Bundle up! Esurance now selling home insurance, too
The online car insurance company Esurance, owned by Allstate, is expanding offerings to include home insurance -- betting that bundling policies will give it a competitive edge against rivals Geico and Progressive.
Chief Executive Officer Gary Tolman says Esurance started underwriting homeowners insurance in Wisconsin and will expand to other states, according to a Bloomberg report by Noah Buhayar.
California and Florida residents, however, are out of luck for now as Tolman says those states typically have higher risk for homeowner claims so policies won't be sold there during the roll out phase.
Allstate is hoping the strategy will help Esurance stand out from the competition because "car-insurance competitors sell home policies from other carriers and don’t offer the same discounts," Tolman says.
Esurance is now offering average discounts of 10 percent on homeowners policies if paired with auto coverage, according to the Bloomberg report.
Allstate bought Esurance in 2011 to help mitigate a loss in market share for its auto policies sold through agents and to gain a presence in the new online auto insurance arena.
In addition to bundling, Esurance offers many other discounts, check the company website for details on how to qualify:
- Five years without a claim earns you 25 percent discount of total premium.
- Switch from another insurer and get a 5 percent discount on your premium.
- Pay in full and get up to 10 percent of premium.
- Get a quote and save 5 percent off total premium in most states.
- Multi-policy discount if you also insure a motorcycle, ATV, Segway or snowmobile for residents of Illinois, Texas and Wisconsin.
- Pac-12 alum get up to 15 percent off total premium.
- Defensive driving course completion earns you up to 10 percent off certain coverages.
- Good student -- holding a "B" average -- discount of up to 10 percent on liability, collision, and medical payments coverages.
- Anti-theft device installed will earn you between 5 and 25 percent off your comprehensive coverage, depending on what kind of anti-theft devices your car has and where you live.
- Insuring a car with manufacturer-installed airbags and automated seat belts qualifies you for between 2 and 33 percent on medical payments coverage and/or personal injury protection, depending on your state and the quality and number of safety devices.
- Pay-as-you-go policies give you 5 percent off beginning on your first policy term and up to 30 percent thereafter.
- Multi-car discount varies.
Be aware of car insurance discount details
As with discounts offered by any car insurer, remember the following:
- Sometimes there is a cap on the amount of discounts you can receive.
- Some discounts apply to only certain coverages and not your total premium.
- Some discounts only apply during certain time periods, for instance upon policy renewal for some drive-as-you go plans or within two weeks of your policy expiration for "switch and save" type discounts.
Des Toups is a writer, editor and expert on insurance, cars and personal finance. He has written extensively about all three for national publications such as MSN and major newspapers such as the Seattle Times. He has been quoted about insurance issues in The New York Times, USA Today and Kiplinger's.
Follow him on Twitter @destoups