Attempting to lessen ill effects of DWI on my car insurance...
June 30, 2010 10:45 AM   Subscribe

I am in North Carolina; just received sentencing for a DWI (first offense), and I'm wondering how I might save some money on the inevitable insurance rate hike. Currently I am on a policy with my wife, through Progressive. We have a 2008 Mazda 3i and a 1992 Chevy Beretta; I am wondering if it might benefit me to get my own, separate insurance policy for the Beretta, so that the more expensive Mazda rates will stay with her and hopefully be unaffected? I don't want to run my credit report getting rate quotes, so I'm throwing the question out here. Thanks for any advice!
posted by jeroum to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
If you're still going to be driving the Mazda 3i at all, I believe you'll still need to be insured as a driver. I can't see how this would work, unless you stick to just driving the Chevy from now one. If that's your plan, than remove yourself as a driver from the Mazda plan.
posted by kylej at 10:53 AM on June 30, 2010

You'll need to talk to an insurance agent (and, I would suggest having this conversation with someone who does NOT insure you and will have it in confidence). Other questions: Who owns the cars? Are you willing to be restricted from driving one of the cars? Are there any other licensed drivers in the household.. all of these will probably impact on how you can manipulate this.

Talk to an agent......
posted by HuronBob at 10:56 AM on June 30, 2010

Generally, if you are married and reside in the same household you cannot do what you are trying to do. If the household owns a car both husband and wife must be insured on it. Your agent will know if this is permissible in North Carolina. In the States I am aware of it is not permissible.

Good luck.
posted by BrooksCooper at 10:58 AM on June 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I see... thanks for the help so far; I suppose it might be a problem since I am technically the owner of the Mazda (I am also financing it under my name). I would be willing to forgo driving it at all, so perhaps I can transfer the title to her? Tricky stuff...
posted by jeroum at 11:01 AM on June 30, 2010

I would be willing to forgo driving it at all, so perhaps I can transfer the title to her? Tricky stuff...

Its not going to matter. If you're residing the same household your insurance company just isn't going to let you not be listed on her policy. I drive a standard-shift car, which my husband cannot drive (doesn't know how) but he's still listed on my policy because the insurance company wouldn't have it any other way.
posted by anastasiav at 11:06 AM on June 30, 2010

On my MA Progressive policy, my wife is specifically excluded as a driver; I had to submit signed paperwork indicating that she would not drive my car, and my policy would be void if she did. However, we only have one car and she doesn't drive at all - I don't know if that option would be in play if we had two cars, or if that possibility is unique to MA, or Progressive, or what.
posted by Banky_Edwards at 11:08 AM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

There was some recent discussion of how having a 'beater' car in addition to your existing vehicles could reduce the overall premium. Theory is that since when you drive the beater you can't be driving the Mazda. It would be interesting to know if that works.

And I don't know (does anyone else?) if asking your current broker is going to affect your credit history at all. You could ask him/her.
posted by blue_wardrobe at 2:40 PM on June 30, 2010

What Banky Edwards said: it is possible to exclude yourself as a driver, but you do have to sign very specific paperwork (as he said- it would void your policy if you did drive the car). However, I'm not sure how this varies from insurance company to company and different states...
posted by Eicats at 2:42 PM on June 30, 2010

A few years back I had a wreck for which I was cited for reckless driving. To control our insurance rates, we certified to our insurance company that only my husband was driving. I didn't drive at all during that time (about 6-8 months). As mentioned above, we had to sign paperwork to that effect. This was in Colorado, with USAA auto insurance.

I also remember in high school that one of my friend's dad had a nice antique car (Mustang from the '60s?). She drove, but was specifically excluded on the insurance from driving her dad's antique car (don't know why I remember her telling me that 15 years ago).

In any case, I think this is not uncommon, but you need to check with your insurer to find out how to go about it.
posted by jeoc at 3:52 PM on June 30, 2010

FWIW, when I switched from Progressive with two fully insured cars with two drivers, one of whom was a teenager, to a well-known company whose spokesperson is a gecko, my monthly payments were cut in half. YMMV.
posted by tamitang at 4:01 PM on June 30, 2010

With most insurance companies you can file a form stating that you will not be driving one vehicle, and that if you do drive that vehicle, and have an accident, it will not be covered. Call your agent, or multiple agents, to get quotes doing it both ways. No matter what you do it is going to go up, probably by quite a bit, but, you might lessen it a small amount.
posted by SuzySmith at 8:50 PM on June 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

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