Understanding auto insurance can be complicated, considering the variety of coverage types, what those types of coverage exclude, and which kinds of vehicles—such as motorcycles, trailers, and oversized vehicles—require specific policies. You’d think adding an additional vehicle would make things more complicated, but surprisingly, it doesn’t change very much.
How Do I Get a Multi-Car Policy?
Some insurance companies require that both cars are at the same address and the owners are related in some way (for example, siblings, parents, or spouses). Others simply require that both parties live at the same address. The main requirement that doesn’t change is that you must have more than one passenger vehicle insured under the same policy. To set up a multi-car policy, you’ll need to have the VIN and lienholder information for each vehicle along with the driver’s license numbers for the vehicles’ respective drivers. Some insurance companies also provide discounts for multi-car policies, with a limit of 4–5 cars.
What Rules Typically Apply?
When setting up coverage on the vehicles, there are a few ground rules insurance companies usually set. First off, they usually require the limits for your liability and uninsured motorist coverage to be the same. These coverage limits basically determine the maximum amount your insurance will cover in the event you’re either liable for an accident or in an accident with an uninsured party. This is mostly done to keep things simple, since having different limits for each vehicle could lead to confusion when dealing with claims. However, all other coverages or add-ons can be changed to fit the needs of each individual driver. These include collision, comprehensive, and rental coverage, as those coverages aren’t required by state law.
The other rule is that all vehicles must be considered passenger vehicles. For instance, you can’t have a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle on a multi-car policy. You’d need two separate policies, since motorcycle policies are slightly different from auto insurance policies. Those two rules aside, setting up a multi-vehicle policy is basically the same as a single-vehicle policy, except there’s more than one vehicle.
What Happens in an Accident?
When you’re in an accident and have a multi-car policy, things play out exactly the same as with a single-car policy. The coverage for the vehicle in the accident is applied, so if you have collision coverage with a $200 deductible, you have to pay the first $200, and the rest is covered by insurance. Since all vehicles are bundled into a single policy, a rate increase for one vehicle would increase the cost of the entire policy, although the risk assessment for the other vehicles on that policy would remain unchanged. If someone on your policy is prone to accidents, you can have that person removed from the policy, but you may lose any multi-car discounts as a result.
Whether they need affordable, reliable auto insurance or dependable motorcycle, business, or homeowners insurance, San Diego residents turn to Altra Insurance Services. For high-quality coverage and unparalleled service, reach out to our experienced agents. Call us today at 619-474-6666 to learn how you can save money on all your insurance needs.