September and October are the most popular months for weddings in the U.S. also among the worst months for vehicle accidents. A coincidence? Likely so. As we head into the dog days of summer, thousands of brides-to-be will be busy going over last-minute details for their fall weddings. And while most of the items on a wedding checklist have big dollar signs attached to them, there’s one money-saving item that should be on every bride’s to-do list but likely isn’t: combining the bride’s and groom’s auto insurance policies into one joint car insurance policy.
Multi-Car Savings and Marriage Benefits
If you and your fiancé have good driving records and haven’t let your insurance coverage lapse, there’s a good chance you can save some money by combining your car insurance policies. Most insurance providers, such as Esurance, provide discounts to customers who are insuring multiple vehicles on a single policy. And if you and your significant other are each using different insurance providers, getting married is a great reason to check the rates of both companies and a few competitors to look for even greater savings on auto insurance for married couples.
At the very least, be sure to tell your insurance agent that you’ve wed because car insurance is typically cheaper when your status changes from “single” to “married.” That’s because insurance companies consider married people more mature and thus less risky. And if your new spouse is under age 25, you may be in line for even bigger savings. Why? Because married young men tend to have fewer risky behaviors–such as drinking and driving–than their single counterparts and tend to take better care of themselves.
Good Credit, Bad Drivers and Older Cars
If you live anywhere other than Hawaii, California or Massachusetts, your credit score can affect your car insurance rates: a lower score can mean higher rates, and vice versa. To get around this, list the person in your new household with the best credit score as the primary insured. His or her credit score will be the one on which the insurance company bases its rates.
Likewise, if one of you has a propensity for collecting speeding tickets or has had quite a few accidents, combining your car insurance policies may actually result in higher rates. To avoid this, you can just list the higher-risk spouse on your newlywed car insurance policy and defer him to his own individual insurance. Or you can exclude him or her, but that means if your spouse borrows your ride and has an accident, you’re responsible for all damages.
Because vehicles over 10 years old decrease in value, if your car is at least a decade old you can save money by increasing your collision deductible to $1,000 or by dropping collision coverage completely. In either case, understand that you may end up totaling the car if accident repairs are more than $1,000.
Finally, if you and your new significant other will be living at the same address for the first time, don’t forget to look into bundling your homeowners or renters insurance with your car insurance. Some companies offer discounts of up to 25% if you insure your ride and your home with them.
With savings like that, maybe you can swing for shrimp cocktail rather than pigs-in-a-blanket at your wedding reception.