If you are a homeowner looking for auto insurance—or a car owner looking for home insurance—you may save money by working with one insurance agency to take advantage of bundling discounts that it provides for bundling your policies. This may seem like a good deal. But it isn’t always.
Most insurance companies give discounts for bundling policies. But the money you save may not be reason enough to choose a single provider. There are other factors to take into account as well. Today, our Money Wizards explain what bundling insurance is and whether it’s right for you.
What Is Bundling?
To bundle policies is to purchase more than one insurance product from the same carrier. This may include home, auto, life, travel, motorcycle, RV, and boat insurance policies. Instead of having several insurance companies for each policy, you use one company for all of them. When your insurance policies are provided by a single company, dealing with your insurance is less complicated and more convenient. The main benefit is lower monthly premiums.
Although the types of insurance coverage that can be bundled depend on your insurance provider, you can expect to earn a discount of up to 28 percent for bundling two of the most common policies your insurance company provides. The more policies you bundle, the higher the discount you can expect to earn. So you save money by bundling your home and auto insurance policies, but you save even more by bundling your home, auto, and life insurance policies.
Common multi-policy discount combinations include:
- Auto + home. If you own a home, you can earn a discount on your auto insurance policy by insuring your car with the same company.
- Auto + renters. You are still eligible for a policy discount if you buy renters insurance and also need to insure a car.
- Motorcycle + renters. Bundling motorcycle and renters insurance will still get you a discount.
- Home + auto + life. Save on your insurance premium bill when you combine home, auto, and life insurance.
- Car + car. Save on auto insurance when you insure more than one vehicle.
- Boat + auto: Save on auto insurance by purchasing a boat insurance policy from the same company.
Pros of Bundling Your Insurance
Saves money on premiums
The main benefit of bundling your insurance is the fact that you can save up to 28 percent when you do so. Insurance companies offer these discounts because they want to be the sole choice for all your insurance needs.
The savings may also extend to your deductibles. By bundling your home insurance and auto insurance policies, you may need to pay only a single insurance deductible when filing a claim for a disaster that has destroyed both your car and your home. If the policies are not bundled, you would need to pay two deductibles to two insurance carriers.
Your time is valuable, so the convenience of making payments to one provider is another reason to bundle policies. With all your insurance products in one accessible place—one account with one insurer—it is easier to track your plans, pay premiums, and make claims.
Cons of Bundling Your Insurance
Bundling your home and auto insurance isn’t always the smartest thing to do, however.
Despite the attractive policy discounts made possible by bundling, bundling may not actually give you the best deal. What seems like a substantial discount on your insurance premiums may in fact be luring you away even better deals. If you don’t shop around, you may miss the opportunity to discover other providers selling the same coverage but at lower prices. Then your insurance company is retaining your business even if it does not offer the best rates and best service on the market.
Bundling encourages you to purchase insurance on the basis of price rather than on the basis of fulfilling the main purpose of the insurance: shielding your home, car, or other valuable assets from loss. Homes and cars are different. One insurance company may offer the auto insurance options you need while another offers the home insurance options you need. When this is the case, you benefit more by obtaining policies from different companies than you do by obtaining a bundle from a single provider.
Buying policies from different companies makes it easier to work with an insurance representative to choose the terms and coverage that are most consistent with your needs and budget. When you bundle products, you’re unlikely to enjoy as much flexibility.
All other things being equal, bundling is a great way to save money on your insurance premiums if you need coverage for both your car and home. But all other things are not necessarily equal. For example, if your auto policy is expensive because you’re considered a high-risk driver, you may save more money by finding an insurance company that better meets your needs.
Before pulling the trigger, compare the total price of the two cheapest individual policies to the price of the cheapest bundled package. Compare policies that offer similar coverage. Even if a certain insurance bundle at first seems to give you everything you need, its coverage may not be as robust as the coverage of other, unbundled policies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a limit to how many policies can be bundled?
Most insurance companies don’t limit your options for bundling home insurance and auto insurance. You can usually expect a multi-policy discount on several policies, incorporating a variety of discounts. In most cases, larger policies get steeper discounts.
Can I cancel one of my policies after I’ve bundled them?
Insurance companies will let you cancel one of the policies in a bundle after you have purchased a bundled package. But this may come at the expense of your multi-policy discount; you may no longer be eligible for a discount on the policy still in force.
If I purchase an auto policy now, can I bundle a home insurance policy with it at a later date?
Yes. There’s no expiration date on qualifying for a bundled-policy discount. You can purchase your auto policy today, and when you’re ready to add homeowners insurance, your insurer will provide a bundling discount for both your home insurance policy and your car insurance policy.