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Myth or fact: Families pay less for car insurance than singles

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Anyone who has had a bad experience on the road knows that car insurance is an absolute necessity. Paying for repairs to your car or having to buy a new one if yours is written off is simply not an affordable option for most people. However, even though you know you need it, you might still begrudge paying for it a little bit. That is why looking for ways to lower your monthly insurance premium could bring some relief. 

There are many factors that affect your insurance costs, but did you know your relationship status is one of them? 

If you think this sounds like a myth, think again. Let us take a look at why, if you are married, your premiums might be lower than the unmarried people you know.

If you think that’s unfair for you if you are not married, do not let it get you down – we have several tips on how you can lower your insurance premiums in many other practical ways.

Fact: married people pay less

It sounds old-fashioned, but the stats back up the idea that married people are a lower risk than those who are not married. 

First of all, single people are often younger. Because younger drivers have less experience on the road, they are naturally at greater risk of having an accident. Also, studies have proven that younger people are hardwired to behave in risky ways – the part of the brain responsible for decision-making only matures around the mid-20s. This is one of the reasons why most car insurance policies have the potential to become cheaper once a person reaches 25 years old.

Second, married drivers are seen to have more responsibility – a spouse and often children. The logic is that they would therefore be more cautious on the road because they have their family to think of. They may have their children in the car which can make them more careful – using seatbelts, keeping to the speed limit, and obeying road signs.

Married people may pay less for other insurance types

It is not only car insurance that married people can pay less for. Because of the increased responsibilities and commitments that married folk usually have, they often take out multiple types of insurance, like life, home contents, and buildings cover. If they do this all through one insurer, they may get a special rate for bundling their cover.

At Auto & General, we offer discounts for multi-vehicle policies and for bundling Car, Home Contents, and Buildings Cover – make sure you ask our consultants about it to find out if you qualify.

Other ways marriage affects car insurance

Married couples regularly put their individual cars on the same insurance policy. As with bundling other types of insurance, insuring multiple vehicles under one policy can lead to generous discounts on car insurance for each vehicle.

If there are children old enough to drive in the family, the discounts will extend to their cars as well if they are all on the same policy.

Having said that, there are exceptions to every rule. If you are married to someone with a history of bad driving behaviour (numerous claims and accidents), it might be best to keep your insurance policies separate, because you could be penalised for your partner’s record. Even then, if they are listed on your policy as someone who may occasionally drive your car, it is probably going to put your premiums up. This is because your partner poses a greater risk to the insurer. 

In addition, the next step after marriage for many couples is having children, and this can lower your insurance rates even more. Families with children often upgrade their cars, opting for bigger, safer, and newer vehicles to carry their baby and all the items that go everywhere with them. Depending on the model, this can mean it is less risky for an insurer to cover a family vehicle due to all the safety features, which means lower premiums. 

Reducing your premiums

It is true that families pay less on car insurance than singles do. Unfortunately, this is not one of those factors you can change in a minute. There are, however, many other ways to bring your insurance costs down. Here are a few of our favourite ways:

  • Drive carefully. The more vigilant you are on the road, the less chance there is of you having an accident. The longer you don’t claim for, the better your insurance rate will be because your risk stays the same or gets lower.

  • Don’t claim unless necessary. If you have a small scratch that can be buffered out with polish and a bit of elbow grease, rather do not submit a claim. In some cases, your excess might be more than the cost of the repairs, so think twice before submitting a claim to your insurer.

  • Take a driving course. Many insurance companies will reward their customers with a lower premium just for taking an advanced driving course. The more you know about driving safely and defensively, the less likely you are to have an accident. Insurance companies love this because it means there is less risk of a payout.

  • Switch insurers. If you feel your insurance is too high, you can always shop around for car insurance quotes to make sure you really are getting the best deal on your cover.

  • Install a tracking device. The safer your vehicle is, the lower your risk is. That means you benefit from lower premiums. Make sure the tracking device you install is approved by your insurance company though - some have deals with specific tracking companies that will optimise your reduced rate.

  • Keep your car insured. If you have any gaps in your insurance history, even if just for a few months, you will be penalised when you do get a car cover again. The longer you have uninterrupted insurance for, the better it is for your premium. 

  • Consider changing cars. Perhaps the biggest factor in determining your car insurance premium is the car you drive. There is not really a hard and fast rule here. You might think bigger, newer cars are more expensive to insure but that isn’t always the case. Bigger cars often come with great safety features that can make them less likely to take severe damage in an accident. Older cars can have parts that are difficult to get hold of or that need to be imported, so they can be more expensive to repair, therefore making them more expensive to insure. You can get car insurance quotes before you even test drive so you can get a good idea of what you would pay for coverage on a new vehicle.

  • Increase your excess. Most insurance companies offer policyholders the option to increase their standard excess that will be payable when they claim in return for lowering their monthly premiums. However, before you do this, make sure you can afford to pay the excess should you need to claim.

  • Reduce your insurance. Depending on the car you drive, you do not always need comprehensive car insurance cover. Older cars that are not worth that much will often do better with third-party, fire and theft cover, or third-party only cover. This makes sure you can pay to repair the damage you might do to someone else’s property.

  • Maintain a good credit record. Paying off all your debts on time will help you to build and maintain a good credit history. The reason insurance companies look at your credit score is to see your risk for non-payment. The better your score, the lower your risk, which means lower premiums.

  • Avoid modifications. The more extras and after-factory fittings you install in your car, the more you will pay. This includes installing a new sound system, which will need to be specified on your insurance policy.

  • Upgrade your home security. Something as small as putting a lock on your property gate can reduce your insurance rates. So clear out your garage and park your car in there – you could save loads of money every month.

  • Simply wait. If you are younger than 25 years old, you will pay higher insurance premiums because of your age. Hang tight and wait until you turn 25 – then call your insurer and ask them to adjust your rate.

 

If you are recently married, it is important to let your car insurance company know because it just might lower your premiums. In fact, any time your details or circumstances change, your insurer should be your first phone call. This includes changing your home address, switching jobs (because you will be parking somewhere else during the day), installing electric garage doors, and of course, if changing cars.

 

Sources: HuffPost; Medium; Web MD 

The information in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal, or medical advice.

 


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