Two of the most expensive purchases most people will ever make in their lifetime are property and a vehicle. And why not, right? A home, whether we choose to live in it or rent it out for extra income, will also hopefully increase in its value over time. A vehicle, although its value depreciates over time, can be a need (instead of being a luxury) for some, depending on where they live. And along with planning on making these purchases, comes the question of how to protect these acquisitions so that if untoward incidents such as theft or accidents happen, we are not left with the problem of having to cover the entire cost of replacement or repair.
Choosing the right insurance is as important as choosing the right location for your home, or the right type of vehicle for your lifestyle. And the first step to getting the best insurance to cover your needs at the least possible cost would be to get a quote from three or more companies in order to be able to compare their rates and the coverage that will be provided. However, always remember that less expensive is not automatically better, just as more expensive does not always mean more coverage. Now, let’s talk about the information you would need to provide when getting a quote for your auto and home insurance, and what you can do to get the best value for your money.
What Information Would I Need To Provide To Get An Auto Insurance Quote?
The details of every vehicle you need to insure – You will need to provide the identification number for your vehicle, as well as its make and model.
If the vehicle is brand new or if it’s the first time you’re going to purchase insurance for it, you can talk about what coverage you want and what your budget is. If there is an existing insurance policy for the vehicle, then the ‘declarations page’ of the current policy would have the current limits and the coverage of your policy.
The names of the drivers to be covered by the policy.
- Personal information–such as dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, and Social Security numbers–of the family members whose names will be included in the policy.
- The driving history of those who will be covered by the policy – this will include an overview of past auto accidents or tickets incurred.
- Details about income and assets (i.e., whether you own or rent your home or how many properties you have) will also be relevant in terms of choosing reasonable liability coverage limits.
The cost of your insurance policy will be determined by several factors, and among others, the type of coverage and the limits and deductibles for each of these will play an important role.
What Information Would I Need To Provide To Get A Homeowners Insurance Quote?
- Personal information – Typical information for identification purposes such as your date of birth and Social Security number. Your agent may also inquire about your income to gauge your capacity to pay or how much insurance you will be able to afford.
- Details about the occupants – Questions like who and how many actually live in the house will come up; including what types of pets there are if any.
- Insurance history – If you’ve already insured your home in the past, providing the details about your previous homeowners’ insurance, including any history of claims, will be necessary.
- Details about your home – These will include the type of home you have, when it was built, the floor area, the number of bedrooms/bathrooms, whether you have a garage or not, how many fireplaces you have, and even the type of your roof you have and when it was installed (if it has been replaced).
- Home improvement/repairs/amenities – It will be important to let the insurance company know if you’ve made changes to your home from the time you bought it. For example, have you installed a new roof? Have you added a bedroom/bathroom or maybe even a swimming pool? Have you installed a heating/air conditioning system or recently had major work done on the plumbing?
- Home safety and security – It will also matter whether or not you have a sprinkler system or a burglar alarm system installed. Having safety or security devices installed that will help prevent or minimize loss/damages due to fire and theft might mean discounts as these reduce risks.
Having all this information available when you get your quote will help the agent or the insurance company give you a more accurate estimate. So, to save time and avoid having to request for a quote a second time from the same company, it is best to prepare and gather all the relevant information. Reach out to your agent, if you must, and request for a checklist if they can provide one.
Will Getting My Auto And Home Insurance From The Same Company Mean Savings?
Insurance companies may offer auto and home insurance bundles with discounts of up to around 25%. Generally, this will mean you get to save. However, this is not always the case.
Remember that getting a discount does not always mean you’re getting the best deal in the market. This is just like going to a general store for all your needs and getting a 5% discount on the total amount of your purchase, as compared to going to specialty stores where specific items might be more than 10% cheaper because the store purchases in bulk and can afford to offer lower prices. At the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter whether you go with bundling or whether you’re given a 40% discount. What matters is that, given the same coverage, the total amount you will pay for your auto and home insurance is the best “deal” in terms of dollar value.
Let’s take 3 different companies for example. Company A’s home insurance will cost you $1500 and the auto insurance will cost you another $1500, but they are willing to give you a 10% discount if you get both from them, which means the bundled amount will cost you $2700. Now, Company B does not offer auto insurance, but their home insurance will only cost you $1200. Similarly, Company C only offers auto insurance, which will cost you $1400. In this scenario, if you get your home insurance from Company B and your auto insurance from Company C, then the total amount you’d need to pay would only be $2600. However, if Company A decides to give you a 15% discount for the bundle, then the price drops to $2550–which now becomes the better deal. Aside from the amount you get to save, there are also a few things you’d need to consider when bundling your auto and home insurance.
The Pros and Cons of Bundling
You can have an agent review your auto and home insurance in one sitting.
If managing your insurance policies online is available, then you might also be able to manage them in just one portal.
If you do end up making claims on your auto insurance, or get tickets in the future, there is less chance that the insurance company will drop you the following year.
People tend to think that bundles are always cheaper and this mentality discourages shopping around for better deals.
It’s easier to eventually end up overpaying when insurance companies implement incremental increases to the rates over time.
Some auto insurance companies would offer a “bundled” policy; but in reality, they would just set you up with another insurance company for your home insurance, which means you won’t have the opportunity to shop around for your homeowners insurance.
Tips On Getting The Best Prices Or Bundles For Your Auto And Home Insurance
- Get several quotes that you can compare. You can do this online or with an agent.
- Consulting an independent insurance broker or agent can save you a lot of time. They can get you the prices from different companies. What makes this most convenient is that you only speak to your agent and your agent takes care of getting quotes for you. Plus, they know which companies offer the best rates for which type of insurance; and which companies are most efficient in processing claims.
- If you get quotes for bundles, check if both insurance policies (auto and homeowners) are covered under just one company–especially if you’re after the convenience of having to check just one account when you go online. At the same time, bundling with a third party does not assure you that that other company offers the best rates in the market.
- Get quotes regularly. We often do diligent research about prices the first time we’re buying insurance, then forget about it. But if we check the prices and compare quotes every year or once every two years, we don’t end up overpaying unknowingly.
- Hard-earned money goes to insurance payments. Regardless of how big one’s income is, nobody wants to pay more than necessary. Of course, this doesn’t mean you always have to go with the lowest prices. Equally important are the company’s stability and credibility. Look into the insurance company’s rating, and check for feedback; you’d want to make sure that there will be no issues should the time come that you’d need to make a claim.
Call your insurance agent now, or call us and we’ll help you get sorted out!