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So, your new spouse has a bad driving record

In this day and age of online dating, social media breakups, and all the potential pitfalls of trying to not remain single into your 40s, there’s a better than decent chance that when you finally find “the one”, their driving record isn’t on your list of potential relationship red flags.

Leapfrog forward to the day after your wedding.

Generally speaking, your new marital status can decrease your car insurance premium. Again, in this day and age, while technology can give a more accurate picture of driving habits, the actuarial model of single versus married still prevails. Insurers have used it for decades. And statistics show clearly that married couples, and more specifically men, develop safer driving habits and drive more family-friendly cars that are safer in general and not oriented toward aggressive driving after they are married.

Obviously, the majority of newly married couples combine their auto insurance policies, since it’s likely that they will be driving each other’s vehicles and are looking for a better rate. But what if, while finding out their favourite colour, music, and how they like their eggs, you didn’t discover the fact your new husband or wife used to be a menace behind the wheel and has a couple of at-fault accidents, a previous licence suspension, and a handful of speeding tickets?

Now that you’re attached to them, and returning all the wedding gifts would be both a hassle and embarrassing, consider the following tactics that might help lower your premiums:

Multi-vehicle discount

Combining the ownership and insurance policies on multiple cars will generally save a couple money. So, while the combined rate might be more than the safer partner’s premium would be single, it would save money over the poorer driver’s policy. Also keep in mind that insurers may take into consideration the record of every driver living in the same home, so having separate policies might not make for much of a savings.

Excluding a driver

If your new spouse has a driving record so tarnished it’s impossible to get affordable insurance, excluding them from your policy might be an approach worth considering.

In a practical sense, it means your partner cannot drive your car or your insurance will be void. You must sign a legal document promising this. And if your partner’s record is that bad, his or her insurance may make driving impractical for him or her.

Bundling your home and auto policies

The long and short of this one means that if one thing costs you more, it may result in something else costing less. If both partners keep their auto policies and purchase a home policy from the same provider, they may find that they’ve saved enough on their home policy to almost offset the increase in car insurance.

Accident forgiveness

If both partners have an accident forgiveness clause in their contracts, that means one at-fault accident – their first – won’t impact their premiums. So, you don’t face a premium increase for that one time you tapped a fire hydrant trying to leave the mall. That doesn’t excuse speeding tickets, careless driving, or other sins on the roadway, but it’s a good idea anyway if the rate is affordable. They’re called accidents for a reason. Everybody has them.

Make driving safely a priority

Obeying the rules of the road and making safe driving a priority is the one part of the premium equation you can both control; rules of the road are called “rules” for a reason and following them keeps your insurance rate lower. But when one of you breaks them, that record will follow you for a long time – tickets will stay on your driving record for at least three years, accidents for six years.

If you haven’t taken a drivers’ education course, it’s a good idea. No matter how long you’ve been driving, a course teaches driving strategies to keep you safe and out of trouble – and can reduce your premium.

Whether your relationship status is “newly married”, “single”, or “it’s complicated”, the brokers and CSRs at DPM Insurance Group are prepared to help you find the absolute best automotive insurance policy to meet your driving needs. Click here to contact one of our six offices across Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent: https://dpmins.com/locations/


Source: Dave Webb for insurancehotline.com


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