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Bundling auto and renters insurance
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Many people know that they might save by bundling their auto and homeowners insurance, but did you know that renters may save by bundling as well? Renters currently make up just over 30 percent of the housing market, and many companies extend bundling discounts for policyholders who hold both renters and auto insurance policies with that carrier.
If you also have a vehicle you already insure, you could consider asking your insurance company to provide you a quote for your renters policy or vice versa. Bankrate breaks down the bundling process to help you decide if a renters and auto bundle might be right for you.
What does it mean to bundle auto and renters insurance?
Bundling your renters and auto insurance just means buying both policies from the same insurance provider. Bundling can help you get more affordable renters insurance and car insurance. In exchange for having multiple policies insured with a provider, most companies offer a bundling discount, also referred to as a multi-policy discount, when you buy both policies.
You will usually have two separate policies with two different policy numbers, although some companies assign the same policy number to bundled policies. Auto insurance and renters insurance offer two different types of coverage — one for your vehicle and liability while driving and one for your personal belongings and guest liability.
Although renters insurance is not a legal requirement like auto insurance is in most states, if you are a renter and don’t already have a renters insurance policy, you may want to consider buying one. Renters insurance primarily covers your personal belongings from covered losses and provides liability coverage in case you are found at fault for injuries or damages to guests’ property.
Coverage for your driving and vehicle
Nearly every state legally requires drivers to carry at least a minimum level of auto insurance. However, outside of car insurance being a legal requirement in most states, it may also be beneficial for drivers. If you cause an auto accident, your auto insurance could reduce the amount you have to pay out of pocket for damages and injuries.
When purchasing car insurance, however, keep in mind that opting for the minimum required amount of coverage could leave you without adequate protection in the event of an accident. Most insurance agents recommend purchasing higher liability limits, such as full coverage, to better protect your finances if you can afford to do so.
Additionally, the best car insurance companies will likely offer endorsements that you could add to your policy for increased financial protection. These coverage types are optional but may offer relevant financial protection for your circumstances. Common endorsements include:
Coverage for your belongings
Unlike auto insurance, states don’t require that you purchase renters insurance. However, many landlords will require you to buy a renters insurance policy and will probably dictate the minimum liability coverage you have to purchase. Renters insurance protects your finances in a few different ways. Namely, it offers coverage to replace your personal items if they get damaged or stolen in a covered claim. It also covers your liability if a guest gets injured in your apartment or if you accidentally damage your unit or the apartment building.
Basic renters insurance policies usually include these coverage types:
- Personal property coverage: This is the primary renters insurance coverage and pays for damage to your belongings, like your furniture, clothes and home goods, after covered losses and up to certain limits.
- Additional living expenses coverage: This coverage will kick in if you can’t stay in your apartment after a loss. Also called loss of use coverage, it could help pay for hotel bills, restaurant meals and pet boarding up to certain limits.
- Liability coverage: This coverage protects your finances if you are found at fault for guest injuries or damage to a guest’s property. Liability coverage can also pay for legal fees if you are sued and need to defend yourself.
Many renters policies also include medical payments coverage, which pays for guest injuries regardless of fault. Just like car insurance companies, the best renters insurance companies usually have endorsements that can help you personalize your coverage. You might be able to add identity theft coverage, scheduled personal property (for high-value or unique items) or coverage for business equipment.
Is it cheaper to bundle auto and renters insurance?
Many companies that offer both auto insurance and renters coverage will give you a discount on one or both policies if you carry them with that insurer. These discounts may be available even if you don't purchase both policies at the same time. If you currently carry renters and auto insurance policies with different carriers, it may be worth asking each if they would extend a bundling discount if you were to switch carriers. Asking about discounts and requesting quotes could help you see which carrier offers the most impactful savings.
The average cost of full coverage car insurance is $2,014 per year or about $168 per month. Minimum coverage car insurance averages $622 per year or about $52 per month. Renters coverage is generally inexpensive, with an average annual cost of just $179 per year, or about $15 per month, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).
Note that not all carriers will extend a bundling discount for renters and auto insurance. Bundling may not be worth it if the potential discount does not outweigh the low rates you find with another carrier.
How to bundle auto and renters insurance policies
If you already have one policy in place, like renters insurance, you could reach out to the renters insurance company that currently insures your apartment to get a quote for car insurance. You could also ask about bundling discounts during this quoting process.
If you don’t have any insurance coverage right now, you could gather quotes for both auto and renters insurance. 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 may be able to help you understand how much you would save by bundling your policies together.
With auto insurance generally being the more costly of the two policy types, you may want to shop around with the focus of finding the best auto insurance policy first. After you have found one or two prospective auto insurers that offer the coverage you need at a premium that works for your budget, you could ask them to provide you a quote for renters insurance with a bundling discount.
Can I bundle other policies?
It depends on the company. Bundling discounts are most common for auto and property insurance — like home, renters and condo policies — but some companies offer a discount for bundling your auto with other types of insurance too. Depending on your auto insurance company, you might get a bundling discount for buying car insurance with:
- Boat insurance
- RV insurance
- Motorcycle insurance
- Umbrella insurance
- Life insurance
It's important to note that life insurance bundles will only result in a potential discount on the other type of insurance you are bundling it with. Life insurance is never eligible for discounts. Each company has different guidelines around discounts. Talking with a company representative is the best way to determine if bundling additional policies will save you money.
Pros and cons of bundling
Bundling car and renters insurance may deliver some perks, but it also comes with some potential drawbacks you may want to consider.
Usually saves you money on one or both policies
Policy management may be easier with a single company
Might be able to combine billing, so you get one monthly statement
May still need to buy certain types of coverage with another carrier; not every company offers every type of insurance.
A company that offers auto and renters insurance bundles may not have the lowest rates for your circumstances
Could be more work to change companies since you have more than one policy to switch
Ultimately, bundling your auto and renters insurance together may help you save money and might make managing your policies a little easier. However, having all your policies in one place could have drawbacks, so you may want to speak with a licensed insurance agent to decide if bundling these policies and switching carriers is the right choice for you.
Frequently asked questions