Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Most insurance companies give policyholders discretion regarding who they cover as a listed driver under their policy
  • While you might not be required to list your wife as a covered driver under your policy, adding your wife could prove to be advantageous
  • When your wife has her own vehicle and her own insurance, you should advise your agent that she lives in the home but has her own insurance
  • You may qualify for a lower premium because of your combined credit rating and your martial status
  • If your wife has a poor driving record and she lives in the home, the insurance company may request that you add her


When you get married you feel like you’re on top of the world. It’s not until the honeymoon is over and you have to take care of business that you realize how much goes into going from a single individual to a married couple.

You need to apply for joint accounts, combine your medical insurance, and go from two households to one. While it is not necessarily required, you also have to update your car insurance.

While submitting legal documents is a priority, you can’t overlook the importance of reviewing your auto insurance portfolio after you’re married.

Not only will you have different insurance needs, you may fall into a different rating class with a wife in the household. Here’s what you should know about car insurance after marriage.

Enter your zip code into our FREE comparison tool and starting researching how you can save money!

Can you legally have separate auto insurance policies?

Whether or not you are allowed to have separate car insurance policies depends entirely on how your cars are registered. If you decide that you want to keep the registrations separate, you are free to keep separate insurance policies for as long as you want.

If, however, you change your vehicle registrations to read both of your names, your insurance policy must match.

The state doesn’t require drivers to combine their auto policies when they are married and neither do insurance companies generally. As long as your wife has insurance, your company can’t force you to add her as a rated driver on your policy. But if you don’t combine your policies, it could cost you more.

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What happens to your policy if your wife has insurance with another carrier?

If you have to take care of other business and leave your policies as is, you should still contact your insurance company and advise them that you are married and your wife has her own policy.

When you notify your insurance company that someone in your household has insurance elsewhere, the company will list the driver as a deferred operator. This status means that the company knows she is a household member but aren’t charging her a rate. You may be asked to provide proof that your wife has coverage elsewhere.

What happens if your wife doesn’t have her own insurance?

If your wife doesn’t own a vehicle or carry auto insurance, your insurance company will require you to list her for coverage while she’s driving any covered car.

If you don’t want to add your wife as an additional named insured or rated driver, the company will ask you to sign a driver exclusion form stating that they will not cover her.

If your refuse to sign a driver exclusion form, the insurance company may be within their rights to cancel your coverage. After all, having a new driver in the home that you refuse to list could put the company at risk.

Since your contract says that you must add new drivers promptly, you could be violating the terms by failing to add your wife.

Benefits of Adding Your Wife to Your Policy

Just because you add your wife to your insurance policy doesn’t mean that your rates will automatically go up. In fact, adding your wife to your insurance can bring your rates down in certain situations. Here are some ways that adding your spouse can help you save money on your insurance premiums:

  • You will be rated as a married driver. Married males pay less than single males, especially in younger age brackets.
  • If you add your wife as a named insured and she has a better credit-based insurance score, you could qualify for a better rate.
  • If your wife has a good driving record and you have blemishes on your record, you can assign your wife as the primary driver and lower your rates.
  • If you add your wife’s car to your policy, you will qualify for a multi-car discount.
  • Both cars will get a multi-policy discount if you have renters or life insurance.

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When should you keep your policies separate?

Combining insurance doesn’t always make sense. If you have a preferred rating, and your wife has a bad driving record, you should consider keeping the policies separate until tickets and accidents age. When her record improves, you can add her to your policy and take advantage of the savings.

If you’re curious to see how much you would pay for insurance with other carriers, start to get insurance quotes now. Use our FREE online rate comparison tool and get instant quotes for you and your wife today.