Personal Finance 

Optimizing Medical and Auto Insurance

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One of the things I’ve been looking at lately, given the upcoming wedding, was how to optimize our insurance policies because, as we all know, multi-policy discounts are one of the best ways to get a discount. Two auto insurance policies with one insurer generally costs less than two separate auto insurance policies with two different insurers. In actuality, only the medical and auto insurance policies can be optimized because you don’t really share any others. Anyway, I was taking a look at our options and here’s what I came up with.

Auto insurance
This one will probably yield the biggest savings. When you decide to combine two auto insurance policies onto one, you get savings because of two reasons: You are statistically less risky because you’re married and the multiple policy discount. When you do optimize your auto insurance, you should do more than just add coverage to your policy (or add coverage to your spouse’s policy). You should start the whole auto insurance purchasing process over again and get multiple quotes so that you can compare. Two of those quotes should be adding you to your spouse’s policy and you adding your spouse to your own policy.

Medical insurance
Theoretically, given no prior negative medical history, one of you will simply go on the other’s policy for some quick savings. For example, my fiancee right now gets free health insurance and would also get free insurance for me if she were to add me to her policy after we are married. That’s clearly the easiest way to go… but there is another option available. If she were to add me to her policy and I were to add her to my policy, we’d get double the coverage. How is this valuable? This is most valuable if you expect to use your insurance a lot because it increases your lifetime limits. In such a strategy, I would submit claims against my insurer first and if they exceeded the lifetime or annual limits, I’d start all over with her insurance plan. The same would work in the reverse.

Are there other insurance policies you can optimize after marriage? Those were the only two I could think of.

{ 5 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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5 Responses to “Optimizing Medical and Auto Insurance”

  1. Brent says:

    Just wanted to add a note here. A lot of my younger friends starting out and getting their own car insurance policies (getting off of their parent’s) make this mistake in Massachusetts. We have regulated car insurance, so there is no shopping around, they look up your license in a state master database and everyone gives you the same price. So instead of shopping around for prices, you just ask around for who is “easiest to deal with” and go with them.

    I still haven’t formed a personal opinion on if this regulated insurance is a good thing or not. I can kind of see both sides.

  2. Auto Insurance was a mine field of difficulty with us since she was in the military. Turns out my wife could legally choose three states and I could use two. Anyway, combining our two policies turned out to be no savings.

    Living in the same place saves on home/renter’s insurance. And then there’s the utility savings.

  3. John says:

    FWIW, I’m pretty sure you can’t both be insured on each other’s medical plans at work. Usually the insurance company asks for an affidavit from the spouse being added that he/she is not covered by another policy.

  4. mapgirl says:


    I don’t know if John’s comment is true, but I’ve worked at some financially strapped firms who will deny you their group insurance if you have a spouse who can cover you under the spouse’s workplace’s policy. It’s really stupid if you ask me. I don’t see the harm in doubling your healthcare coverage if one of you is seriously ill and you can afford the married couple premium on your end as an expense. However, your fiancee is damned lucky that she doesn’t have to pay a premium at all. Most places make the worker share the cost. Full benefit like that is extremely rare these days.

  5. Tim says:

    Lazy man, it depends on how you cover the autos (i.e. stacked or not) and depends on if you are getting all your insurance from one company (i.e. multiple policy discounts). Don’t see how it would be a minefield simply because your spouse is in the military. auto insurance is based off of where you are going to park the vehicle. i can’t think of an auto insurer that would give you three or two state options unless you lived in separate states. now, you would have a couple of options to register a vehicle given that she is in the military.

    John and Mapgril, yes and no. It will vary. normally if you have two policies, one is primary and the other fills in after the primary limits have been met, thus the question of if you have a primary medical insurer. This doesn’t mean you cannot have two, three or more policies. It just means that one is the first one you file through while the others are supplemental insurers. paying for both employer coverages is something to consider, especially if you see doctors frequently or one employer’s coverage isn’t all that cracked up to be. For us, my wife is under my policy and we do not pay into her employer’s coverage since we feel my policy is sufficient.

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