Having a partner with bad driving history is a problem people may try to avoid. Auto insurance companies do not only look at the policyholder’s driving history but also their partners’. And they like to know about other people of driving age living in the same household. They may be family members like partners, children and brother/sister. However, they do not necessarily need to be related in any way.
Why Do Auto Insurers Need to Know about Your Partner?
Marital status is one of the questions in the quote forms and you will need to let the companies know if you are married. Then, there would be the question of your spouse’s driving history. Even if he/she has his/her own automobile, companies would want to take his/her driving history into account. They do look at the family structure, marital status and home ownership before they decide on a premium offer.
Actually, it may be beneficial to include your spouse because companies offer better rates for married people. You may still be able to buy joint car insurance for unmarried couples and ask for similar discounts. Many companies don’t draw a clear-cut distinction between legally certified and unmarried.
It would make sense to add your partner on your policy since it will affect your rates either way. Trying to hide the fact that you are married and living with your spouse can cause serious problems in the future. This will be especially the case when your partner causes the accident or was driving at the time. Besides, it isn’t something you can easily hide. It is a legally registered fact. This may not be as clear cut with someone you are living with but not married.
Problems with Not Informing the Insurer You Are Living with Someone
It may be seen as a deliberate misleading and can refuse claims submitted. Also, it is considered a fraud as you have withheld information knowingly for the purpose of keeping your car insurance rates low. There are cases of people sentenced for such misdemeanors and pay heavy penalties including paying back the claims paid in the past and paying the saved premium amounts from the start of the policy going back several years.
Motorists may wonder why companies want to know about their partners when they are not going to be driving. It is not up to the policyholders to determine the relevance in this case. People in driving age and living with you are material details as far as vehicle insurance concerned.
Depending on circumstances companies may act differently. For example, if a partner drives the car without being listed in the partner’s policy and causes an accident some companies may pay for the damages. Even then they would want an explanation and require the policyholder pay additional premium starting from the date you started living together.
Again, it will all depend on the individual circumstances and insurers. For example, it may not be a big problem if you married only a couple of months ago and you forget to tell the insurer since you were busy with wedding arrangements and honeymoon. But what sort of an excuse could you give if you have not mentioned your wife of ten years?
Positive Effects of Being Married Compared to Negative Effects
Most companies offer discounts to married people. So, even if your spouse’s driving history is bad your premium may not be affected as much for listing him/her as a second driver. The discounts you receive for being married would take away some of the possible premium increases. Overall, it may not be worth making a big deal about it. Also, by shopping around you can negate some of the rate increases. It is always best to be upfront with your insurer and not be economical about the truth.