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With the high cost of fuel and upkeep on vehicles these days, many people look for ways to save on car insurance. One way experts recommend to save is to insure all you vehicles with the same company.
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Car insurance is a legal necessity all across the country. However, it’s also a highly competitive market. With insurance companies vying for you business, here are three reasons you should put all your cars onto the same insurance policy.
Multi Car Policies Provide Discounts
The biggest reason to insure all your vehicles on the same policy is that it nearly always saves you money. Obviously, car insurance companies want as much of your business as possible.
To help draw in more business they offer large discounts to those who have more than one vehicle on the policy, as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners points out.
The more vehicles, the larger the discount normally is. This includes more than just vehicles. Most companies who insure cars will also insure motorcycles and recreational vehicles as well. Many will also insure boats. Combining all of these into one policy will usually save you money over having them all on different policies from different companies.
Families with multiple vehicles will greatly benefit from this practice. If mom, dad, and their teen-aged child all have a car, they can all be on the same policy, all receiving discounts. If the family owns a camper and a three-wheeled RV, they can all five be covered together. A child away at college can also be included on the policy.
However, those who don’t live in a traditional family setting can also utilize a multi car policy. As long as the people live in the same household, they can combine their cars onto the same policy to take advantage of the discounts even if they aren’t related. For example, three roommates who share a home can put all three cars on the same policy.
Having a Multi Car Policy Simplifies Life
In an age when we are used to combining our phone, television, and Internet services onto one bill, combining insurance onto one bill seems to be a natural step. Not only does this save time when paying bills each month, but it can also help simplify bill payments and claims.
Imagine having to pay three different car insurance companies each month for the three vehicles in the family in the example above, plus two other companies that cover the camper and the RV. If that wouldn’t be confusing enough, what if you have to deal with a claim?
Trying to keep straight which vehicle is covered by which company could be quite confusing. Car insurance can be complicated enough without adding multiple phone numbers, agents, and policies to keep track of.
It also makes it harder to establish any kind of relationship with your insurance agent. Creating a good working relationship with your agent can help you when it comes time to make a claim. It’s harder to do this with several people at once. However, if you have just one person you always turn to for your insurance needs, it will make a challenging time in your life a little easier.
Multi Car Policies Provide Flexibility
When several drivers live together in the same household, it’s often common for them to need to have access to all the cars. Having all the cars on the same policy will allow for full coverage for all the drivers on all the vehicles.
Normally, if you own a car and have insurance on it, the policy will cover other legal drivers when you lend them your car. However, this does not usually apply to other people in the household. Most insurance policies require drivers in the household to be on the policy to be covered.
For example, some parents have tried to avoid paying the higher premiums they would have to pay if they put their teenage driver on their policy. They try to get around this by saying they are just loaning the car to their own child. Insurance companies have put this into their policies to prevent people from using this loophole.
If all the drivers and cars are on the same policy, usually each car has a primary driver, and the rest of the drivers are considered secondary drivers. This allows for any driver in the household to drive any of the cars without sacrificing coverage.
Even when all the vehicles are on the same policy, you are not restricted to having the same coverage for each car. You can carry just liability on your daughter’s old sedan, while having comp and collision on your car and your spouse’s. You can even have different deductibles for each different car.
When Not to Have a Multi Car Policy
While it is usually advantageous to have a multi car policy, there are times when it isn’t possible or financially sound. If one member of the household runs a business out of the home and uses his vehicle primarily for that business, perhaps a caterer who uses a van for deliveries and shopping, then many companies will not insure the business vehicle on the same policy as the personal vehicles. In this case, the business owner should look into combining the business car insurance with his business liability insurance.
Sometimes a family member might own a special vehicle that might require a specialized policy. For example, a classic car that is not driven much but is owned as a collector item will often need its own insurance. Since most insurance companies are in business to insure cars that are driven on a regular basis, you’ll actually save money on your classic car by insuring it with a company that specializes in them, so says the Insurance Information Institute.
If you are in a situation where you are sharing a house with roommates, you’ll need to investigate to see if you will actually save money by having one policy. If you have a roommate who has a poor driving record, his mistakes could cost you money of you were to share a policy.
Combining insurance is not only a good way to save on car insurance but is also a method that can save money in other areas of insurance. In particular, try to find a company that will not only provide your vehicle insurance, including any RVs, campers, or motorcycles, but also either homeowners or renters insurance. Whether you own a home or not, it is important to have insurance on your property. If you rent, renters insurance will cover the cost to replace your belongings in case of theft, fire, or storm damage.
Renters insurance is very inexpensive, since it covers only your personal belongings and nothing on the home itself. Often you can add this to a car insurance policy for a small premium. It is well worth the money when compared with replacing all your furniture, clothing, electronics, and appliances in case of a total loss.
Of course, if you own a home, you need homeowners insurance. In fact, mortgage companies require it. Even if your home is paid for, homeowners insurance is essential, as most people cannot afford to replace it completely out of pocket.
Whichever kind of policy you need, you can get a discount on both the auto insurance and the property insurance if you carry them with the same company. Some insurance companies even offer life insurance as well. If you can, get all of these from the same source for the most savings.
For other questions about different types of insurance, Insure U is a website designed to educate the public about all sorts of insurance.
Saving Money on Insurance
While combining policies is a great way to save money on insurance, there are many ways you can save money on your car insurance. Some smart shopping and a little bit of time can reap the benefit of a lot of savings.
The amount of your deductible has a great affect on the amount of your premium. The comprehensive and collision portions of a car insurance policy both have a deductible, the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your policy will pay for either a repair or replacement in the case of an accident.
The typical amounts are $250, $500, or $1,000. The lower your deductible, the higher your premiums will be. By raising your deductible to the most you can afford, you will save a great deal on your policy. Just be sure you put aside the needed amount so that it is always available. You never know when you might have an accident and need it.
The type of car you drive can also have a great deal to do with the amount of your premium. The more expensive a car is, the more it would cost to replace. Thus, a more expensive car costs more in insurance than a cheap one. However, a car with advanced safety features and anti-theft devices will receive discounts over ones with standard equipment.
You can also ask for other discounts. There are many discounts of all kinds available for the asking. If you have special circumstances, be sure to mention them. For example, if you take public transport to work every day and only use the car on the weekends, you can often receive a discount since insurance companies work on the assumption that most people use their vehicles for commuting.
For more tips on smart car rates shopping, visit the Texas Department of Insurance’s website.
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