In the battle to keep car insurance premiums down, learning all you can about how insurance works helps you plan and work the system to your benefit. For many Ontario drivers, multi-car insurance may knock dollars off coverage. If there’s more than one vehicle in your household, you may qualify for savings.
What is a Multi Vehicle Insurance Policy?
Simply, multi-vehicle insurance is a package that covers more than one car. Rather than treating each car as a single policy, every vehicle in a household lists on a single policy. The prime advantage from an insurance company’s standpoint is that multi-car policies create crossover business. Having all your vehicles listed on a single form means that other cars aren’t covered by other companies. More of your business stays with the lead insurer. It simplifies renewal for the motorists involved, too.
Multi Car Auto Insurance vs Regular
Most insurers offer discounts when you insure more than one vehicle. Price breaks on each car are particularly welcome in Ontario, which has the highest insurance costs in the country. Since discounts usually deliver in percent, those in particularly expensive areas in the GTA, for example, receive bigger dollar savings.
Combining policies isn’t limited to cars either. Boats, recreational vehicles and snowmobiles may all combine with a car on a multi-vehicle policy. Not every insurer covers every vehicle though. Check to see if this applies with your extra vehicles.
Most companies do offer savings when you combine home and auto insurance. Even drivers with a single vehicle can save money when insuring both with a single company.
When Not to Insure All Cars on One Policy
When drivers covered on a multi-car policy have similar histories, a multi-car discount may provide the best cost. However, homes with more than one car may include new drivers. Young people with little insurance history may have much higher insurance costs. While the multi-car discount does help reduce these, the company insuring the parents may not have the best price for the child’s vehicle.
Don’t assume that a discount assures the lowest price. Ontario insurance companies are free to calculate and set prices in their own way, as long as they receive approval from the FSCO. This may mean hundreds of dollars of savings in policies between insurers. A firm that aggressively prices coverage for young drivers may save more money than a multi-car discount with your current provider.
The Importance of Comparison Shopping for Car Insurance
No matter what route you choose, checking regularly with other companies often reveals hidden savings you can’t find any other way. Working with a broker is a good start. Each broker represents several companies and knows the products they offer. The broker can steer you to best deals among their insurance partners.
Brokers represent only a few of the dozens of insurers in the province. The best tool to search the widest range of policies is through an online insurance calculator. Some of these, offered by insurance companies themselves, represent only that company’s products. A calculator such as that here at Ratelab searches 30 or more insurance partners. The Ratelab calculator matches your insurance needs, including multiple cars and drivers, with the most affordable coverage.
You receive up to 10 estimates, matched to both needs and lowest cost. Armed with this information, you can contact the insurer of choice and negotiate your best deal.