Car Insurance Rates for Married VS. Single Drivers

Your marital status can impact what you pay for auto insurance. Car insurance companies consider married drivers to be more financially stable and more risk-averse than unmarried drivers. Both of these factors signal less risk to the insurance company, which translates to lower premiums for the driver.
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Car Insurance Rates for Married vs. Single Drivers

Written by Brian Greenberg

Last updated: November 24th, 2022

Reviewed by Grant Desselle

How Do Insurance Policies Differ by Marital Status?

Car insurance policies can differ in price depending on whether you’re married or single. Both a study from several years back and more recent analysis show that single drivers pay more for car insurance than married drivers. A 2015 Consumer Federation of America study found rates to be 8% to 22% higher for single drivers. Interestingly, rates were the same for all single drivers, regardless of whether they were never-married, divorced, or widowed. More recent data indicates this gap hasn’t narrowed.

The following table breaks down the average premium differences for married vs. single drivers.

Company Average premium increase for single drivers
Liberty 8%
Nationwide 9%
Progressive 19%
Farmers 22%

Though this data is several years old, more recent analysis indicates that the difference in car insurance premiums for married versus single drivers hasn’t been reduced in any meaningful way.

Car insurance premiums are all about risk. Insurers calculate a driver’s risk level using a number of factors. The higher the risk level, the more money the insurer is likely to have to pay out in claims stemming from accidents. The insurer charges higher premiums to compensate for that risk.

Marital status is one of many factors included in this risk calculation, and it’s far from the most significant one. A person’s age and driving record, for instance, can have a much greater impact on their car insurance rates. But higher premiums for single drivers are a real thing, and drivers should be aware of this when shopping for coverage.

Are Car Insurance Policies More Expensive for Single Drivers?

Car insurance policies typically cost more for single drivers when all other variables are equal. In other words, a single driver with a perfect driving record will probably have cheaper car insurance than a married driver with tickets, accidents, and DUIs. But if you take two drivers of the same age and gender, in the same zip code, driving the same type of car, and having the same driving record, the single one will probably pay more for insurance than the married one.

That said, not all companies charge single drivers more than married drivers. For instance, both the 2015 CFA study and more recent analysis of car insurance rates show no difference in what State Farm charges drivers based on marital status.

That doesn’t mean that just because you’re single, State Farm will offer you the best rates. Depending on other factors, a different company might have cheaper premiums, even with the single driver penalty.

Do You Receive a Discounted Car Insurance Policy If You are Married?

Car insurance companies don’t have specific discounts for being married. Rather, marital status is one of many factors they use to assess risk. Because being married is associated with greater stability and less risk-taking, many car insurance companies consider married drivers as safer prospects and charge them lower premiums as a result.

Do You Have to Add Your Spouse to Your Auto Insurance Policy?

There’s no legal requirement to add your spouse to your auto insurance policy. You can even specifically exclude your spouse if you’re worried they’ll increase your premiums due to a bad driving record or some other factor. But if you exclude them, they won’t be covered if they drive your car and get into an accident. It’s also important to remember that most insurance companies offer multi-car and multi-line discounts, making it cheaper for a married couple to be on the same policy.

What are the Cheapest Insurance Options For Married vs. Single Drivers?

The cheapest car insurance options for married vs. single drivers depend on not just marital status but also factors such as age, gender, zip code, and vehicle type. The table below lists the average premiums for a 30-year-old male driver depending on whether they’re single or married and shows that State Farm has the lowest average rates in both cases. For a driver of a different age and gender, however, a different company might have the best rates.

Company Annual premium (married driver) Annual premium (single driver)
State Farm $1,645 $1,630
Progressive $1,840 $2,175
GEICO $2,210 $2,235
Allstate $3,160 $3,270

Risk influences car insurance rates, and whether it’s fair or not, companies view single drivers as riskier. But you can still find competitive car insurance rates as a single driver by shopping around, doing your homework, and comparing quotes.

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