When it comes to your insurance bill, more can be less.
Insurer discounts for having two or more policies (aka bundling) are common and an easy way to cut premiums. A new report from InsuranceQuotes.com estimates the average national savings at 16 percent for an auto and homeowners insurance package, or $322 per year.
To crunch the numbers, the site compared average bundled and unbundled rates in each state, using as its hypothetical customer a 45-year-old married woman with a bachelor's degree, excellent credit score and no lapses in coverage. It looked at three kinds of insurance combos: Homeowners and auto, condo and auto, and renters and auto.
Depending on where you live and the kinds of insurance you have, failing to bundle could be a big miss or a minor one, said Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst for InsuranceQuotes.com. (See graphic below with some of the biggest savings.)
"What's most surprising for us, when we take a look at the rates on a state-by-state basis, we see a wide variety of discounts," she said. "This is why we don't want people to assume, 'I just need to bundle.'"
It pays to shop around, comparing both bundled and unbundled rates, said Peter Kochenburger, deputy director of the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut School of Law.
By consolidating, he said, you could be missing out on low rates from a growing roster of start-ups that focus on one kind of insurance (such as pay-per-mile auto insurer Metromile, for example, or property insurer Lemonade).
Adams said bundling also might not be the best bet if you live in an area where your choice of insurer for one product is limited — such as Florida, where many big insurers have pulled out of the home insurance market. Or, if you drive a classic car or own an older home, either of which can influence rates for that line of coverage.
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"It's always wise to shop your policy bundled and unbundled," she said. "It really should not be very much more time consuming.
"It's just having them run one more quote for you."