The Best Combos from Home and Auto Insurance Companies
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UPDATED: Apr 19, 2021
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These days, everything in the retail world is about combos. Put together a sandwich, fries, and a drink, and you’ve got a typical fast-food meal deal. Even more upscale chain restaurants such as Applebees or the Olive Garden feature special combo meals.
Television ads happily proclaim “Two for Twenty Dollars!” at Applebees, or boast family-style dinners and “all you can eat soup, salad, and breadsticks” at Olive Garden.
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The rule of thumb is: The more business you place with one particular company, the better the prices and promotions you’ll receive on your products and services. This is true in the restaurant industry, as well as retail in general.
Consumers are continuously being barraged with offers like BOGO–buy one get one free. In recent years, even insurance companies have gotten in on the act.
Most insurance experts advise that one of the best ways to save money on car insurance is to combine at least your auto and homeowner’s policies with one carrier.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners offers consumers practical advice on any number of important insurance matters.
The NAIC tells consumers to shop carefully for an insurance provider that you like, and then stay with the carrier that offers the best products and prices that fit your particular needs.
If you are satisfied with your auto policy with one carrier, it can help you save time and money if the same carrier offers other insurance services, along with multi-policy discounts.
According to Forbes Magazine, insurance companies that offer a variety of insurance programs, such as life, disability and homeowner’s insurance, offer significant discounts for households that maintain multiple policies.
Forbes suggests that, once you have combined your home and auto insurance policies, it would be wise to consider an umbrella policy to maximize liability coverage for both at a reasonable cost.
On average, a million-dollar liability umbrella policy costs less than $200 per year.
Advantages of Bundled Services
Bundling has become all the rage among many different kinds of service providers, especially cable and Internet companies.
Cable services call them double or triple plays if customers choose to purchase a combination of Internet, telephone, and television services from a single service provider such as Time Warner or Comcast.
Newer networks such as AT&T Uverse or Verizon FIOS allow for a possible fourth component, cellular telephone service. The advantages of this sort of bundle packaging are obvious.
The first advantage is price. Each component service in a bundle package is discounted; so the more services you buy, the larger the discount.
The second advantage is billing: All bundled services will appear on a single bill and fall due at the same time in a single billing cycle. The third advantage is convenience.
You only have to place one phone call to a single customer service center or a visit one company’s website to deal with all of your bundled services.
Discount pricing for multiple insurance products isn’t new, but combined billing statements and billing cycles is a fairly recent innovation for home and auto insurance providers.
At the forefront of home and auto combos is insurance giant MetLife.
MetLife Combo Packages
In 2011, MetLife rolled out its personal lines combo package program in 28 U.S. states. According to the Insurance Journal website, the new MetLife program combines several insurance products into one package with a single bill and renewal date.
This new package fits in nicely with MetLife’s existing GrandProtect package program, which has been aimed at high-end clientele.
Now, even more MetLife customers can take advantage of combo insurance pricing and packaging. Consumers benefit from these new programs with cost savings and greater convenience.
MetLife agents are able to more easily retain existing customers. Having two or more policies with a single provider helps create more customer loyalty for the company. By comparison, consumers who have only a single policy tend to switch companies more often.
So, insuring a home and car together, and perhaps combining these products with other insurance lines, is a win-win for both insurance companies and their clients.
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Other Insurance Carriers Offer Combos
Internet-based Progressive Insurance now offers double discounts for customers with more than one Progressive product.
Get a home and auto insurance quote from Progressive and receive a 10% discount on your homeowner’s or renter’s policy, along with an additional 5% discount on your Progressive auto policy.
Allstate Insurance, the “good hands” company, has yet to offer a bundle policy package but has several discount opportunities available for customers with multiple insurance lines. If you already insure your home or apartment with Allstate, you are eligible for a 10% discount on an auto policy.
Allstate customers are eligible for similar savings on their auto insurance when they purchase any life insurance policy. Allstate also offers an early signing discount.
Earn an additional 10% off of your auto insurance premiums when you switch carriers and take out a new Allstate auto policy before your current insurance policy expires.
Combining home and auto insurance programs is big business, so big in fact that the national organization AARP, with its 40 million member base, has been very successful in recent years in selling discounted insurance services to its membership.
AARP primarily offers home and auto programs through The Hartford, this year’s J.D. Power five circle winner for customer satisfaction.
By joining forces with The Hartford, AARP can offer a variety of quality insurance programs for its members at reduced prices.
In turn, The Hartford benefits by having available the captive market that AARP represents. While one of the top providers in the U.S., the Hartford spends significantly less on direct advertising, preferring to work through partner organizations such as AARP.
According to CBS News, AARP prices for its insurance programs may not be the lowest available in all areas, but they are certainly competitive.
There are also a number of special features that The Hartford is able to offer AARP members that older adults may find particularly appealing. There are AARP benefits for both auto and home insurance customers through The Hartford.
AARP/The Hartford Special Benefits
While most auto insurance providers write policies for only six months at a time, AARP members can look forward to a 12-month rate guarantee. This is especially helpful for customers on a fixed income, allowing them to better budget and plan for their insurance needs.
AARP members also qualify for a special RecoverCare benefit of $2,500. Auto policies through The Hartford/AARP include this benefit, which helps pay for additional in-home care that might be necessary for up to six months after an auto accident.
The RecoverCare provision is intended to cover incidental services such as lawn mowing, snow shoveling, or cab fare to an appointment.
AARP members are also offered a lifetime renewability benefit once they’ve been policyholders for at least 60 days.
That means that The Hartford won’t cancel your coverage if you’ve had a small accident or two. However, members should read the fine print in their policy agreements for exceptions to this non-cancellation program.
Auto policies may be terminated for a number of reasons including non-payment of premiums or not paying on time, losing your driver’s license, and being convicted of a DUI or DWI offense, or if a medical doctor finds that you are unfit to drive.
In addition, there are five states that require older drivers to pass exams in order to renew their driver’s licenses. If the tests aren’t passed, The Hartford reserves the right to cancel your auto insurance coverage.
Auto insurance customers under the AARP plan won’t have to pay extra for these three benefits. Many policyholders agree that the RecoverCare program is very helpful and provides much-needed cash reimbursements for expenses above and beyond what other programs would generally cover.
AARP Homeowner’s Coverage
While homeowner’s coverage is a mostly generic insurance product, the AARP version does offer one distinct benefit. Like the AARP auto insurance program, The Hartford offers AARP policyholders its Lifetime Continuation Agreement.
While not available in every locale, this feature guarantees you won’t be dropped after the first 60 days, as long as you pay your premiums on time. Your home must also be insured for at least 80% of market value, which is the cost necessary to rebuild the home should it be destroyed by fire, flood, etc.
Under these terms, policyholders needn’t fear that their insurance would be cancelled after filing one or more incidental claims. This feature can provide peace of mind to customers who live in areas that are prone to such natural calamities as tornadoes and hurricanes.
Be aware, however, that the non-cancellation provision is not available in the state of Florida, as The Hartford has stopped issuing new policies there.
Whether you’re looking for multiple insurance policies or just a new car insurance carrier, you’ll find all the best rates by shopping online using your ZIP and the FREE tool provided here!