The idea of bundling your home and auto insurance is a common one often suggested by insurance providers. This is for a variety of reasons: first, you can save money by bundling your insurance. Second, insurers like being your main source of insurance.
However, bundling home and auto isn’t the best choice for everyone. The decision should be calculated based on your specific insurance needs. Be sure to speak with an insurance agent and your loved ones to discuss the best possible way to bundle—or not bundle—your insurance in order to save money without sacrificing coverage.
Does Home and Auto Insurance Overlap?
In some cases, your auto insurance and home insurance coverages could overlap in unexpected ways. This is why it is important to have both and ask about bundling possibilities. For example, home insurance covers your personal belongings in case of damage or loss due to fire, wind, hail, lightning, smoke, theft, vandalism and more. However, your vehicle is not covered as a personal item or belongings. If your vehicle is stolen, it should be covered under the comprehensive coverage of your auto insurance policy.
But if your personal items within the vehicle are lost or damaged, auto insurance may not cover them. Instead, your home insurance policy may come with coverage for personal belongings that are off the premises, such as those kept in your vehicle.
Benefits of Bundling
There are a lot of benefits to bundling your home and auto insurance policies, such as:
- Qualifying for a discount—Most policyholders bundle their policies because of the promise of a discount. The amount varies by provider but can generally range between 5%-25%.
- The option of a single deductible—With bundled policies, your deductible may be cheaper in the event of a claim that affects multiple policies. For example, if your home and auto policies are with two separate carriers, and a hailstorm damages your home and your car, you’re responsible for paying both your home and auto deductibles before receiving payment. But if you bundle your policies, your provider may offer you the option to pay only the higher of the two deductibles.
- Less chance of being dropped—If you’ve made claims or gotten tickets, having your policies bundled with one provider can decrease the chance of them dropping you. They don’t want to lose you as a customer if you have multiple lines of insurance with them, after all.
Downsides to Bundling
It isn’t always better to bundle your policies with one insurance carrier. Different circumstances can affect how you should bundle your insurance policies or whether you should do so at all. You may not want to bundle your home and auto insurance in cases where:
- You have tickets or past claims that make your auto insurance expensive—In this case, it may be cheaper overall to buy each policy from separate providers.
- Your premiums increase—Bundling discourages people from price shopping, which makes it easier for providers to increase their rates. Most assume that you won’t go through the effort of shopping around when your policies renew. Even if you do have bundled coverage, make sure to compare prices and ensure that you are still getting the best deal for your dollar.
- If policies aren’t technically bundled—Some carriers may insure you with an affiliated company. Although you may get a discount with that company, you’ll lose the convenience of paying your premium with one familiar provider.
A Few Tips to Consider
Although discounts are the main reason people bundle their insurance policies, never assume that bundling is the cheapest option. Your needs and circumstances will dictate whether you should combine your policies with one carrier. Consider the following tips:
- Shop for new coverage when your policies renew, and ask for the price of the individual premiums as well as the price of the bundled premium so you can decide whether it is worth it. Just make sure you compare the same coverage when shopping for quotes from each carrier.
- Ask if the provider uses a third-party insurance company. Remember that you may save money but lose the convenience of dealing with one provider and a combined bill.
- Ask an independent insurance agent to get prices from multiple companies so you don’t have to do the legwork. An agent that is loyal to a particular carrier may be able to offer discounts that you can’t get alone.
When in doubt, speak with an insurance agent about how much coverage you need and what you can do to save money on your auto and home insurance coverages.