Ah, marriage — that beloved, respected, and cherished institution. Many people in California identify marriage as one of their biggest personal milestones; and some even view it as a life goal. And for everyone who ties the knot, their very existence is altered on a practical level. Married couples make decisions together, inherit their partner’s family and friends, and adjust their daily lives to account for another person.
Oh, and marriage also affects auto insurance rates as well. But this, as with many (all?) aspects of marital bliss, is usually a good thing.
Married? Congratulations… On Lower Auto Insurance Rates!
It’s true: married drivers tend to pay less for auto insurance than their unmarried counterparts in most (but not all) states. Though the difference varies by state and insurer, a wedding ring is good for an approximate 10% cut in premiums.
This “marriage discount” is true even in California, where insurance regulators tend to more closely monitor the determinants that insurers can use to compute premiums for auto coverage. Marital status is considered an “optional factor” which insurance companies can weigh in their auto insurance calculations, along with such data as gender, vehicle characteristics, and multi-vehicle households. As the term implies, optional factors must be relied upon less heavily than the three mandatory factors as determined by the state’s insurance commission — namely, driving record, annual miles driven, and years of driving experience. Insurance companies must still “apply” to the state’s insurance regulatory body to incorporate marital status into their premium calculations.
Why the Auto Insurance Marriage Discount?
So why do Californians pay less for auto coverage if they are married to another person? Part of the answer lies with the idea of paying less per unit when purchasing more units (aka, “buying in bulk”). When two people combine their auto insurance policies, the total premium they will pay will likely be less than the sum of what each was paying individually before. That’s because the risk of accidents is now shared between two people; and the more that risk is spread around in a group, the less money each individual in the group typically pays for coverage.
But beyond that, statistics have repeatedly demonstrated that a married driver is a safer driver. More specifically, married people tend to get into fewer accidents and/or file fewer insurance claims that non-married drivers, which places them in a lower risk group and allows them to pay less for coverage. Experts don’t have a specific reason why this is the case, although they do have a few theories. One is that married people tend to drive less than single people do (perhaps because they share the driving errands for the same household instead of one person doing all of the driving). Another is that the dual incomes of a married household give them more fiscal leeway to handle lower-cost collision repairs by paying for them out of pocket without filing a claim. And some believe that the stability of marriage on a person’s life translates into an improvement in his or her driving habits.
Therefore, while lower auto insurance premiums aren’t a reason to get hitched in and of itself, it certainly is a nice fringe benefit for couples. Whenever you do say “I do,” be sure to include your auto insurance agent on the list of people with whom you share the great news. Or you can contact Auto Insurance Specialists and try to find a different policy that not only gives you a significant marriage discount, but also better conforms to your needs now that you are embarking upon your life together.
This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements. The definitions, terms and coverage’s in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.