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Can Unmarried Couples Have Joint Auto Insurance?

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It’s common for committed couples to wait to get married or even decide never to get married. This leads to common questions about joint auto insurance for unmarried couples. Does it exist? Who is eligible for it? If you drive the same car or live together (or both), it should be pretty easy to get a joint policy. Otherwise, it may be more complicated – but some solutions are still available.

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Can Unmarried Couples Living Together Share an Insurance Policy?

If you live with your significant other, then getting a joint policy will be generally straightforward. That’s because your auto insurance provider automatically assumes that anyone in your house will occasionally drive your car.

Most car insurance companies require you to list everyone in your household on your policy for this reason. This rule applies to drivers with learners’ permits or anyone else with a license living in your home. If someone in your household will not drive the car, you can list them as an excluded driver. For example, if you have a few people in your home who are just roommates and nothing more, it’s a good idea to do this. But remember that excluded drivers won’t be given insurance coverage if they drive your vehicle.

What Happens If You Don’t List Your Significant Other and You Live Together?

The consequences for not listing your significant other (or other household members) vary by insurance provider and situation. The most common result would be that your insurance provider would raise your rates when they find out. You may also have difficulty with claims if your significant other is in an accident while driving your car.

Can Unmarried Couples Living Apart Share a Policy?

If you don’t live with your significant other or share a car, you are unlikely to be able to share an auto insurance policy. Most providers require you to share an address with anyone else on your policy. You may find an exception if you are both on the car registration and title.

Can I Add My Significant Other to My Auto Policy?

Depending on your insurance provider, you may be allowed to add your significant other as a driver for your auto, even if you don’t live together. But this varies based on the provider, so you will have to ask.

Non-Owner Insurance

If you or your partner can’t be added as an authorized driver to each other’s auto insurance policies, you may want to get non-owner insurance instead. This provides coverage when driving a vehicle you don’t own. So, your insurance would cover you while driving your partner’s car, even if you aren’t listed on the policy. Your partner would also need to have non-owner insurance when driving your car.

We Can Get a Joint Insurance Policy, But Should We?

Once you know you and your partner are eligible for joint auto insurance, you may start wondering whether you should. Couples can save money and achieve benefits from it, but there are some situations where it may not always be the best idea.

How Unmarried Couples Can Benefit from Joint Car Insurance

Many unmarried couples who live together and frequently drive each other’s cars can benefit from getting a joint policy. Here are some reasons why:

  • Most providers offer car insurance discounts for combined policies (homeowners or renter’s insurance with auto insurance, for example.)
  • Many providers offer discounts for multiple autos on a single policy, or new cars.
  • Some companies offer discounts when you switch providers, which could be useful if you each currently have coverage from different providers.
  • You get the convenience of having a single bill for all auto insurance in the house. This is especially useful if you share finances and expenses.

Why Sometimes Joint Auto Insurance isn’t Always the Best Idea

The truth is, you may not always want to combine auto insurance policies with your partner. Here are some reasons why separate policies are sometimes a better idea:

  • You or your partner have a poor driving record, so rates might  increase dramatically.
  • You or your partner do not have a good credit score.
  • If you end your relationship, having a joint insurance policy could make breaking up more complicated.
  • Your finances are separate in all other ways.
  • Maybe you and your partner are taking advantage of exclusive discounts from your current providers that you wouldn’t get if you switched.

The bottom line is that there is no hard and fast rule as to whether you and your partner should get joint coverage. Married couples don’t always get joint coverage for the same reasons listed above. One of them may have poor credit, or the other has a rougher driving history. Whichever move may help you or your partner get cheap car insurance – that’s always the best move.

At the very least, you’ll want to lower your insurance premium, so you’ll want to compare rates with your partner and pay attention to discounts before making a decision. Regardless of car insurance rates, you should always add your partner as a named driver on your policy if they regularly drive your vehicle.

Our Recommendations for Auto Insurance

Whether you want joint insurance or a solo policy, we strongly suggest considering coverage from GEICO, USAA or Progressive. The best way to compare free quotes from these insurers and other top providers is with a comparison tool like our quote box. Just add your zip code to get started.

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GEICO: Best Overall

Our experts awarded GEICO an overall score of 9.1 for its various additional services and types of coverage, including rental reimbursement, mechanical breakdown insurance and rideshare coverage. GEICO also often features the industry’s lowest rates.

As you compare car insurance quotes, you may want to consider some of the discounts that GEICO offers:

  • Federal employee discount
  • Military discount
  • Seat belt use discount
  • Anti-theft feature discounts
  • Defensive driving discount, and more

USAA:  Best Military Provider

USAA earned an overall rating of 9.6 and ranked as our best insurance provider for military personnel and their families. As you look at the USAA coverage, don’t forget to consider its collection of add-ons like roadside assistance, classic car insurance and accident forgiveness. 

You may consider some of these other savings opportunities from USAA:

  • Military installation discount
  • Vehicle storage discount
  • Multi-car discount
  • Safe driver discount
  • Driver’s course discount, and more

Progressive: Best for High-Risk Drivers

Progressive offers fair rates for drivers who don’t have the cleanest driving records, which is one of the reasons it earned a 9.1 overall rating from us. Some add-ons from Progressive you may want to consider include accident forgiveness, rideshare coverage, loan/lease payoff and custom parts value coverage. 

Policyholders looking to save with Progressive can also take part in the provider’s discounts:

  • Teen driver discount
  • Distant student discount
  • Good student discount
  • Multi-policy discount
  • Homeowner discount

Read more: Progressive insurance review

FAQ: Joint Auto Insurance for Unmarried Couples

Can unmarried people be on the same insurance policy?

Yes, as long as you live at the same address and share a vehicle, you can be on the same auto insurance policy. Unmarried couples can also add each other as authorized drivers on each other’s policies.

Should I put my significant other on my car insurance?

If your significant other lives with you and drives your car – or just drives your car at least 10 to 15 times a year or more, you should put them on your car insurance policy. Most insurance companies will not let you apply the permissive use clause to someone who shares your address – or if there is a reasonable expectation that they would drive your auto.

Can I add a car to my insurance that is not in my name?

It can be very difficult to add a car to your insurance if it isn’t in your name. The best solution is to ask the owner to add you to the title, as this will make it much easier. You may be able to add coverage for the auto if you can show you have a financial interest in it. Otherwise, you should consider non-owner auto insurance.

Can I buy a car with my significant other if we aren’t married?

Yes, you can put your names on the title and the loan. However, you should only buy a car with your significant other if you expect to be together for a while. If you both own a car and the relationship ends, it will make the breakup more complicated.

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