When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, purchasing your home and auto insurance in a bundle makes a lot of sense. To reward your loyalty, most insurance companies will offer you a discounted rate – usually on your auto insurance. Its also convenient: Having one bill and one agent for both policies reduces the hassles associated with using multiple insurance carriers. But there can be a downside to bundling, too. In some cases, you may save more by using one carrier for your homeowners coverage and another for your auto insurance. And then theres the question of quality: While you may love one company for their homeowners coverage, you may not consider their auto coverage to be up to par. Here are five tips for helping you decide whether or not to bundle your home and auto insurance.
- Evaluate each policy separately. Many insurance companies handle a variety of claims well, although some are associated with a specific type of coverage for a reason. A carrier that has an excellent reputation for processing auto insurance claims may not provide the same level of service when it comes to homeowners protection. For either type of coverage, look for shorter, simpler policies with straightforward payout terms. And if a carrier provides you with a quote for homeowners insurance in 10 minutes or less, chances are its not very accurate.
- Look at the big picture. When youre comparing bundled auto and home insurance policies, compare the features and deductibles in addition to the premiums. Discounts in one arena can distract you from high costs in another. And while we all want to get our lowest price, dont lose sight of all the other aspects of a plan that are important to you – like the flexibility to use your local mechanic when filing a claim.
- Check whether the insurance company will actually cover both policies. Some insurance carriers offer an auto and home insurance bundle by partnering with other companies. While this can be fine if both carriers have an excellent reputation in their respective fields, you may not get the same level of service for your automotive claims that you do for your homeowners claims – or vice versa. Before you sign up, find out if both policies are actually underwritten and serviced by the same company.
- Know your limits. In certain areas accustomed to weather disasters, it may not be possible to bundle your homeowners insurance with auto or other types of coverage. Elsewhere, you can often bundle auto and home insurance with umbrella coverage to provide $1 million or more in additional protection. So before you decide to bundle, make sure youre geographically eligible.
- Shop around. Before making the decision to bundle with a single carrier, request individual auto and home insurance quotes from a handful of different companies to compare quality of coverage as well as price. Just make sure that the companies you shop are highly-rated and reputable when it comes to paying auto and home claims.