Car insurance for unmarried couples

Unmarried couples who are living together can buy joint car insurance, and may be required to list one another on their insurance if they choose to have separate policies.

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Rachael Brennan

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

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Everyone knows you can add your spouse to your car insurance policy, but sometimes you can (and should!) add someone you’re in a serious relationship with to your insurance, even if you’re not married.

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In fact, if you’re living with a partner, sometimes referred to as cohabiting, not adding them to your insurance policy could cause your insurance company to deny a claim if they get in an accident while driving your car.

Key takeaways

  • Unmarried couples who are living together are usually required to add their significant other to their car insurance policy, exclude them, or buy a policy together.

  • Married drivers are typically charged a lower rate for car insurance than their single counterparts.

  • Once a partner has been added to your insurance they can’t be removed without proof that they have other coverage or have moved to a new address.

Can unmarried couples be on the same car insurance?

Yes, unmarried couples can be on the same insurance policy. In fact, there are some situations where you may be required to add your significant other to your car insurance. But there are a few different ways to add someone to your coverage.

1. Listing them as a driver on your policy

If you and your partner live together or they regularly drive your car, you may need to list them as an active driver on your policy. This could potentially change your insurance rates, especially if they have more accidents or moving violations on their record than you do.

2. Buying a policy together

If you and your significant other buy a car together, you may need to purchase an insurance policy together as well. And if you each have your own vehicle but you live at the same address, you can get an insurance policy together and list both cars on it to take advantage of a multi-car discount.

3. Excluding a driver from coverage

If your partner lives with you but you don’t want them to be covered by your insurance, like if they have a DUI and you don’t want to pay the significantly higher rate your insurance company will charge because of it, you’ll need to specifically exclude them from your policy (that means listing them as an excluded driver). 

But remember that an excluded driver is not covered in an accident, so if you exclude them from your coverage and they drive your car anyway and something happens, you and your significant other will be expected to pay any costs out-of-pocket.

Am I required to add my significant other to my policy?

Yes, there are a few situations where your insurance company may require you to add your significant other to your policy, including:

  • You live together: If you and your partner live together, you will be expected to add them to (or specifically exclude them from) your insurance policy. If you don’t add your live-in partner to your insurance and they are in an accident in your car, your insurance company could potentially deny the claim.

  • They regularly drive your car: If your significant other uses your car on a regular basis, the insurance company would likely consider them a primary driver and require you to list them as a driver on your policy.

  • You live together: If you live with a roommate, your insurance isn’t going to require you to list them on your policy, but, because the nature of the relationship is different, they may expect you to add a live-in romantic partner to your insurance because of the increased likelihood that they will drive your car.

  • You own a car together: If you are both listed on the title of the vehicle, you will both need to be listed on the car insurance policy.

→ Read more about how to add a person to your car insurance policy

Rates for married drivers vs. single drivers

Car insurance rates are generally lower for married people than for single drivers. Unfortunately this means that romantic partners who are living together but are not married may pay slightly higher rates than if they were legally married. 

Marital Status

Average monthly rate

Average annual rate

Divorced

$144

$1,723

Married

$133

$1,591

Single

$143

$1,721

But there are still ways you can save money with a joint policy, even if you aren’t married. For example, if you are combining insurance to cover both of your cars on the same policy, a multi-car discount can save you money on your car insurance.

Want to know how much you’ll pay to add your partner’s car to your car insurance policy? The chart below shows the average rate for adding a second vehicle to a full coverage policy at five of the top insurance companies:

Company

One vehicle

Two vehicles

Allstate

$1,953

$3,356

Farmers

$1,957

$3,461

GEICO

$1,240

$2,182

State Farm

$1,252

$2,106

USAA

$1,126

$1,988

→ Read more about the best insurance companies for multiple vehicles

What happens if we get married or break up?

If you get married you’ll want to update your policy with any changes (like if one or both of you changes your name) and the date you got married. Your insurance company may ask for a copy of your marriage license, so be prepared to fax or email a copy upon request.

If you break up with your partner, you won’t just be able to remove them from the policy. Your insurance company will need to see proof that your partner shouldn’t be on your policy anymore, which could be a declaration page for their new car insurance policy or proof that you no longer live at the same address.

While this may seem frustrating if you’re the one trying to remove your ex from your policy, it protects you, too. Requiring this kind of proof to remove someone from your policy means your ex can’t take you off the policy without your permission, either.

Compare rates and shop affordable car insurance today

We don't sell your information to third parties.

Frequently asked questions

Can you get car insurance together if you're not married?

Yes, if you bought a car with someone you can purchase an insurance policy together as well. If you are living together you can cover both drivers on one policy, but be aware that once you add someone to your policy you can’t take them off without proof they have new coverage or have moved out of your home.

What does cohabiting mean in car insurance?

When it comes to insurance, cohabiting means living together in an intimate relationship without being married. This is to differentiate between having a roommate, who doesn’t need to be listed on your car insurance because they probably aren’t driving your car, and having a significant other who should be included on your policy.

Can I let my boyfriend or girlfriend drive my car?

If your significant other doesn’t live with you, they are still covered if they are in an accident after borrowing your car, even if they’re not on your policy. If you live together you are required to list them on your insurance policy, either as a covered driver or an excluded driver.

Why do insurance companies need to know your marital status?

If you’re married, your insurance company needs to know your spouse’s information to include them on your policy. Married drivers are often charged a lower rate than their single counterparts because statistics show married drivers file fewer claims.

Methodology

Policygenius has analyzed car insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services for every ZIP code in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. 

For full coverage policies, the following coverage limits were used:

  • Bodily injury liability: 50/100

  • Property damage liability: $50,000

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: 50/100

  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible

  • Collision: $500 deductible

In some cases, additional coverages were added where required by the state or insurer.

Rates for overall average rate, rates by ZIP code, and cheapest companies determined using averages for single drivers age 30, 35, and 45. Our sample vehicle was a 2017 Toyota Camry LE driven 10,000 miles per year.

Rates for driving violations and “poor” credit were determined using average rates for a single male 30-year-old driver with a credit score under 578.

Author

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

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Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

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