Are Multiple-Car Insurance Policies Worth It?
Owning more than one vehicle is fairly common, as car collectors and two-income households can attest.
In fact, multi-car ownership may be more prevalent than you might think.
58.6% of households own more than one vehicle, a number that has held fairy steady over the past decade.
One issue with owning multiple vehicles is that it also mean insuring those cars, trucks and SUV’s. Fortunately, auto insurers have just the remedy for that problem – multi-car insurance policies.
“A multi-car policy is a vehicle insurance policy that covers two or more vehicles kept at the same address,” said Ian Lang, senior car advice editor at Bumper.com, a vehicle history report company. It may also be referred to as a multiple vehicle policy or a schedule of vehicles policy. Your insurance company will determine what
vehicles can be insured under the same policy.”
Most multiple car insurance policies operate in much the same way as a single-car policy.
“During the quote process, you’ll need to provide information about the cars you own and who drives them,” Lang said. “Car insurance companies may ask for information regarding the primary driver of each
vehicle or which vehicle is the primary vehicle for each driver. Typically they automatically apply a multi-vehicle discount when you request a quote.”
What is Covered Under Multiple Car Insurance Policies?
“Each vehicle (and each driver) on your policy is covered by liability coverage,” Lang noted. “Comprehensive and collision coverage, however, may differ for each vehicle. By doing so, you can make sure your
brand-new car is adequately protected, without having to pay extra for coverage on your newly licensed teen and their vehicle.”
How Much Can I Save with Multi-Car Insurance?
- 25% potential savings on multi-vehicle policies
While the total cost of what you’ll pay for multi-car insurance depends on the insurance company, most brand name insurance companies offer a discount for choosing their multi-car policy.
Geico has one of the industry-best discounts for multiple car insurance coverage. They offer policy savings of up to 25% for insurance on two or more vehicles.
State Farm clocked in at second place, with discounts up to 20% for the same policy.
Obviously, the more cars you have, the more money you’ll pay for car insurance overall. There are, however, some discounts that exist for vehicle owners – and some costly exceptions.
“You’ll get discounts for each car that you add, although the overall cost will go up,” said Aliza Vigderman, director of content at AutoInsurance.com. “Another issue is who is driving the car. For example, if you add your teenager’s car, your insurance rates will increase dramatically, as teens are
considered “high-risk” drivers.”
Tips for Multi-Car Insurance Consumers
It’s not always easy, but there is a path to a solid multi-vehicle insurance experience. These tips can help pave the way.
Know exactly what you need. “Be certain about your exact multi-auto insurance needs,” Lang said. “There are minimum coverage requirements in every state, but you can’t just rely on that.” Every person has different protection needs, including:
— Driving mileage
— Make and model of your cars, trucks, or SUV’s
— Cost of your vehicles
— Driving experience
— Weather conditions in your area of residence
— Typical driving conditions during commuting time using your vehicles
Cast a wide net with insurance options. Savvy consumers compare retail prices when they go shopping. Apply the same logic when purchasing car insurance, as you’ll save money this way.
“When shopping for automobile insurance, obtain at least three quotes from different providers,” Lang said. “You can save money by avoiding brick-and-mortar locations and independent agents that are compensated by commissions, if you don’t have complex insurance needs requiring one-on-one counseling with an agent.”
Make Sure you have the Right Coverage for Each Vehicle.
Sometimes, car owners assume that since they have full coverage with one vehicle, they have it with all vehicles.
“When you add a car to your policy, you’ll be asked to choose coverage limits,” said Melanie Musson, an auto insurance analyst with CarInsuranceComparison.com. “Unless you change those limits, your coverage will not change. You might even have different deductibles for your cars. That’s why it’s important to know what’s covered on each vehicle to see if you need to update your policies.”
Bundle Your Policy with Home Insurance
If you’re in the market for a multi-car policy, consider a bundling policy where you purchase home and auto insurance from the same provider.
“You’ll usually get a discount for multiple vehicles and another discount for home and auto
bundling,” Musson said. “When you compare car insurance quotes, make sure you compare the
premiums with multiple vehicles insured. Some providers offer a 20% discount, which could help you choose which provider is best for you.”
Handle Teen Drivers Carefully.
Adding your teenager’s name to every policy in your household isn’t necessary, so don’t do it.
“Instead, put your teen in the five-year-old family minivan and you’ll likely save a great deal of money,” Lang said. “While the mere presence of teen drivers can increase the cost of all your vehicles, save significantly by being selective when choosing which car policies to add them to.”
Your teen might disagree with your decision, but insurance rates are based on statistics that work against young drivers.
“Inexperienced drivers are more likely to get into trouble in high-performance vehicles than in mainstream vehicles,” Lang added. “Also, if one partner in a couple has bad driving habits, such as crashes or moving violations on their records, merging your policy with theirs is probably not a good idea.”
Takeaways on Multi-Car Insurance
For households that own multiple vehicles, getting good insurance isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.
Give that necessity the respect it deserves and be thorough in your multi-vehicle insurance search.
“Go ahead and partner with the provider offers the best deal,” said Baruch Silvermann, chief executive officer of The Smart Investor, a personal finance online academy. “You should also make sure to check the insurance terms and conditions to ensure that you are getting the best level of coverage for your
circumstances and requirements.”