Combining car and home insurance is often called bundling. It means you use the same insurance carrier for your home and auto insurance in order to take advantage of additional discounts.

Bundling is one of the things you can do to help control the rise in cost of insurance policies. Many of the bigger insurance companies like State Farm and Allstate, and some of the smaller carriers, are happy to help you combine policies and reduce your insurance rates.

Insurance companies like to bundle policies for many reasons. For one thing you are less likely to change insurance companies on one type of policy, like for car insurance, if you are with the same company that holds your house insurance, and sometimes even your life insurance. Also providing a reduced rate for bundled policies can protect the insurance company because the risks of a claim are reduced and yet the insurance company will still generate a profit.

Finding a Bundled Insurance Policy

You shop for a bundled insurance policy just like you would for a separate home or auto insurance policy. You need to research individual policies for car, and others for home, and then see what their discount is for combining the two policies together. Before you ask for comparison quotes decide what types of insurance you want, what limits and levels you need, what deductibles you want quoted, and then ask for the same thing from several companies so you can make an apples-to-apples comparison.

Once you get the quotes you can check payment options. Some companies will give another discount for automatic payment. You can also check their service options and make note of any extra coverage options. It makes since to start with your auto insurance as this will be the most expensive component of bundled service.

Comparing Auto Insurance

Make sure the company’s you compare for car insurance also carry home insurance and offer discounts for combining them. Collect the information from existing automobile policies to make sure you have the year, make, and model of all the vehicles you own.

Understand your state minimum car insurance requirements, and if you have a lender on any vehicles make sure that you know what the lender requires you to carry on the car. Typically the bank will require collision and comprehensive to cover replacement or repair of the car. Depending on the value of the car they may also require you to carry theft, full glass, and fire. If they don’t require this type of insurance, you might consider adding the coverage. When considering insurance for your car you should remember that if it is totaled you will have to make up any difference between what the insurance company pays and what is left on the loan.

Comparing Homeowners Insurance

Once you’ve narrowed the car insurance providers that you are interested in to two or three companies, you can get quotes from these companies for homeowner’s insurance. Each insurance company may require you to do this in a different way. Some will allow you to request a quote online for homeowner’s insurance, others will require you to speak with an agent over the phone or via an in person appointment.

Again for an apples-to-apples comparison you need to get the quote on the same deductibles and the same options, levels, and limits. Then you can highlight any differences or added benefits to each policy offered. Typically homeowner policies are less complicated and more generic than car insurance. While standard auto insurance doesn’t generally cover theft of personal items that are stored in your vehicle, RV, or boat, some homeowner policies will. Because of these differences you should compare not only the cost of the homeowner policy, but the types of additional coverage options for the difference in cost.

When you consider the savings in bundling both car and home insurance, consider the savings not just monthly and annually, but over the life of a thirty year mortgage.

Summary

Bundling car and home insurance can save you money. Once you’ve done the work, you shouldn’t just take the savings for granted each year. It is a good idea to review the coverage and cost of your insurance every few years if you don’t compare them each year. About a month or two before it is time to pay the annual premium on your home insurance you should take out your policies, review the coverage and the costs and get a few online quotes to see if the insurance coverage is still cost competitive.

It is also a good idea to check to see if the coverage you have meets your needs. Have you purchased jewelry or artwork that needs higher limits added to your homeowner’s policy? Do you have a home office for a business that you didn’t have last year? Have you paid of a car loan or has the value of your car decreased so that you can increase deductibles or drop collision and comprehensive car coverage? It’s a good idea to review your car and home insurance occasionally to ensure it still makes sense for your life.