If you live in sin, they'll jack up the premiums

Melanie Bien on why cohabiting couples pay more for car cover

There are many reasons for getting married, but trying to cut your annual motor insurance premiums is unlikely to be one of them. Yet research from insurer Direct Line reveals that most of the four million cohabiting adults in the UK are suffering for their status, with some car insurers charging them £50 to £100 more than married couples.

There are many reasons for getting married, but trying to cut your annual motor insurance premiums is unlikely to be one of them. Yet research from insurer Direct Line reveals that most of the four million cohabiting adults in the UK are suffering for their status, with some car insurers charging them £50 to £100 more than married couples.

Halifax Car Insurance, for example, charges an unmarried couple over £70 more for their car cover than it would if they were married, according to insuresupermarket.com, a website that compares the cost of insurance (see table below).

"Many insurers choose to ignore the growing trend towards cohabiting rather than marrying," says Steve Treloar, motor business manager at Direct Line. "Most drivers are familiar with the main criteria used to assess risk, such as age, a clean driving licence and previous claims. But fewer are aware of how big a difference their marital status can make."

A spokeswoman for Halifax Car Insurance defends its decision to charge cohabitees more. "We offer lower premiums to married couples simply because they are statistically proven to be a lower risk than cohabiting couples," she says.

But Direct Line argues that in terms of risk, policies for couples - married or cohabiting - should be cheaper than those for individual drivers. Couples tend to make fewer claims because they seem to temper each other's bad driving habits, says Direct Line. So while it may feel like you spend a lot of time arguing with your partner over their lousy directions, this is apparently not the case. And while children can be distracting when they are making a noise on the back seat, it is also held that they encourage safer driving.

Direct Line believes these attributes relate to cohabitation as well as marriage, so it offers a 10 per cent discount to all couples, including those of the same sex. "With a huge number of UK adults now cohabiting, we believe it's only fair to offer them the same rates," adds Mr Treloar.

However, with some insurers still taking a more traditional line, it may be tempting to tick the "married" box on the insurance application form in order to save some cash. This, says Richard Mason, director of insuresupermarket.com, would be a bad move: "Motorists should not try to falsify any part of their application to get a cheaper quote. They could find themselves in all sorts of trouble when they come to make a claim."

While it's important to tell the truth, you should also ensure your insurer has all the relevant information: if your situation changes, it may affect your premiums. And shop around when your cover comes up for renewal to find out if a joint policy for you and your partner is cheaper than a single one - checking, while you're about it, that you aren't being penalised if you aren't married.

Insurers romanced when wedding bells ring

Provider Married couple Cohabiting couple Difference
Screentrade £344.93 £363.60 £18.67
Halifax £402.20 £473.73 £71.53
Prudential £552.62 £552.62 £0
Churchill £557.60 £557.60 £0
Figures are for comprehensive cover for a 38-year-old male and 25-year-old female living in Shropshire with a two-year-old VW Bora. An excess of £100 is included and annual mileage of 30,000 miles assumed.
Source: insuresupermarket.com
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

    £350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

    Graduate / Trainee Recruitment Consultant - IT

    £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Orgtel are seeking Graduate Trainee Re...

    HR Business Partner - Banking Finance - Brentwood - £45K

    £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: ** HR Business Partner - Senior H...

    PA / Team Secretary - Wimbledon

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: PA / Team Secretary - Mat...

    Day In a Page

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

    Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on