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Save money by bundling your renters and car insurance policies

Save money by bundling your renters and car insurance policies

Peanut butter and jelly, hot fudge and vanilla ice cream—just a few items that go well together: items that can be “bundled,” so to speak. So can your car and renters insurance.

It’s called an auto/renters package or bundle. In fact there are some companies that offer discounts for putting almost all of your insurance in one place: auto, home/renters, umbrella, and life insurance. The bundles of insurance packages are out there to be had. Read on for expert advice on saving money by bundling insurance policies.


Do

Do make sure it’s available

Tell your agent that you are interested in an auto/home or auto/renters package policy. Make sure your agent looks at several different companies with you that offer both auto and renters, or auto and home insurance. If the company offers both products then they usually offer a package discount when you obtain both policies.

Do watch your spending

Your credit score does affect your insurance rate. In short, if you have a low credit score, you will have a higher insurance premium. Your credit score is not the sole factor in calculating your premium but it counts for at least one third. As part of the rate algorithm (calculation), the company comes up with an “insurance score”. With some companies, if the score is too low, they will not even consider writing your policy. Your agent does not see your credit score, but based on the info we do see, we can get an idea of how high your score is. Rating usually is off the first named insured, so if your spouse has a better credit score, make sure they get listed first on the policy.

Do drive smart and be careful when you file a claim

If you have a good driving record and a low claim experience for both car and renters insurance—in addition to a decent credit score—you will be rewarded with an attractive premium for both auto and renters insurance. Additionally, you will receive a percentage off both premiums.

Do pay smart

If you bundle your policies or not, most companies give a discount if you give them access to your checking account. This payment form is known as Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT). When you sign up for a policy, the company takes the routing number of your bank and the checking or savings account number. This allows them to automatically withdraw premium once a month. This is a discount worth 10% or more, depending on the company. With most companies, you can specify at which time during the month you would prefer to have the withdrawal happen.

Do be honest

Have you had previous claim on your renters policy (within the last 36 months)? How about traffic tickets? Have you had an at-fault accident within the last 5 years?

Before an agent can issue a policy, they have to run reports to verify what they have been told by the client. Almost all of the insurance companies are surcharging for any claim activity. By telling your agent the truth about any accidents, violations, or claims, you help us provide you with an accurate rate so when the policy gets issued, there are no last-minute expensive surprises. Each company has different guidelines and the more the agent knows up front, the easier it is to place you with the right company. 


Don't

Do not make frivolous claims

With all insurance companies it’s not the amount of the claim as much as the frequency. If you have windshield replacement coverage on your auto policy, and every year you get a new windshield—coming up on your 3rd renewal—don’t be surprised if you don’t get renewed and then find it difficult to obtain new and inexpensive car insurance.

The same applies with renters insurance. If you have expensive items that are consistently getting lost or stolen, you run the risk of a non-renewal, and may have difficulty obtaining new coverage. Insurance is for catastrophic losses. It is not a repair policy. Insurance companies are obligated to pay the claims, but they are not obligated to keep you once they have met their obligation.

Do not have a restricted dog

Or a dog that has a habit of nipping or biting people. That is a liability claim waiting to happen.

Some of the breeds on the restricted list are Rottweilers, Pit bulls, Boxers, Akitas Bull Mastiff or Mastiff, German Shepherds, and Dobermans. This is just a general list . The breeds on it are generally known to be aggressive. You can get renters coverage if you have these dogs, but you will just have to make sure the company you are looking at will accept them, and there are companies out there that will.

Do not have a business in the apartment

Most renters and homeowners policies do not allow for daycare in the home. So if you were planning on running a daycare center from your apartment, there is no coverage under a renters policy. Actually, if you plan on running any business out of your apartment and have clients visit you there, it’s best that you don’t.

Do not use space heaters

In fact, kerosene and quartz heaters as a secondary source of heat could very easily disqualify you if you want a renters policy. This isn’t the case all of the time, but it is a big risk not all companies are willing to take. If you suffer a fire loss due to either one of those, and the company you are insured with does not allow them, you run the risk of not having your claim paid.

Do not forget to disclose your highest level of education

Certain professions can get you a better insurance premium, but sometimes a college or graduate degree can give you an even greater discount than the profession. Getting a bundled policy when a company offers this discount may mean you not only get the bundling discount, but also an education discount on both policies.


Summary
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The most important thing to remember is this: if you want to do business with just one company, they generally offer a discount for bundling your policies. Keep track of your credit score and be a smart driver, renter, and insurance policy-holder. All of this will very easily save you money, and give you solid insurance coverage.


More expert advice about Home, Auto, and Theft Insurance

Photo Credits: #3706768 © Rafael Ramirez - Fotolia.com; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com

Charlie ScheinOwner & Principal Agent

Charlie has worked in the property/casualty insurance industry since 1988. He has owned his own independent agency since 2009. Star-Schein Agency offers insurance for Car, Home, Life, Health, Medicare Health, Business and Pet Health....

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