Buying auto insurance, whether it’s business auto insurance or private auto insurance, can prove to be one of the most exhaustive processes to go through, and can also prove to be one of the most expensive bills that you have as well. Consumers are constantly looking for ways they can reduce the cost of their auto insurance premiums, and often it’s just as simple as asking your agent what you could do to get a discount, or sometimes even multiple discounts. Often, people are surprised to find that these discounts are right under their noses, and that they could have been getting this discount all along if they had just asked.
One such discount that’s under the nose of many but not often exercises is achieved by combining your auto insurance with any property policy you may have. By combining policies with the same insurance company, you can often see a savings up sometimes around 10% or higher depending on the insurance company and area you live in. For some, the savings they experience on their auto insurance could end up paying completely for some cheaper types of property policies, such as renters insurance. Since renters insurance is so cheap, once you’ve combined the policies with the same company and received a savings on your auto insurance, you could end up basically saving enough to make your renters insurance ‘free.’
In addition to combining auto insurance policies with property policies with the same insurer, you can also save money on your auto insurance if you’re insuring more than one vehicle. Although it may seem odd, some people actually do insure vehicles they own on separate policies, thinking that they’ve found the best rate for each car with different companies. However, not only can you experience the convenience of getting one bill in the mail and deal with one company if you insure your vehicles on the same policy, you can also get a ‘multi-vehicle’ discount, which most insurers give to those who have more than one vehicle on a policy to help offset the costs of insuring more than one vehicle. If this is combined with the discount received from a multi-policy discount, then you could stand to see quite a significant savings.
Is It Always Worth It To Combine Policies?
While you may find that the savings on premium is good, it’s also important to make sure you’re comparing the coverage on each policy as well. Even though you may find cheap policies due to these discounts, it’s important to compare each company’s policy in an apples to apples method: make sure you’re receiving the same exact amounts of coverage so that you’re not under-insuring yourself. It’s true that you get what you pay for, and giving up extra coverage to save just a few dollars isn’t worth it, because if you have an accident, you’ll end up either paying more out of pocket yourself which adds up to be more than what you saved, or you’ll end up with a poor insurance company that doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to customer service, support, and claims experience.
The Main Benefits Of Combining Policies
Many people go for years carrying separate policies, when in fact, they could have been saving more money all along. Often people end up buying insurance on the spot when they buy a home or a car, using companies suggested to them by the professionals surround them, and then they never end up following up on quotes with the companies they’re already insured with. However, taking that extra amount of time to combine policies will definitely come back to you in many beneficial ways:
1.) Time: Combining policies will not only save you money, but they’ll save you time as well. Instead of having to call multiple companies whenever you need to put in a change of address, ask a question, pay a bill, and more. Combining policies literally cuts the time you have to spend on policy maintenance or issues in half. Additionally, there becomes only one renewal date to prepare for, and this will help keep you from having to refer back to several policies and figuring out when you need to get quotes for a new policy, figure out what amount you need to pay at renewal, as well as reviewing your policies at renewal time to insure that you’ve got all the coverage you need.
2.) Consumer Knowledge: If you combine policies, whether it’s combining a private auto insurance policy with a business insurance policy or a property policy with an auto policy, you’ll have more time to ask questions that you want the answer to, allowing you to be more informed, make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for, and that you feel comfortable in your knowledge of the policies and are getting the best rate. Knowledge really is power, and this power comes a lot easier if you have the time to ask questions, make consideration, and make an informed decision regarding all of your policies. For the first time, you could fully understand what it is that you pay for.
How Do You Combine Your Policies?
In order to combine policies and achieve savings, you’ll first want to check with the insurance company in order to see what discounts they offer and then receive a quote for your specific situation and find out what your potential savings could be. After you’ve received quotes and shopped around for different prices from different insurers, all you have to do is start your policy and you can begin to see the savings add up. Although looking at many different policies can be time consuming, it’s easier to search for one premium from one company instead of having to compare 20 different rates on the two policies when you could have combined them and gotten 10 different quotes. While this sounds time consuming as well, the only way to combine your policies is to talk with your insurer, find out if you’re able to, learn about the coverage and find out what you’ll pay, and then actually make the switch. Conveniently, most insurance companies can start combined policies right away, putting your savings into effect immediately.
One thing to avoid is wasting time getting quotes from companies that don’t offer both of the policies you need or that don’t offer multi-policy or multi-car discounts. If you find out which insurers don’t offer these things, you know that you don’t have to waste time with them. For sure, most of the major auto insurance providers and portals like GEICO, All State and Esurance offer multi-policy options and discounts, so it is not a bad idea to start with them for free comparison quotes.
If you’re ready to combine your policies, all you need to do is talk to your new insurer and have them write the policy, and usually they will cancel your old policy if applicable. It’s important to remember that when doing something like combining policies, which can often involve cancelling a policy mid-term, means that you never want to cancel your old insurance before the new is in place: lapses in insurance can cause an increase in premium, and it would be terrible if something happened during that short time that you didn’t have insurance. If you have policies in place and are going to combine them, make sure that they overlap and that your old one is cancelled once the new ones are in place.
It’s incredibly easy to combine insurance policies and get all policies with one carrier, or if you have more than one vehicle, it’s incredibly easy to combine insurance and get the insurance policy for both vehicles. All you have to do is talk to an agent, receive a quote online, and then compare the savings versus having two or more separate policies.
This was a guest post by Steven Weinberg, an insurance agent, writer for local magazines and blogs frequently at carinsurancecalculator.info