise idea to maintain separate policies. Why? Because there may be instances where having individual policies will be in your best interest.
For example, if your wife drives a more expensive car than you do, it might be better for you to have separate policies. Or, if your husband drives a classic car or drives more frequently than you do, you might want to keep separate policies.
If you are getting married and you have any questions about adding your spouse onto your policy, speak to your insurance company. A reputable agent will be able to provide you with the information that you seek so that you can make the best decision financial decision for both you and your new husband or wife.