Car Insurance for Young Married Couples

by Erika Torres

As excited as I get about the beginning of summer, I always cringe a little bit because of the triple whammy we’re faced with within a three-month span: Eric’s car registration, our insurance bill, and my car registration.

Currently, Eric’s car registration is $107 due July 31st. Not bad at all. My car registration typically runs $300 and is due at the end of August (my car is newer than Eric’s so that may have to do with the price differential).  Cars that are 20 + years old have some of the cheapest rates, as they qualify for vintage car insurance.

Why we kept our parents’ insurance

This new joint bill is the first time Eric and I will be on the same policy. We both had kind of stuck with our parent’s car insurance because we assumed it was cheaper. When I was single, I had shopped around for my own insurance provider separate from my parents and the prices were much higher than what I was paying. So I stuck with my parents’ insurance.

Shopping for a new policy

For work reasons, we had to get our own joint policy. So I begun the process of shopping around for a policy and read up on the insurance market.

Now, for some reason, I thought this was going to be the biggest pain, and I was very happy when it took me about 30 minutes tops, calling around to a few different insurance companies.  Using an online service I was able to effortlessly find cheap car insurance quotes and then follow-up with the best ones.

In order to get the lowest amount possible for car insurance, I raised our comprehensive deductible from $100 to $500, and our collision deductible from $500 to $1,000. There is no need for a $100 comprehensive deductible. If something happens to your car and it costs less than $500 to fix, you’re most likely going to fix it yourself anyway because you don’t want your insurance to go up. Same with collision. I was able to save $70 every six months, or $140 for the year, on Eric’s policy alone just by making these two minor changes.

For a young married couple like us with clean driving records living in southern California, we pay $742 every six months for car insurance, or $1484 for the year. We also have about $400 in car registration, for a total of approximately $1900 toward our two cars.

One good auto insurance company is USAA.  Their car insurance rates are pretty low and their customer service is first rate.  Also, their webpage is well designed so dealing them is painless and quick.

How we pay for it

Since February, we’ve been putting away $150 every month into a car fund (an ING savings account) to pay for registration and car insurance. Now that I know the entire total, I realize we’re a bit short. Once our finances settle (hopefully by August 1st!), I want to start contributing $200 a month into a car fund, so that we have a buffer for oil changes and car repairs.

How does your car insurance compare?

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rubysongbird June 24, 2012 - 5:13 pm

My car insurance is about $400 every 6 months, and registration this year was just under $300, including a late fee of almost $100 (I didn’t get the first notice in the mail! Ugh.) But that’s just for one person, and I have a cheap car 🙂
I’m also putting away about $95 a month to save for when this stuff is due so that I’m not taking it out of my checking!

Vanessa June 21, 2012 - 7:37 am

We just joined policies this month too! We’re with State Farm in Florida and we’re paying $2241/year for a brand new car and a ten year old car with the same coverage on both which includes a $250 deductible and medical payments @ $20,000 for each driver. The medical payments option was at the advice of my family’s insurance agent and was something I never even thought about, but seems so worthwhile. It’s only $30 every six months and would be lifesaving in the event of an emergency.

We will be saving $240/year by joining policies and we have *much* better coverage than my husband did alone with Progressive. In the future we could bump our deductible up if we wanted to cut costs but we’re happy with the $20/month savings by joining policies for now. I love the peace of mind knowing we’re both on the same policy with the same insurance company because dealing with a confusing mess of policies during an emergency sounds like a nightmare.

SavvyFinancialLatina June 20, 2012 - 5:50 pm

I think right now our rate for two cars full coverage is $230. It’s crazy high, but we are also 22, and our cars are not old.

Dylan June 20, 2012 - 5:15 pm

I live in Vancouver, BC and when I had my car, I paid $1,100.00+ a year for insurance – and that’s with a 10 year safe driving discount of 43%.

I gave up my car in January 2011, and while I do miss the freedom my car gave me, I don’t miss that big bill every October. Ouch.

