Jesse Levey recently saved $200 a year on
by having a girlfriend. The 31-year-old Californian, who works in
marketing, recently got the pleasant surprise when he added his
girlfriend to his auto insurance policy.
"They ran the quote and said it was $200 less per year," he
says. "She has a good driving record, but so do I. She is going to
be using my car some of the time. We live in the same place."
It turns out that one unexpected benefit of love and commitment
cheap auto insurance
Girlfriends with benefits
Girlfriends can lower a car insurance rate because they're often
"less risky" than their boyfriends. Insurance companies generally
see women as safer drivers, and couples are better risks than
"It typically happens because the insurance company views the
woman as a better risk or because the company offers discounts to
family policies, which may include unrelated people who share the
same home," explains Robert Houlihan, chief product officer at
Houlihan notes that getting married could bring down one's car
insurance price even more.
Generally, a couple must live together to receive reduced
on a shared policy. Shawn Christie, an insurance broker in Colorado
Springs, Colo., says about 10 percent of his male clients see their
rates drop when they add a wife or domestic partner to their
policies, sharing the same vehicle.
Going the wrong direction
Of course, the "wrong" significant other could actually increase
Before sharing a car insurance policy, ask your partner about
his or her driving history, says David Snyder, vice president and
associate general counsel for the American Insurance
"It has often been said when you marry someone, you also marry
their family. You may be marrying their insurance rating as well,"
points out Snyder.
And it's not just tickets and accidents that push up car
insurance rates. Bad credit can ding you, too. If your partner is
slow to pay his or her bills, says Christie, it could result in
auto insurance rates
"Companies have found that if you pay your bills, statistically
you drive more responsibly," he explains.
Calculating car insurance rates
Snyder stresses that each insurance company has its own way of
Calculating rates for adding a driver "is a blending of many
factors," he says.
If your domestic status changes, you should contact your car
insurance company to find out if you are entitled to cheaper car
insurance rates, says Houlihan. "Anytime you are changing anything
in your profile, it is always a good idea to check with your