Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

Full Bio →

Written by

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Feb 25, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance providers please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

The lowdown...

  • When you get married, it’s a common practice to combine your auto insurance for convenience and discounts
  • While combining insurance is common, there’s no rule that says spouses can’t carry separate insurance policies
  • If you keep your vehicle registered in only your name, there’s no issue keeping insurance in only your name
  • When your spouse has their own coverage elsewhere, they aren’t required to be rated on your insurance policy
  • Combining your insurance will help you save money by getting married, multi-car and multi-line discounts

When a couple takes the leap and decides to get married, it’s often said that two souls become one. Married couples unite intellectually, emotionally, and especially financially. They must learn how to merge not just all of their finances, but their interests, their time, and all of their possessions as well. This includes everything from properties to vehicles.

Find the right couple auto insurance with multi-car discounts for free using our free comparison tool above!

Just because you’ve taken a vow to live the remainder of your life as one doesn’t mean that you have to combine each and every financial account that you hold.

There are accounts that you’ve carried since you become independent that you might not want to say goodbye to and one of these is your auto insurance. Most drivers come into a marriage with a preference for their own insurance company. Here’s a guide to managing auto insurance after marriage:

Does your auto insurance carrier require you to combine auto insurance?

Auto insurance companies have requirements that you have to comply with. If you’re not in compliance with the terms of your contract, the insurer has the right to either terminate your policy with little to no notice or deny your claim. This is why you should always be aware of your obligations when your life changes or your household changes. Money considerations, including insurance premiums and other costs, are a part of establishing a household.

When you get married, it can completely change the way your policy needs to be structured. That doesn’t mean that you’re required to combine your insurance with your spouse just because you’ve said your I dos. You’ll need to make all of the right updates, but there isn’t a rush or a requirement that says it’s illegal to insure your cars separately.

Compare Insurance Providers Rates to Save Up to 75%

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Spouses Who Live in the Household Are Automatically Covered For the Term

Your auto insurance policy has some special provisions built into the contract that truly benefit you. Most consumers don’t even know these provisions exist until they are facing a scenario where they need to file a claim. Surprisingly enough, when you get married your insurer gives you the gift of automatic coverage. This is set forth in the policy definitions.

According to the definitions on your Personal Auto Policy (PAP) contract, spouses who live in the same household as the named insured are also considered named insureds even if they aren’t listed on the declarations page. The coverage extends to resident spouses as long as they live in the same home and they aren’t a named insured on another policy.

Why is coverage extended to a spouse not listed?

It seems awfully generous that a carrier would classify a spouse who’s not yet listed on your policy as a named insured. The provision might benefit you, but it’s only because you’d be left vulnerable if the insurer didn’t classify your spouse as a named insured.

Both you and your spouse are legally liable for damages that the other one causes. If you cause damages and your spouse is sued, the insurer needs to defend the both of you to safeguard your finances. It works the same way when your spouse can be held liable for damaging property or injuring a person in a vehicle.

Your Spouse Must Be Listed as a Driver if They Don’t Have Their Own Insurance

You may be covered if a lawsuit is filed against both you and your spouse, but you can’t rely on automatic coverage when your spouse is driving your vehicle. Anyone who lives in your household and doesn’t have insurance needs to be listed as a driver if you want your claims to be covered.

If the carrier finds out you’ve been hiding a driver in your home from them, your policy could be canceled. Luckily, if your spouse already owns their own car and they have their own insurance separately, they don’t have to be rated on the policy because they have their own coverage to file against.

It’s still important to tell your insurer that your spouse lives in the home and has their own insurance so they’re a deferred operator in the records.

Compare Insurance Providers Rates to Save Up to 75%

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

It Makes Sense to Keep Policies Separate When a Spouse Has a Bad Record

It’s not always in your best interest to keep policies separate but there are scenarios where it’s a good option. All insurance providers have underwriting guidelines. Preferred companies will only insure drivers with good or even blemish-free records.

If your spouse has a bad driving record, it could disqualify you from the program and you would have to shop for coverage elsewhere.

When you still qualify for coverage with the carrier, it can affect your own rates because there’s a high-risk driver on the policy. It’s best to keep your coverage separate until some of the tickets fall off of your spouse’s record.

When Does Your Spouse Need to Be a Listed Named Insured

If you’ve gone to the DMV and added your spouse as a registered owner of your car, you’ll have to update your insurance accordingly.

In most states, the registered owners and named insureds must match for your insurance to be acceptable. If the names don’t match, then you can be fined just as if you were driving your car uninsured.

Know the Benefits of Combining Your Auto Insurance

If you just don’t feel like making the effort to combine insurance policies, you should consider the benefits instead of procrastinating. When both of you have a clean driving record, you can really save money by putting your insurance together. You’ll get both a multi-car discount and a married spouse discount which can reduce your premiums on each of the vehicles in your home. Any discounts on your insurance rates is a welcome bonus to a newly established household.

You should check with your auto insurance company to see how being married will change your rates if you add your spouse’s car to your policy. Compare the rate to a quote from your spouse’s insurer. If neither one of the auto insurance rates is to your liking, you can get combined quotes through other companies.

If you’d like to get these comparison quotes quickly, use an online rating tool and then you can choose the best financial decision for your household.

Find the right car insurance for you and your spouse by entering your zip below!