The marriage rate in America has been dropping faster than a rock for several decades now, and is especially low for Millennials. According to the Pew Research Center, in 1960 68% of all 20-somethings were married, but by 2008, it had dropped to 26%, due in part to the prolonged recession, shifting public attitudes, effective contraception and women in the workforce. If the trend continues, overall U.S. marriage rates will drop to a low of just 6.74 weddings per 1,000 people in 2015. While cheaper car insurance isn’t the greatest reason in the world to buck the trend and tie the knot, it is one of the benefits.
According to ClaimsJournal.com, citing a recent study from the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), many insurance carriers consider marital status along with age, driving record, gender and credit worthiness when determining car insurance premiums. CFA collected quotes for state-mandated minimum liability from six insurers (State Farm, Farmers, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, Geico and Progressive, in 10 cities nationwide). Of the six audited, only State Farm didn’t charge a different rate based on marital status. (The CFA study also found that four of six didn’t charge higher prices for domestic partners than for folks in a traditional marriage, either.)
How come? Well, insurance companies base rates on data and they take a lot of risk factors into consideration. Their actuarial info says that married people are statistically less likely to get into a car accident than someone who is single, divorced or widowed.
- In the 10 cities CFA studied, four of six major insurers increased rates on state-mandated liability coverage for widows by an average of 20%. Nationwide sometimes did, and State Farm never did.
- At most major companies, rates are almost always higher for single, separated and divorced drives than for married drivers.
- The smallest price differences between single and married premiums in the 10 cities studied were in Oakland because California law requires auto insurers to consider miles driven, years driving and driving record as primary factors, while things like marital status are optional and cannot have as significant an impact on rates.
Another study commissioned by InsuranceQuotes found that car insurance premiums can vary on average by more than 50% based on age, gender and marital status, with marital status almost always having as significant an impact as age and gender. A married 20-year-old, for example, paid on average 21% less than a single 20-year-old for the same policy. Factor in gender and the difference is even greater: a single 20-year-old male will pay 25% more than his married counterpart; and a single 20-year-old female will by 28% more than her married counterpart. The study noted that the difference drop off greatly as the insured ages.
Regardless of your marital status, it never hurts to shop for a better deal on your auto insurance policy. You can get competitive auto insurance quotes easily online here.