Auto and renters insurance

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If you rent, you might not think you need insurance for your place. After all, your landlord has coverage for the building, right? The thing is: without a renters insurance policy in place, all of your belongings are at risk. What if your place burned down, or a thief made off with your TV?

The good news here is that renters insurance is generally cheap. The even better news is that you might be able to make it even cheaper by buying an auto and renters insurance bundle.

What does it mean to bundle auto and renters insurance?

Bundling renters and auto insurance — or usually any two insurance policies — means buying both policies from the same insurance provider. For the extra business of covering two parts of your life, many insurance companies offer a discount when they sell you a car and renters insurance bundle. They might also refer to this as a multi-policy discount.

Whether or not your bundle renters and auto insurance, the policies operate individually to protect their respective areas:

Auto insurance for your car

Nearly every state requires at least some level of auto insurance. Generally, you need at least bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, which steps in if you damage someone’s property (including their vehicle) or injure someone while driving.

Beyond that, car insurance can cover your vehicle against theft, vandalism, damage if you back into a mailbox, and more, depending on the coverage types you buy. And it does all of this for an average cost of $1,674 a year for full coverage car insurance.

To get your car insurance policy — or an auto and renters insurance bundle — you generally need some basic info like:

  • Your car’s make and model
  • Your vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Your driver’s license number
  • Your annual mileage
  • Details of any accidents or tickets in the last few years
  • Specifics on any safety or anti-theft features on your vehicle

The exact info needed varies from insurer to insurer, but any company can tell you what it requires. Insurance providers want to make it relatively easy on you because they want to sell you one of their policies or, better yet, a car and renters insurance bundle.

Renters insurance for your stuff

Whether you bundle it with car insurance or not, your renters insurance policy covers your personal belongings. So if a fire burns up all your clothes or a thief steals your laptop, your renters insurance policy will replace your items (minus your deductible).

Renters insurance also gives you liability coverage, meaning that if someone holds you responsible for an injury, it can help with the resulting expenses, including court costs. So if a neighbor slips on your doormat and decides to sue, your coverage can help pay for any fallout.

If you think renters insurance probably is not worth the cost, think again. We found that renters insurance costs just $42 a month, on average.

To get renters insurance, you usually need:

  • Personally identifying info, like your date of birth
  • Your address
  • A rough estimate of the value of your personal property
  • The number of people living at your rental
  • Info about any safety, anti-theft or fire protection features at your rental
  • Details of any renters insurance claims you have filed in recent years

Again, the specifics required to get a policy depend on the insurer you choose, but it should not be too challenging to put coverage in place.

Will bundling auto and renters insurance save me money?

Convinced that renters and auto insurance could give you worthwhile protections? You have two options. You can get the two policies from two separate insurance companies, but that usually means managing more paperwork and paying more money. If you want cheaper car and renters insurance rates, consider bundling by buying your policies from the same company.

Without a multi-policy discount, we found that people will pay an average of $2,266 a year for separate renters and auto insurance policies. But if you buy a car and renters insurance bundle, you can expect to pay closer to an average of $1,894 a year.

Companies with cheap auto and renters insurance bundles

To give you an idea of your options for auto and renters insurance bundles, we used Quadrant Information Services to pull 2021 bundle prices from the best car insurance companies and the best renters insurance companies. While all insurance companies offer varied rates depending on your risk factors like where you live and how much you need to insure, the general trend is that a bundle is cheaper than buying two policies with separate companies.

Insurance company Average annual full coverage auto premium Average annual renters premium Bundle with multi-policy discount % savings
USAA $1,255 $382 $1,208 35%
State Farm $1,457 $266 $1,669 3%
Erie $1,233 $448 $1,380 22%

Other companies that offer insurance bundles

That said, many insurance companies will be willing to offer you a car and renters insurance bundle. Some other companies that sell auto and renters insurance bundles include:

  • Progressive
  • Allstate
  • Nationwide
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Geico
  • American Family
  • Travelers

Some companies, like a few listed above, may offer the renters policy through a separate company but still offer a bundle discount if you set up the renters policy through the affiliate company.

Bundling auto and renters insurance policies

If you want cheap car and renters insurance by bundling your policies together, you have options.

If you already have one policy in place (like your car insurance), reach out to the company that currently insures your car to get a quote for renters insurance. Make sure it includes the multi-policy discount on your policies, if possible.

If you currently have neither coverage, gather quotes for both. Companies may show you the multi-policy discount online while using their quoting tools, or you can call them and speak to an agent. An agent can help you understand how much you would save by bundling your policies together.

Can I bundle other policies?

Absolutely. Most insurance companies will let you bundle — and give you a multi-policy discount for buying multiple policy types from them — well beyond renters and auto insurance. You can usually also bundle:

  • Home insurance
  • Boat insurance
  • RV insurance
  • Motorcycle insurance
  • Life insurance

Pros and cons of bundling

Bundling car and renters insurance can deliver some perks, but there are also some drawbacks you should consider:

Pros

  • You can probably save money. As outlined above, bundling your car and renters insurance can save you anywhere from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars a year. The exact savings depend on the insurance company and the multi-policy discount it offers, so it is usually best to shop around.
  • You should have less paperwork. When all of your insurance policies are managed by the same company, you only have to worry about one website to navigate, one main claims number to call, etc. Bundling can generally make managing your insurance policies easier.
  • You may be able to pay your premiums more easily. If both of your insurance policies are with the same company, you may be able to set up one payment method. Then, you can use that payment method to pay the premiums for both policies.

Cons

  • You might not shop all of your policy options. If you already have car insurance with a company and you want to bundle, you may only get a quote for renters insurance from that insurance carrier. That could mean missing out on a better rate with another company.
  • You might feel trapped. If you find yourself unhappy with the service your insurance company is delivering, it might feel like a hassle to switch all of your insurance policies over to a new company. That might leave you sticking around with your current insurer when another company could offer you a higher quality of customer service.

Ultimately, bundling your auto and renters insurance together will usually help you save money and it might make managing your policies a little easier. But you should never settle for high rates or lackluster service, so make sure you shop your options.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 40-year-old male and female renters with a clean claim history, good credit and the following coverage limits:

Auto:

  • Bodily injury liability per person: $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

Renters:

  • Coverage C, Personal Property: $25,000
  • Coverage D, Loss of Use: $5,000
  • Coverage E, Liability: $100,000
  • Coverage F, Medical Payments: $1,000

The renters also have a $500 deductible.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes will differ.

Written by
Kacie Goff
Personal Finance Contributor
Kacie Goff is a personal finance and insurance writer with over seven years of experience covering personal and commercial coverage options. She writes for Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, NextAdvisor, Varo Money, Coverage, Best Credit Cards and more. She's covered a broad range of policy types — including less-talked-about coverages like wrap insurance and E&O — and she specializes in auto, homeowners and life insurance.