There are a lot of things to consider when you get married, and one of the things that people often neglect is their car insurance. While you and your spouse likely have separate policies at the start of your marriage, it is important that you merge onto one car insurance policy. There are several reasons that adding your spouse to your car insurance is a good idea.
The Rules of Car Insurance
Car insurance companies base your premiums on assessed risk. They cannot accurately assess risk unless they are aware of all of the drivers in your household. For this reason, most car insurance companies require that you place all licensed drivers in the household on your car insurance policy. This means that your spouse, if licensed, has to be added to your insurance policy, even if he or she already had their own coverage. Of course, they can drop their coverage once they are added onto your policy.
Misrepresentation and What It Can Cost You
If your car insurance company find out that you got married and did not add your spouse to your car insurance policy, you could be found guilty of misrepresentation. Misrepresentation is a type of insurance fraud. It can cause your claim to be denied, your policy to be cancelled, and can even result in criminal charges.
Misrepresentation happens when you do not add your spouse to your car insurance policy because the car insurance company requires all licensed drivers to be on the policy. When you add a driver to your household, you are obligated to report it to your car insurance company. If you intentionally fail to do so, this is considered misrepresentation.
If you do not add your spouse to your car insurance policy, you could have a number of consequences arise. If your spouse drives your car instead of their own, and they are in an accident, the resulting claim will likely be denied. Even if your spouse has their own car insurance for their own vehicle, your car insurance company could deny any claim that you may put forward to get your damages repaired. Your spouse may be able to file a claim on their own insurance if their policy covers them to drive any car.
If your spouse doesn’t have their own coverage and you try to file a claim on your own car insurance policy, your claim will likely be denied. Your car insurance company could also drop you as a customer and cancel your coverage. If you are dropped by your car insurance company or found guilty of misrepresentation, it could be very difficult to find appropriate car insurance coverage from another company. Once you do find coverage, you will likely pay much more for it than you would have if you had simply added your spouse to your policy.
There are some benefits to adding your spouse to your car insurance policy. Some car insurance companies give customers a discount for having multiple drivers and/or multiple vehicles. You can also save by bundling your combined auto coverage with your new homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies. Often you and your spouse will save money in the long run if you combine your car insurance policies rather than maintaining separate policies.
Another benefit to adding your spouse onto your car insurance is that you will be able to drive each other’s cars when the need arises. You will not have to worry about whether or not your accident will be covered if one occurs. This peace of mind is often worth every penny you spend on car insurance for your spouse.
If Your Spouse Has a Poor Driving Record
It is possible that if your spouse has a poor driving record, your car insurance company could refuse to cover them. If that happens, you will have to shop around for a different car insurance policy. You will not be able to keep your existing policy and just get separate insurance for your spouse. You both have to be on the same policy, because you are in the same household.
In these situations it can really pay to shop around for the best coverage. If you are not wanting to add your spouse onto your existing policy because of their poor driving record, shopping around for the best rates could save you a lot of money and hassle. If your spouse requires specific insurance due to previous infractions, such as SR22 coverage, you will want to make sure that the quotes you get include this coverage for your spouse but not for you. While you and your spouse have to be on the same policy, you do not have to have the same coverage. Talk to your insurance agent about what you might be able to do to keep your rates low.