Statistically, married people are safer drivers than unmarried people, and car insurance premiums vary accordingly One of the things that Dan had to take care of after his wife died was taking her off the car insurance policy. While the GEICO employee he spoke to was very kind and helpful, his new premium caught him by surprise. Removing his wife from the policy didn’t cut it in half: it raised it by ten percent.
My wife recently passed away after a long and courageous fight with cancer. As things slowly get back to some semblance of normalcy, I’ve been spending time tying up loose ends and updating all of our insurance policies. I called GEICO today to remove my wife from our auto insurance policy, and spoke with a very kind and empathetic rep. He said all the right things and expressed an appropriate amount of sympathy while maintaining a healthy respect for my privacy.
Once the rep had processed the change to my policy, I asked if the change had reduced my premium. To my surprise, removing my deceased wife from my policy actually made my premium go up by ten percent! I was in utter disbelief. The rep understood my confusion and told me that married people are in a lower risk class than single people, so I shouldn’t view the increase in my premium as a penalty for losing my wife, I had just becoming ineligible for a discount I had enjoyed for seven years. Some comfort.
I understand that the thinking behind giving lower rates to married folks is that they have, to some degree, settled down in life. They are thought to be more responsible and less reckless. In short, from the insurer’s perspective, they’re less likely to be dangerous drivers and thus less likely to cost the insurance company money. But can somebody explain to me how a young widower and single father is somehow more risky than he was a few weeks ago? If anything, I have every reason in the world to now be more risk averse than ever. Something just doesn’t add up.