Marriage offers a slew of benefits, many of which are difficult to quantify. Married couples have access to one another in the hospital at all times and can make vital medical decisions. Spouses can receive Social Security, Medicare, disability, and other benefits, and they automatically receive part of their partner's estate if they pass away. Married couples can also save money on different types of insurance premiums, which can save them thousands of dollars a year.
Auto Insurance Rates
Many auto insurance providers already offer discounts for insuring multiple vehicles or purchasing multiple insurance plans through the same provider. Not every auto insurance company offers a discount specifically for married couples, but they can still take advantage of these other discounts. You'll want to deal with top-rate companies like Liberty Mutual or Allstate to compare auto insurance quotes and see which companies offer these discounts. According to DMV.org, married drivers are statistically involved in fewer accidents anyway, so auto insurance providers aren't losing any money when they offer lower premiums.
Multiple driver discounts can also apply to non-spouse relatives such as children, so families can end up saving even more if they insure everyone on the same plan. Auto insurance companies often provide discounts for safe drivers who haven't received traffic or parking violations, and married couples can receive discounts simply from sticking with the same plan for several years instead of switching providers.
A safe driver who insures a single vehicle can expect to pay as little as $40 a month for catastrophic coverage. Health insurances premiums typically cost 10 to 20 times as much. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that the average family now pays an annual premium of around $15,000. Single coverage is costing an average total of $4,940.
Buying individual coverage for four family members would have cost around $20,000 for that same year, and those plans would not have been subsidized by employers, which often pay as much as 75 percent of the total premium. Family plans are more lucrative for larger families, but married couples without children might opt for single coverage instead.
Because the Supreme Court recently struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, same-sex couples will soon be able to enjoy the same health insurance plans as heterosexual couples. Writing for US News, Danielle Kurtzleben points out that married couples receive “tax-free health benefits for employees' domestic partners.” In other words, employees don't pay any taxes on health benefits their spouses receive through their employers.
While this tax deduction doesn't directly lower their health insurance premiums, employees can still end up saving around $1,000 a year by putting their spouses on their health insurance plans. However, family coverage isn't always the smartest option. According to the NCSL, employees who pay for single coverage end up paying about $1,000 a year out of pocket, but they will pay up to $4,000 out of pocket for family coverage.
Marriage doesn't always guarantee lower health insurance rates, but it does give families flexibility when it comes time to choose a plan and can help to save money on car insurance premiums.