Looking for combined car insurance with your partner? Find out when a joint car insurance policy will cost you less, or more.
A joint car insurance policy, or a couple’s policy, essentially just means having one car insurance policy for two people. You don’t have to be married, or even a couple, to take advantage of a couple’s policy. There are no dedicated joint policies in Australia, but you can list multiple drivers on the same policy.
This is usually cheaper than getting two separate policies, but it’s not always preferable. Sometimes, it might cost you more to cover two people on the same policy. This guide explains when a joint policy is the way to go and when you might want to avoid it.
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When to get a joint policy and when to go separate
A couple’s car insurance policy, in the form of one policy with two listed drivers, is often a cheaper way to get cover for two because you’re only getting one policy. However, the right option depends on the insurer, the policy and each driver’s driving history.
Generally, if one driver presents a much higher risk due to factors such as a driving suspension, it may be more suitable to go with separate policies. The cost of a joint car insurance policy is somewhere between both of your individual costs. When an expensive driver lists a cheaper one, their premiums might go down. When a cheap driver lists an expensive one, then the costs will tend to increase.
The cost of car insurance is based on the following factors:
- Age. Under 25s are considerably more expensive to insure.
- Gender. Women tend to enjoy lower average premiums than men.
- Driving experience. A longer driving history, with a full license rather than P plates, means lower premiums.
- Driving record. You can expect previous driving offenses or traffic violations to raise premiums.
- Claims history. The more car insurance claims you’ve made previously, the higher the premiums.
For example, a 26-year-old woman with a full license, clean driving record and no previous claims will see her costs skyrocket by listing a 25-year-old male with P plates and a history of traffic violations on her policy.
In this relatively extreme example, it might be preferable to get two separate policies instead of a joint one. The woman could get a high-level comprehensive policy while the man could get a cheaper separate policy. The man could also get cover from an insurer that specialises in covering high-risk drivers.
Is a couple’s or separate policy right for us?
It’s relatively unusual for separate policies to be preferable, and the extra cost of two policies generally outweighs the savings. If you do opt for two policies, it can be worth looking for a multi-policy discount, which is available if you get multiple policies from the same insurer.
To discover if it’s worth considering, you might want to get individual quotes from a few insurers and see how different their quoted prices are depending on who’s asking. Even if the difference isn’t stark enough to warrant separate policies, this can also be a good indicator of whose name to put on the policy as the main driver.
How to save with a shared car insurance policy
To keep costs down with multiple drivers on one policy, it’s generally preferable that the cheapest person to insure takes out the policy, and then adds the more expensive person to it later. The above factors all play a part, but some will outweigh the others. Prioritise the following factors which will make the most difference:
- Age and license status. If only one person is under 25, then you’ll generally want to take out the policy in the name of the older individual. The same goes for a full license versus P plates.
- Claims history. The no-claims bonus passes between insurers when you switch providers and can make an enormous difference. If only one person has a full no-claims bonus, you might want to maintain it by signing up in their name.
- Driving record. Depending on the insurer, previously suspended licenses and driving violations can significantly impact your premiums.
These are just some of the factors impacting the cost of car insurance. Others will also apply based on the drivers as well as the car. Learning more about these can go a long way to lowering the cost of car insurance.