What’s Joint Car Insurance?

Fran
Lucy Lazarony
September 30, 2020

A joint car insurance policy, also known as a couple’s policy, includes both drivers’ cars on the same policy. And this is usually cheaper than getting two separate car insurance policies. If you’re married, you’ll get a marriage discount in addition to the multi-vehicle discount you’ll receive when signing up for a joint car insurance policy. So choosing a joint car insurance policy has a lot of benefits. But it is still a good idea to shop around and compare the costs of a joint car insurance policy with the costs of separate policies from several different insurance companies.

What Is a Marriage Discount?

If you’re married, you’ll want to know about this. There is a correlation between being married and exhibiting safe driving behavior. Because of this, married drivers pay less for auto insurance than single drivers. So one of the first things to do after getting married is shop for better car insurance. And considering a joint car insurance policy with your husband or wife should be at the top of your list.

Similarity of Vehicles Being Insured

How similar are the cars you are insuring? Are they similar in age, make and model? If they are, they would be a good fit for a joint car insurance policy. If their insurance needs are similar, why not get a joint car insurance policy?

Disparity of Auto Ages

But what if your car is 20 years older than your husband’s or wife’s car? You may not need the insurance they need for a much newer car. You might do just fine getting scaled down insurance for an older car. You can still go to the same insurance company with your spouse and get a marriage discount but stick with your separate policy. Not sure if a joint car insurance policy is right for you? Run the numbers.

Shop Around

The best way to see if a joint car insurance policy is right for you is to shop around. Compare getting a joint car insurance policy with sticking with separate policies and do this with several insurance companies.

You Don’t Need to Be Married

You don’t have to be married to sign up for a joint car insurance policy. If you live in the same household and you share vehicles, you should check out a joint car insurance policy with your friend or partner. It may lower your insurance costs.

How Much Car Insurance Should You Buy?

You are looking to share a joint car insurance policy with a spouse or significant other. What should be included in the policy? You are sharing a policy, so better make it a good one.

If either of you are financing a vehicle, you will need to include collision insurance and comprehensive insurance. Collision insurance is coverage that helps to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged in an accident with another vehicle or object such as a fence or a tree. Comprehensive insurance covers events that aren’t covered by collision insurance. These events include fire, theft, vandalism and damages from weather such as a hailstorm, a windstorm, a hurricane and a tornado.

Both collision and comprehensive coverages come with deductibles. A deductible is the amount you need to pay before your auto insurance company begins to pay for damages to your car and losses. Choosing a higher deductible will lower your auto premium. So talk it over with your partner, a higher deductible can save you money. Are you comfortable with the higher dollar amount? One way to ease its burden is to put the deductible amount in a small emergency fund. That way the money would be there if either of you should make an auto insurance claim.

Liability insurance is a very important coverage decision. If you ever cause a car crash, liability insurance pays for other people’s injuries and property damage up to a liability limit. How much liability coverage do you need? The Insurance Information Institute recommends at least $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person, $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident and $100,000 property damage liability coverage.

Depending on your state, you may be required to get medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP). PIP is also known as no-fault insurance and this coverage will reimburse you for any hospital or medical expenses and lost wages from inability to work. PIP will cover these expenses regardless of who is responsible for the accident.

Your state also may require you to get uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages. Uninsured motorist coverage helps you pay for damages caused by a driver who doesn’t have insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage protects you in the event of an accident where the other party is at fault and doesn’t have enough insurance.

These are all big decisions. Take out the declarations pages of your current policies and compare coverages. Are your policies similar or different? Discuss any changes you’d like to make. Talk the changes over with an insurance agent. You are looking for the insurance coverage that you want at a good price. And you want to include coverages that are important to each of you. So talk it over like a team and when you’re done you’ll have a joint car insurance policy that works for both of you.

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