How do multi-car insurance policies work?

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Auto insurance companies offer their policyholders discounts to keep premiums low and keep their clients loyal
  • One of the most popular discounts offers is the multi-car discount. When you insure more than one private passenger vehicle with the carrier, you will receive a sizable discount off of the premiums of each vehicle
  • Some companies sell single-car policies, and other companies sell multi-vehicle policies. If you buy a multi-vehicle policy, every vehicle on the policy will have the same policy number and the same policy term
  • You’ll be eligible for the multi-car discount on each type of policy as long as you, your resident spouse, or a family member in your household own the vehicle
  • It’s important to review your policy at every renewal to verify that you’re receiving the discounts that you’re eligible for

When you’re shopping for auto insurance, your mission is to find the lowest rates for the most comprehensive coverage. One way to find low rates is to qualify for discounts.

By combining your auto insurance on all of your private passenger cars with the same carrier, you can reduce your premiums by qualifying for the multi-car discount.

If you’re tempted to insure all of your vehicles with different companies, find out how much you can save with a multi-vehicle policy.

While insuring rare or luxury cars separately might make sense, buying coverage on all of your standard cars through the same provider is best for your time and your money.

Start comparison shopping today by entering your zip code in our FREE tool above!

What is the difference between a multi-car policy and a single-car policy?

Older out insurance companies sell single-car insurance policies. Most of the newer carriers in the marketplace sell multi-vehicle policies.

The primary difference between the two policy types is that, with a single-car plan, the policy will have its own policy number and policy period.

By purchasing a multi-vehicle policy, each car’s coverage renews at the same time, and you only have to remember one policy number.

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What is a multi-car discount?

Discounts will drive your premiums down when they are applied to your policy. The actual menu of discounts that are offered through a provider will vary, but almost every company offers the multi-car discount.

This discount is available when you or family members in your home own more than one vehicle, and you insure it with the same carrier.

While it might appear as if you’re only eligible for the discount if you buy a multi-vehicle policy, that’s not the case.

Carriers that sell single-car policies will attach the policies to one another to apply the multi-car discount internally. You should tell your agent to apply the discount when you’re insuring a new car.

Who qualifies for multi-car discounts?

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With most providers, there are restrictions as to who qualifies for multi-car discounts. For the discount to be applied, the cars must be garaged in the same household.

When the cars are all registered in the same name, they will automatically get the discount, but if the names don’t match you must be related to the vehicle owner.

If the car is owned by your spouse or a resident family member, there’s a good chance each car will be eligible for the discount. You can’t suspend coverage on the car and still qualify.

Every car must have at least Bodily Injury and Property Damage coverage to be considered as an additional car. Motorcycles, boats, and RVs don’t qualify.

The amount of your discount will depend on the carrier that you’re insured through and how much coverage you carry on your policy. The discount doesn’t take a fixed percentage off of your total premium.

Instead, it drives down your rates for specific coverage options on each vehicle. Typically, the savings are between ten percent and twenty percent for each car.

Review Your Insurance Each Time it Renews

If you buy a multi-vehicle policy, the discount will automatically fall off of your policy if you downgrade to just one car. It’s not so easy when you have different policy numbers for each plan.

If this happens, the company might not remove your discount until your renewal, which is why it’s important to review your renewals to verify everything is correct.

While the multi-car discount is the easiest way to qualify for savings, there are other discounts available.

You can stack discounts on your policy to bring rates down dramatically. Make sure to ask your agent about the discounts the carrier offers. Some of the popular options include:

  • Multi-line Discount – When you have home and auto insurance with the same insurer
  • Good Driver – Drivers with clean records or only one infraction qualify in most states
  • Good Student – Students who attend school full-time may qualify
  • Driver Training – Mature drivers or young drivers who complete training

Multi-car policies are often the most convenient option. Use our FREE online quote tool and see if you can save money by insuring all of your vehicles with the same insurance carrier. Enter your zip code below to get started!

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