When you were single, you probably spent a lot more time in your car than you do now. Picking up dates, visiting friends and those trips to Mom's so she could do your laundry, put miles on the vehicle and cost you more in insurance premiums because the insurance industry thinks that single people are a higher risk. Now that you are married, you'll most likely get a reduction in insurance costs. However, there are exceptions. Understanding how insurance for married couples works and how to obtain it will help you take care of it with little stress.
Order copies of your driving record and the driving record of your spouse through your state's department of safety. The record will show each person's ticket history. Don't concern yourself with non-moving violations; they don't impact insurance rates. Note all moving violations and the number of points each one attaches to the driver's license associated with the violation.
Shop online for a price quote. If you or your spouse has a poor driving record, you should get quotes as a couple and as separate drivers. In some states, every driver in the home must be included in your policy unless you sign a statement excluding that driver from coverage on the policy. It releases the insurance company from liability of the excluded driver if the insured vehicle has an accident. Getting quotes for both a married couple policy and separate policies that exclude each other will give you a better idea about how to proceed. Skip obtaining separate policy quotes if you both have decent driving records.
Research your vehicles. Certain high-performance vehicles command higher insurance premiums. If you or your spouse drives a vehicle considered high performance, get separate policies and exclude each other from driving your individual cars.
Use the quotes as a starting point for interviews. Insurance is about more than getting the lowest rate. Find out what the firm's average response time is for claims, how much of a discount you get by being married and whether there are opportunities for additional discounts, such as when you and your spouse have a baby. Call several companies and agents to ask questions. If you call a nearby agent, ask for references to call to determine whether the customers are happy with their coverage, agent and overall insurance experience.
Fill out the application after doing your research and selecting a company to buy insurance from. Most companies have online applications that only take a few minutes to complete. Select a deductible and a payment plan, then submit the application.
Review your insurance choice every 6 to 12 months to be sure that you're still getting the best rate. If you or your spouse turns 25 within that time frame or you have a baby, be sure to contact the agent as you may be eligible for additional discounts.
Candace Webb has been writing professionally since 1989. She has worked as a full-time journalist as well as contributed to metropolitan newspapers including the "Tennessean." She has also worked on staff as an associate editor at the "Nashville Parent" magazine. Webb holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in business from San Jose State University.