Auto and renters insurance
Renters currently make up just over 30% of the housing market, which means that a sizable portion of the U.S. population rents. 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 it also provides liability coverage in case you are found at fault for injuries or damages to guests’ property.
Renters insurance is generally inexpensive, with an average annual cost of just $179 per year, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I). If you also have a vehicle to insure, you may be able to bundle your auto and renters insurance to save on both policies. Bankrate breaks down the bundling process so you can decide if it is 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 save you quite a bit of money. In exchange for the additional business, 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 are two very different types of coverage, so maintaining two policies is usually necessary.
Auto insurance for your car
Nearly every state legally requires drivers to carry at least a minimum level of auto insurance. And while buying just state minimum coverage can help you get a cheaper policy, it could also leave you with high out-of-pocket costs in an accident. Most insurance agents recommend that you purchase higher liability limits and maybe even full coverage to protect your finances.
Auto insurance policies are a combination of several different coverage types, including:
- Bodily injury liability covers injuries that you cause to other parties in at-fault accidents.
- Property damage liability covers damages you cause to someone else’s property in at-fault losses, including damage to their vehicle or personal belongings. This coverage will also cover damage you cause to fences, poles, buildings and other stationary objects.
- Medical payments coverage pays for injuries to your passengers regardless of fault. This coverage is not available in all states.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) also pays for injuries to your passengers regardless of fault but can also pay for lost wages and the cost for household services if passengers can’t perform them due to an injury. PIP isn’t available in all states but is required in no-fault states.
- Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage are two separate coverage types but are often purchased together. Uninsured motorist coverage pays for your injuries if an uninsured driver hits you. Underinsured motorist coverage pays for your injuries if the driver who hits you doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the full cost. In some states, uninsured motorist property damage coverage may also be available; that pays for your vehicle and property damage if an uninsured driver hits you.
- Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle caused by non-collision scenarios, like theft, vandalism, storm damage and hitting an animal.
- Collision coverage covers your vehicle damage if you collide with something, like another car, a tree or a pole.
Usually, bodily injury liability and property damage liability are required coverage types, but some states also require medical payments or PIP, uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. If you aren’t sure what your state’s requirements are, you can check your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or Department of Insurance (DOI) website. If you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, you’ll also probably need to buy comprehensive and collision coverage. Adding those means you have a full coverage policy.
Additionally, the best car insurance companies will likely offer endorsements that you could add to your policy. These extra coverage types aren’t required but can provide valuable protection. Common endorsements include roadside assistance, car rental coverage, gap insurance and accident forgiveness.
Renters insurance for your stuff
Unlike auto insurance, states don’t require you to purchase renters insurance. However, many landlords will require you to buy a policy and will probably dictate the minimum liability coverage you have to purchase. This helps to protect both you and the landlord if someone is injured on your property.
Basic renters insurance policies usually include these coverage types:
- Personal property coverage 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 kicks 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 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.
Will bundling auto and renters insurance save me money?
It might. Most companies that offer both auto insurance and renters insurance will give you a discount on both policies. If you are going to buy both types of insurance anyway, getting quotes for both from the same company could be worth your time.
The average cost of full coverage car insurance is $1,674 per year or about $140 per month. Renters insurance costs an average of $179 per year or about $15 per month. Bundling discounts are often some of the most significant savings that a company offers. Buying your auto and renters insurance from the same company could lower the price for both your policies.
Bundling auto and renters insurance policies
If you want to bundle your auto and renters 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 don’t have any insurance coverage right now, you can 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.
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 company, you might get a bundling discount for insuring your auto with your:
- Boat insurance
- RV insurance
- Motorcycle insurance
- Umbrella insurance
- Life insurance
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 can deliver some perks but also comes with some drawbacks you may want to consider.
|Usually saves money||May still need to buy certain types of coverage with another carrier; not every company offers every type of insurance.|
|Easier to manage policies when they are with one company||Could be more work to change companies since you have more than one policy to move|
|Might be able to combine billing, so you get one monthly statement|
Ultimately, bundling your auto and renters insurance together will usually help you save money and might make managing your policies a little easier. But having all your policies in one place can have drawbacks, so be sure to weigh the options to decide if bundling is right for you.
Frequently asked questions
Does bundling mean I only have one policy?
No. Bundling just means you are buying your policies from the same insurance company and taking advantage of the multi-policy discount. Because auto and renters insurance provide very different types of coverage, you’ll usually still have two policies. Some companies will assign the same policy number, but your coverage types will still be separate.
What is the best company to bundle auto and renters insurance?
Everyone has a different situation when buying insurance, so there is no one company that stands out as the best for everyone. When you are getting ready to shop for coverage, you might want to ask yourself a few questions. Are you looking for a company with a mobile app? Do you value high customer satisfaction scores? Do you need speciality coverage types? Once you know what you are looking for, you can get quotes from the companies that fit your needs to determine which is the best for you.
If I cancel my bundled renters policy, do I have to cancel my auto policy too?
Not usually. Even when you bundle your policies, you’ll probably still have two distinct policy types — one for auto and one for renters. You can probably cancel one without losing the other, but you will lose the multi-policy discount. Some companies do combine policies together, though, and require that you maintain a bundle to keep coverage. Checking with your company before you cancel a policy could help you avoid a surprise.
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 a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $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 coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.