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Discounts for owning a home

Penny Gusner

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CarInsurance.com

HomeownersYour car insurance company has a great housewarming gift for you:  a reduction in your car insurance premium.

People who own homes tend to file fewer claims. That’s why many insurers give you a break simply for owning a home. (Most offer even more substantial discounts if they insure your home along with your car.)

The discount for owning a home, townhouse or condominium varies by insurer, but the typical discount offered is up to 5 percent. The average for all states is under 2 percent.

Available to: Drivers who own a home.

Caveats: Some insurers offer a discount for owning a home while other auto insurance providers reduce your base rate instead.

Length: Continual as long as you own a home.

Try bundling policies to save even more

Owning a home typically means that you will also acquire a homeowners policy to cover your dwelling.  You can save money by purchasing both your homeowners and car insurance policies with the same insurance company. 

Bundling your home and auto policies may provide you a multi-policy discount of 5 percent to 25 percent.  The average for all states is 7.75 percent.

Available to: Drivers who hold multiple policies with the same insurance provider

Caveats:  Eligible varies by insurer but typically you must carry your car insurance and one other type of insurance coverage, such as motorcycle, mobile home, renters, condo, homeowners, health, life insurance with the same carrier to get the discount. 

With some insurers, the more insurance you bundle together, the higher the saving will be, such as up to 20 percent if you insure both your car and home with it and up to 25 percent off if you obtain your car, home and life insurance with it.

Length: Renewable as long as you continue to keep all insurance policies with the insurer active.

Shop around before you move

Once you move into your new home, your car insurance company will need to know your new address.  Since your ZIP code is typically a rating factor, your home’s address may raise or lower your car insurance rates from what you were previously paying.

If you comparison-shop before your move, you’ll know what car insurance provider is offering the best rates for your new location (and taking into account any new homeowner or bundling discounts). 

Being a homeowner also usually means it’s time to raise your car insurance’s liability limits, another reason to spend time to compare car insurance rates. You now have more assets, which could be put at risk if your liability limits are exceeded in an at-fault auto accident

For this reason, it’s recommended that homeowners raise liability limits up to $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident for bodily injury and $50,000 for property damage (100/300/50) or even 250/500/100 if you can afford it. 

Extra liability coverage is surprisingly cheap, and you don’t want to be a lawsuit target because you kept bare-minimum coverage.

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