This morning, as I was skimming through Living magazine, I came across a Geico ad which reads, “Put Two And Two Together And You Could Save.” My head immediately thought, "Warning reader, could is the key word."
As I’ve made the transition from working with a captive big-name agency to running my own independent agency, I've had to create a knowledgeable relationship with every company I write policies through. Through this experience, I’ve seen times when bundling equates savings and excellent coverage and times when it does not. How does one figure out when bundling auto, home and toys (ATV's, motorcycles, RV's...) is the best decision?
My most earnest recommendation is to work with an independent agent who can guide you. If they've done their homework, they should be familiar with the companies they write with and will understand the coverages and discounts each company offers; relieving you of a lot of searching time. Ask your agent to see an auto/home quote with and without the auto/hime discount to gauge just how valuable that bundling discount is.
Now, let me share a few things I've learned about some of the bigger companies. Keep in mind, insurance is a fluid industry; changes are being made all the time. Feel free to reach out to us for updates.
Auto-Owners offers a great price on their home products, but in some cases has a much higher premium for autos than their competitors - word on the street is AO will be reducing their auto prices soon. Recently, Auto-Owners made a change to their homeowners policy deductible requirements which requires homeowners to carry a 1% deductible for wind/hail damage. In common layman terms, a $500,000 home = a $5,000 deductible = no beuno at the time of loss! Sometimes this isn't the right fit for my home insurance clients.
Nationwide is a fabulous company. Forbes rated Nationwide one of the top 100 companies to work for (when you call Nationwide for help, you typically get a happy helper on the other end of the line,) the company runs a pretty tight ship which does equate savings to the client, and Nationwide offers great products. The bad news is that Nationwide no longer offer windshield replacement with their Colorado auto policies, and that’s something many full-coverage clients won't notice until the gravel has hit the glass. If glass replacement isn’t a big deal to you, Nationwide could be a good fit. I recommend looking into bundling with Nationwide.
Progressive. Their website is easy to navigate and their additional coverages are pretty awesome. One of my favorites is the motorcycle enhanced injury protection coverage which allows for income loss reimbursement of $250 a week (up to $25,000) or a $25,000 death benefit. That's the type of coverage that makes me think the company has the client's best interest in mind. I do have decent luck bundling with Progressive.
For my own personal coverage, I chose to not bundle. I have my autos with Travelers and my home with Safeco because the coverages and price were a better fit for me when separated. The one sure point of advice I can offer is to find a good agent. If it's been a while since you've seen him or her, schedule a review to make sure your auto and home are covered in the best company with the right coverages and premium found just for you!
Meet the author: