If you own more than one vehicle, or a family member in your home owns their own car, you should consider getting a multi-car policy rather than insuring each vehicle individually.
Not all car insurance companies offer multi-car insurance, but those that do are more likely to give you the best rates on each of the vehicles you are covering.
Read on, and learn more about multi car insurance, who qualifies, how coverage on these policies work, and how this type of plan can save you money.
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What is a multi-car policy and what are the alternatives?
Multi-car insurance is insurance that will cover more than one car on the same policy.
Every car that is listed on the policy will have the same period of coverage when the policy renews.
With one in three households reporting that they own two or more cars, the demand for multi-car policies has risen.
Single car insurance policies are still available in the marketplace from big name insurers.
When a company has a single car policy structure, each time you buy a car you will start a new policy where you must pay a deposit and then remember the renewal period.
The multi-car policy not only has the same convenient term period, it also allows you to add coverage to an existing policy and makes you eligible for policy discounts just for carrying coverage on two vehicles.
Who is eligible for a multi-car insurance policy?
Not everyone is eligible for a multi-car policy. One of the reasons why some companies continue to offer a single car policy structure is because there can be confusion with the named insured listed on a policy and matching the named insured to the name of the registered owner.
The named insured on any policy is the person who can authorize changes to the policy, receives payment for claims and who owns the vehicle listed on the policy.
Most standard insurers require the registration or the title of the vehicle to match how the named insured is listed. If there are multiple vehicles and the owners are not exactly the same from vehicle to vehicle, making the minor changes to the listed insured can be easy when you buy a single car policy.
If all of the owners match or at least one of the two named insureds is listed with the Department of Motor Vehicles, you will be eligible to buy a multi-car policy.
All of the vehicles that are on a multi-car policy must be registered to the same household.
The car can be taken to college, but it must still be registered at the parent’s home to be eligible for multi-car coverage. Cars can be owned by spouses in the same home, dependent children in the home, and also by other family members that are under the roof.
If you have a roommate who owns their own vehicle and is of no relation to you, you cannot combine policies for the multi-car savings. Some insurers will also require independent children who are off to college to buy their own plans.
What are the advantages of getting a multi-car policy?
There are advantages and disadvantages to buying a multi-car policy. You need to consider your own personal needs and how this multi-car policy compares to a single car policy to decide which insurer is right for you.
Knowing which product offering is best for you will help you narrow your choices quickly as you shop for the best priced plan from an insurer with the best rates.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of buying a policy from an insurer with a multi-car policy product offering is that you will qualify for a multi-car discount and sometimes even an extra car rating classification.
When you add that second eligible car to your policy, both vehicles on will then qualify for the multi-car discount. Even a third or fourth addition will qualify for the savings automatically.
The discount varies from carrier to carrier, but the average savings will bring down the rates of a vehicle with full coverage about 30%.
The rates for vehicles that have only liability may not decrease as much, but they will still go down.
Even motorcycles and recreational vehicles that are added, as long as they have liability coverage, will quality for the multi-car discount. As you acquire more vehicles, the savings will continue to get higher and higher, making multi-car policies the only logical choice.
Not only is multi-car insurance much cheaper, it is also much more convenient. If you were to carry a separate policy for each car, you have to make changes to every policy if you move or want to update your coverage.
Your payments will be due at different times of the year or the month and your policy renewals will differ. This can make it very difficult to change insurers in the future and you want to make your change when your cars are renewing.
Many people assume that you must carry all of the same limits and coverage options on each car on the same policy. That is not the case at all when you buy multi-car plans.
You have the option to raise or lower the limits and to add or remove optional forms of cover from the cars that do not need the supplemental protection.
You can enjoy the flexibility that single plans offer while still enjoying the many benefits of multi-car policies.
If you do not want to make keeping track of your insurance a full-time job, it can be in your best interest to buy a multi-car policy from a reputable insurer.
You only have to make a single change, a single payment, and will only receive one single renewal to review.
Not to mention the fact that it is easier for the insurer to keep track of your discounts and a lot less likely that errors will be found on your policy that have been costing you a small fortune.
How to Find the Best Multi-Car Insurance Policy
Now that you know which type of insurance you would like to buy, it is time to find a policy that is affordable and offers you comprehensive coverage.
Not all companies sell multi-car plans, and not all companies that do have a great reputation in the marketplace.
You need to consider more than just the structure of the products when you are buying something as important as car insurance.
The reputation of the insurer can make all of the difference, especially if you experience a nightmare situation that creates the need for you to file a claim.
There are plenty of different factors to consider when you choose an insurer. As a company in the financial sector that must provide you with financial benefits, you need to be sure that the company has money to pay claims.
The only way to get the money to pay claims is for the insurer to collect enough money from each policyholder and for that same insurer to invest the money wisely.
If the company does not do both of these things, there is a good chance that your claim will take forever to close. You can find financially strong insurance companies by checking the ratings through third-party agencies like A.M. Best.
In addition to financial strength, you want a company that does not misrepresent its products. You want that company to back what they sell and to offer great service all at the same time.
There are state departments in every state in the nation to protect consumers from companies that fail to fulfill their obligations. The departments license the companies and set the standards that they must adhere to.
If a consumer is not happy, they can file an official complaint with the department that will be investigated. If it is found that the insurer is in violation, they may have to fix the wrong and pay a fine.
Any company that has a long list of similar complaints is an insurer that you want to avoid at all cost.
Companies with a small amount of complaints that are answered are ones that can be trusted as long as they are established in the marketplace.
Now that you know why multi-car insurance is great for policyholders who have more than one car, it is time to get shopping.
If you want to find the best rates for your cars on a single policy, use a FREE online rate comparison tool, such as the one at the bottom of this page, and price shop from your comfy computer chair in your own home.
Enter all of your personal information, your vehicle information and coverage information so that you can see if you can save money by taking advantage of discounts.