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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Auto insurance isn’t one of those things that you can buy multiples of so that you have more protection.
When you want to guarantee that you’re fully safeguarded under your current policy, the solution is to raise your coverage and select additional coverage options that will pay four bills that you don’t want to.
The solution would not be to buy a second policy for a second set of coverage.
Some vehicle owners cringe at the idea of buying a single policy let alone two policies in their own name. You may not want to use the protection that you’re paying for, but it’s always nice you have it if you ever have an unexpected loss.
This protection is one of the main reasons why insurance is mandatory.
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Before you structure your portfolio with two policies under your own name, here’s what you should know:
What is a named insured?
If you’re ever skimming through an auto insurance contract, you’ll see that there’s a difference between an insured and a named insured.
- Insured – is simply someone who is listed on the policy as a driver and covered to drive. Some drivers or even covered when they are not technically listed as insured. They can drive the car, but they can’t call and make any types of changes or inquiries on the policy.
- Named insured – is the person who took out the policy and the person who has the authority to make changes to the policy. It’s also the person who will receive a claim settlement if there’s ever a claim filed. If you’re the named insured on your policy, you’re probably also the legal owner of the vehicle and the registered owner in the state.
This categorization is how standard auto insurance policies are structured.
Can you be a named insured with two carriers?
When you sign up for insurance with one carrier, you’re not giving up your right to sign up for coverage with another carrier. Just because you’ve entered into a contract with a Property and Casualty insurer doesn’t mean that that’s the only ensure that you can deal with.
It just means that there is a specific company that you’re dealing with for the property that’s listed on the policy.
If you own more than one automobile and you’re buying insurance for both vehicles, there is always a possibility that you can have two different policies in your same name.
This situation happens when you can find a better rate on one car with one provider. It can also happen if both cars are registered in different states.
Can you have two policies on the same car?
There’s no question that you can have two different policies under your name, but the issues arise when each policy is for a vehicle with the same VIN. Buying property insurance is about protecting property so that you can easily repair it when it’s damaged.
You’re only supposed to have one policy on one car because of how the insurance industry works.
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How does the insurance industry work?
You file a claim against your policy so that they issue you a payment for the amount that the repairs cost or for the vehicles fair market value. An insurer is never going to pay you more than your vehicle is actually worth in the eyes of the market when it is totaled.
The result of even minor damages can be a total loss claim simply because the repairs needed would exceed the value of the car.
Since the contract says that the licensed insurer that is covering the property only has to pay up to its actual cash value, it can pose some serious problems when you have dual insurance policies in your own name.
To the provider, it might appear as if you’re trying to profit from your property rather than safeguard it.
What does it mean to profit from your property?
You can’t predict when you’re going to have a genuine loss. You could get into an accident tomorrow and never see it coming. You could also leave your home one day and discover that your vehicle has been vandalized.
No matter what the loss is there’s, no way to predict that it’s coming. These are the only types of losses that insurers cover.
Your policy’s purpose is not to help you profit after you have a loss.
You’re not supposed to come out of the situation with more money. The money that you are paid is designed to pay for reasonable repairs.
While you can decide whether or not you actually want to repair your car, your I supposed to receive the amount of money that’s needed to get the car and its pre-loss condition.
Why is it illegal to have two policies on the same car?
The insurance world, companies are supposed to be aware of the consumers that have multiple policies in their name. This is a major reason why companies communicate with one another and provide data to each other.
If someone has two policies, they can file a claim against each and receive double the money for a single loss.
The process of filing two claims for the same loss against two different policies it’s called unjust enrichment.
It is a legal term that’s used to describe a certain type of fraud that consumers are guilty of when filing multiple claims for one loss. If you do this, the insurer can prosecute and you could be convicted of insurance fraud.
Simply put, you can have insurance policies in your name but only when you have multiple vehicles.
It’s up to you to decide if you want to ensure all of the vehicles on the same policy. Get an online quote to see what the multi-car discount will save you and decide if it’s time to just have one policy.
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