Bundling your home and auto insurance policies can save you money and offer perks other than just the discounted rates, but is it worth it?
Most carriers don’t sell strictly homeowners, or strictly auto insurance and nothing else, so if you go to a company for a car insurance policy, there’s a good chance they’ll try and convince you to bundle it with a homeowners or renters insurance policy.
This probably seems like a good deal to most. Afterall, who doesn’t like having a one-stop-shop for all of your insurance purchasing needs? The carrier may offer companion discounts and unique product tiers if you go through them to purchase multiple policies.
But there are cases when bundling is actually more expensive than mixing and matching, and other times when you need a specialized insurer for the best coverage.
A good homeowners and auto insurance bundle will ideally save you more money than if you purchased the policies at two different companies. But cost-effectiveness isn’t the only reason you should consider bundling your home and car insurance.
Combining your home and auto insurance under one carrier may lead to some serious discounts. Also referred to as a multi-policy discount and a companion discount, it saved consumers in the U.S. an average of 20% in 2017, according to insurance.com. While the amount you save varies from state to state, in certain states, like Georgia, folks saved as much as 22% by combining auto and home policies, and 11 other states also averaged discounts greater than 20% if you stuck with the same company.
Bundling may also be the way to go if you’re looking for strategic savings. This strategy isn’t noticeable right off the bat, but it pays off during a specific event or extenuating circumstance, like a tree falling through your garage and crushing your car. Without bundling, you’d have to file separate claims for the same event, with separate insurers, and pay separate deductibles. By bundling those policies under one carrier, you may have to file just one claim for the same event and pay just a single deductible.
Bundling makes managing policies easier, cuts down on paperwork, cuts down on the amount of time you’ll spend trying to remember login information and passwords, and reduces the inconvenience of having to communicate with multiple carriers about multiple policies.
It also reduces the time you’ll spend talking to an agent about changing or adding to existing homeowners or car insurance policies. If the agent already knows who you are and is aware of your assets and family situation, it's going to be far more painless when you need to add additional coverage, apply discounts, or add riders to a homeowners or car insurance policy.
Carriers also offer unique product tiers, or more complex bundles, if you decide to combine all of your policies. If you have a car, home, rental property, boat, and RV, its common for insurers to offer one policy package, since most auto and home insurers also specialize in other types of personal property. Unique product tiers can be advantageous as they cut out paperwork, limit you to one bill, and you may only have to pay a single deductible for all of that coverage.
As a general rule of thumb, carriers are less likely to drop you if you have multiple policies with them. So if you live in a “high-risk” home — near an extreme weather prone area, on a fault-line, crime-heavy areas, etc — it’s far easier to find coverage (and stay covered) with a company that offers bundles rather than a company that specializes in one type of insurance. Why are they willing to cover you, despite the risks? Because you’re a loyal customer, and refusing you home coverage may cause you to drop your existing auto policy and go with a different carrier altogether.
For all the benefits there are to home and auto insurance bundling, there’s also several key disadvantages and specific instances where it makes little financial or practical sense to bundle your policies. Sticking with one company may also induce tunnel vision and cause you to miss out on special discounts and offers from other carriers.
Owners of high-end or performance cars won’t find much value in traditional auto insurance companies and should mix and match their policies, rather than bundle. With repair costs for high-end vehicles being as high as they are, standard auto insurance carriers will either charge absorbingly high premiums or outright decline to cover it altogether. If you’re going to pay a premium for auto insurance coverage, you’ll want to go with an insurer who specializes in expensive vehicles.
While bundling may save you money in the short term, you may be unknowingly bundling two lesser-covered home and auto insurance policies that cost you more out-of-pocket in the long term. If you’re perfectly happy with the rates and coverage of your current homeowners and auto insurance policies, and you’re not necessarily worried about missing out on the cheapest rate imaginable, a bundle might not make sense for you.
Bundling auto and home insurance policies with one carrier may lead to tunnel vision and cause you to miss out on better rates and better coverage options. While brand loyalty is great and an indication that the carrier is doing their job, it also can lead to complacency on behalf of the beneficiary, leading them to make decisions that are comfortable rather than financially sound and practical.
The option to bundle your auto and homeowners insurance policies is often available at the end of your insurance application. Your insurer will typically ask you if you’d like to add on to your existing policy with an auto or homeowners policy.
If you already have an auto or homeowners policy with a different company but want to switch to a single company to complete a bundle, be sure you’re following the proper procedure to ensure that you won’t have to pay cancellation fees or have lapses in coverage.
At Policygenius, our goal is to make the auto and homeowners insurance purchasing process even more convenient. We’ll let you know if it makes sense to bundle or to mix and match with multiple carriers based on your specific needs.
Insurance carriers may differ in the multi-plan discounts they offer. Here’s what some of the major providers allow you to bundle:
Bundling your insurance policies doesn’t necessarily mean saving on them, so compare what you’re currently paying for coverage versus what you might pay after combining plans.
At the end of the day, trust your instincts. Does it feel like the right move at this time, discounts notwithstanding? Knowing your limits, exploring your options, and working with the right insurer are key to deciding if bundling insurance is worth the savings.
Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.