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Multi-car insurance

By Posted : 05/08/2015

One of the easiest ways to save on car insurance is to insure more than one car on the same policy.

When you get married, for example, you’ll save because married drivers tend to file fewer claims and thus get lower rates. A good driver discount requires a clean record.

But a multi-car discount doesn’t require a lifelong commitment or scrupulous attention to speed-limit signs. Instead, it’s a reward for bringing your insurance company additional business.

    What are the requirements for a multi-car policy? 

    To obtain a multiple-car policy, you need to insure two or more passenger vehicles on the same auto insurance policy. It’s that simple.

    You will need the VIN and lienholder information (if applicable) for all vehicles along with the driver’s license numbers for all drivers. This doesn’t vary from a single-car policy other than you are listing more than one vehicle on the policy.

    Some insurance companies cap how many vehicles you can have on a multi-car policy at four or five.

    Car insurance companies’ rules vary.  Some car insurance companies offer a discount only if the insured autos are in the same household and insured by related parties. Other insurers only require you to be at the same address and don’t care if you’re related or not.

    You can qualify for the discount mid-term if you place an additional car on your policy.  Conversely, if you delete a car mid-policy and are insuring a single vehicle, your discount would stop.

    Does the coverage need to be the same on each vehicle?

    Yes and no.  Most insurance companies require that you have the same amount of liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage on each vehicle, so there is no confusion as to how much liability coverage each vehicle has. 

    You can, however, carry collision and comprehensive on one car and not another.  The same is true for add-on coverages, such as rental reimbursement or custom car and equipment coverage.

    In general, the optional coverages that protect vehicles – such as comp and collision, rental reimbursement and custom equipment coverage -- can be different on each vehicle, but your liability, uninsured motorist and other required coverage limits must be the same on all vehicles.  That means if you have liability limits of 100/300/50 on the first car, you need those same limits on the second vehicle as well.

    Car insurance companies, and state laws, normally require that liability limits on all vehicles on your policy are the same, so there is no confusion as what your liability limits are on any of your vehicles if you’re in an accident. Use our car insurance coverage calculator for a recommendation of an appropriate coverage package.

    Remember that it’s the car that is insured, not the person.

    If the driver of the second car on the policy, the one with full coverage, were to drive the primary vehicle, he would have only liability coverage if in an accident, since that is the only coverage purchased for that vehicle. 

    And, whoever drives the second vehicle would have collision and comprehensive coverages available as well as liability if in an accident since those are the coverages on that particular car.

    When adding another car, driver or both to your car insurance policy it’s a great time to compare car insurance rates.  Your present car insurance company may no longer have the best rates when you factor in the additional car and driver

    Can I insure a car and a motorcycle on the same policy?

    No, since the motorcycle would need a motorcycle policy and not an auto policy. 

    There is a benefit though from insuring both of these vehicles with the same car insurance company -- you should be eligible for a multi-policy discount, which can be up to 20 percent.


    What are the benefits of a multi-car policy? 

    Besides any discount, you can insure all the vehicles with one policy with one renewal date and one payment date. 

    If you get a separate insurance policy for each vehicle you not only miss out on the discount but you also have to keep track of multiple bills and due dates each month.


    How big is a multi-car discount?

    The discount runs from 10 to 25 percent off of your liability, collision and comprehensive parts of your car insurance policy.

    Each vehicle gets this discount, but the discount doesn't compound with each car you add.  So, if the discount is 10 percent, your first car will get 10 percent off no matter if you add two or four other cars to the policy.


    Can I add other family members’ cars to my policy? 

    Typically if someone else owns the car, then that person needs to get his own policy for the vehicle.  However, you may still be eligible for the discount with some insurers.

    For instance, if your adult child resides with you and has his vehicle insured through the same carrier as your vehicles, then some insurers will apply a multi-car discount to both policies. 

    Other carriers will not allow this. Ask. 


    Are there other benefits with a multi-car policy?

    In states that allow it, you can stack your uninsured or underinsured bodily injury motorist (UM/UIM) coverage when you have multiple vehicles on the same policy. 

    For example, if you’re insuring two cars with uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage with limits of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident (100/300) and stack your UM coverage, your limits would double to 200/600. 

    The more cars you insure, the higher your stacked coverages would go.  Choosing to stack your coverage does cost a bit extra.

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