I say you’re doing well. 🙂

Army Amy* June 20, 2012 - 3:30 pm

I like your idea of setting aside money specifically for when your car stuff comes up. Smart! I guess that’s why you write a finance blog! My husband and I combined our car insurance a while back and it’s pretty low. We may be moving overseas this year (I hope!), and I’m a little daunted by the idea of getting European car insurance. I’m hoping it’s as low as what we’ve been lucky to pay thus far.*

shopping2saving June 20, 2012 - 1:01 pm

BF and I are still on our parents’ insurance for cars haha. I figured that as long as they don’t mention anything to me, I won’t bring it up 🙂 I’m sure once I get married, we’ll get our own insurance. Good to know it isn’t as stressful as it seems. We’re in SoCal too so I’m guessing it would end up pretty similar!!

Teacher Girl June 20, 2012 - 12:14 pm

I pay like $160 a month for just myself so I would say you guys are doing quite well!

Hannah June 20, 2012 - 12:11 pm

We are USAA members and I’m a die hard USAA fan (I’m a 3rd generation member). We have comprehensive collision on my car, along with roadside assistance (our version of AAA) for both cars and pay 531.86 for 6 months. I personally believe that USAA is the best insurance you can get if you are eligible (it is limited to those affiliated with the U.S. Military).

We save the same way – ING Direct (since I like to hide money from myself) and we always over compensate. I’d rather have buffer for a fender bender than come up short.

On that note – thank you for having me check, I just realized that we’re not getting our good student discount (hey this PhD needs to pay back in some ways) so hopefully we’ll be saving another $30/year!

kim June 21, 2012 - 7:12 pm

Oh ditto LOVE USAA! When DH & I got married, our insurance bill for the two of us equaled what I had paid just to cover myself! Apparently married people drive more safely than singles. We have an ’03 Honda and ’98 truck and pay $380 every 6 months. We have a high deductible, medical, and roadside assistance; I’m unsure what else. USAA rocks our socks, seriously.

LifeInTransition June 20, 2012 - 11:51 am

When my parents decided that I should start paying for my own car insurance, I shopped around and paid around $80/month. I can’t remember the exact coverage and deductibles I had. The next year, my younger sister moved in with me and my parents asked me to add her onto my policy since she didn’t have a car and would like to borrow mine (they would then pay for half). The policy went up to $100, which I was responsible for $50. That’s when I found out how much cheaper a joint policy was, even when a less experienced driver is added. After I got married, I loaned my sister my car and made her responsible for paying all insurance, gas, maintainance and repairs. My husband and I currently just drive his car.
Since it is under his dad’s name, we decided to be added onto his dad’s policy, which reduced the total payment to $72/month for both of us. So, I’ve concluded that having multiple drivers on a policy does save a lot of money.

Megan - NewlyWife June 20, 2012 - 11:29 am

We have a similar problem. We do pay our insurance monthly (I don’t think it was cheaper to do it bi-annually), but we have my registration, his registration, and our AAA bill due in a three month span. We try to set aside money for that monthly. 🙂

Shellie June 20, 2012 - 11:12 am

Things to keep in mind:

When you buy a house, you will need to up your car coverage. If you cause someone injury or damage they can sue you and go after your house if you are under-insured. Luckily (for us at least) combining the auto and homeowner policy gave us enough of a discount that our auto stayed the same but uped our coverage about 3x. I never thought about this until I was signing up for HOI and did some research.

I just bought a new (used) car and amazingly my insurance actually went DOWN going from a 1996 Honda Accord to a 2011 Ford Fusion. It still makes no sense to me! But if/when you plan to upgrade either cars, keep in mind that the registration is higher but the insurance just might be lower!

Man, that felt preach-y but I just thought I’d share some helpful tips!

ALS June 20, 2012 - 11:11 am

We pay $51/month (roughly $615) a year. We’re lucky though because we have one car. I commute the three miles to work via public transit, and my husband only drives about five miles to work. Our registration is $80/year.

How do you like ING? I’ve been meaning to start an account. Is it difficult?

Michelle June 20, 2012 - 10:58 am

We pay around $700 every 6 months for the two of us and 2 cars with full coverage.


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