Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • For companies which allow domestic partners to be added to your policy, some documentation may be required
  • Some companies will bill you for any increase in price at the time of your regular renewal
  • In most cases, adding your spouse to your policy is not difficult

If you have just gotten married, congratulations!

You already know that many things are changing in your life, and you may have some questions about things like adding your full to your car insurance policy.

If you own a car jointly, you will both need to be on the insurance policy covering that car. On the other hand, if you both hold your cars separately and each has insurance policies, there may not be a need for you to be on each other’s insurance.

Most car insurance policies will cover other drivers of your car when they only drive occasionally, however, some car insurance companies will not extend this coverage to spouses if they are not on your policy, so you have to check with your company to be sure.

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Is a joint car insurance policy cheaper?

In most cases, it is cheaper to have one policy with two cars than two separate systems.

When two people marry, they can easily choose one or the other insurance company and get joint coverage for the two of you under one policy.

Of course, you can maintain separate policies if you choose, and add each other to your own plans.

This may be a good choice if both of you are receiving special discounts, perhaps through work, for which your spouse might not be eligible.

However, in most cases, having a joint policy is going to save you money over having separate systems, no matter what discounts you are currently receiving on your policy.

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Can I still get car insurance discounts?

You can also apply discounts to your standard policy.

In many cases, car insurance companies will give you discounts as long as at least one of you meets the requirements for the cut.

For example, if your company gives a discount for state employees, you may receive this discount even if only one of you is a state employee.

Why do some married couples keep separate car insurance coverage?

For some people having a joint auto insurance policy is not the best choice. In many states, you can exclude members of your family from your system due to driving records or other problems.

If one of you has terrible credit or a poor driving record, adding that person to your policy may cause your rates to increase far more than if you simply allowed the person to get his or her insurance.

In some states, however, you cannot exclude family members from your policy. In these states, if a person is a family member, he or she must be on your insurance policy.

In this case, you must add your spouse to your policy as soon as you are married, along with any other licensed drivers who are in your household.

What about my domestic partner?

Spouses are looked at differently by most insurance companies than domestic partners.

Although some companies will allow you to add local partners just as if they were legal spouses, other companies will not.

Car insurance companies are sometimes leery of domestic partnerships since they can often be dissolved informally, leaving the insurance company with a policy issued to two people who may not be living together anymore.

The most important thing is, to be honest with your insurance company about your marital status and who is living in your home.

If you try to cover up the fact that you have a spouse who is not on your policy, you could risk having your system canceled or worse, having your insurance company deny coverage if you are in an accident.

In most cases, adding your spouse to your policy is not difficult. Just bring a copy of your marriage certificate to your insurance agent, who will add your spouse to your existing system.

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