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Compare car insurance for multiple cars
How to best insure every car in your garage based on who's driving it.
Most people don’t realize that car insurance can be tailored to your exact driving and car situation, right down to who drives which vehicle and when. For example, you can lower your premium by excluding teen drivers from your high-value car. Getting specific on your policy can ensure you’re getting the best value, even when insuring multiple cars.
What's in this guide?
Car insurance options for multiple shared cars
Sharing cars with other drivers may be convenient, but what about sharing an insurance policy? Typically, joint policies offer savings along with a one-stop-shop for managing coverage. There are several ways to make sure all cars and drivers are insured before getting on the road.
Co-owners must have legal ownership of the car with their names on the title, such as in the case of a married couple. You can identify a co-owner as another named insured or additional insured on the policy. Adding as an additional insured applies to those not living in the same household. Having this policy also means that all owners are entitled to a claims payout after an accident. This may be important in certain situations, such as fulfilling insurance requirements for your car loan or lease.
Primary and secondary drivers
You could stick with one person as the named insured, but add others as listed drivers. You can then assign primary and secondary drivers, depending on who uses the cars most often. This is a good option for couples who live at the same address and occasionally drive the other person’s car. This option allows those who don’t own the vehicle to still get coverage.
At the same time, you’ll save money on high-risk drivers by listing them as secondary drivers. Your insurance will weigh the primary driver’s record more than others listed. Keep in mind that this should be an accurate reflection of who drives the most. In addition, listed drivers should share the same address as the policyholder, such as family members or roommates.
You may want a friend or neighbor to use your car on occasion. Most insurance policies allow permissive use, which means permitted drivers can get coverage when they’ve received permission to use your car. You might consider this option if you lend your car to visiting family members or a caregiver who drives your car for errands during the week.
Before giving permission, review your insurance guidelines. Permissive drivers usually don’t apply to family members living in the same household.
In this case, it’s often more cost-effective to add the high-risk driver to an existing policy, such as a teenage driver. If the person isn’t the main driver, you can list them as a secondary driver to save money. In some cases, excluding the high-risk person from high-value cars could keep insurance rates low as well.
However, consider multiple options based on your situation. For example, a driver needing an SR-22 might find that getting a separate policy lowers costs for the rest of the family.
Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
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- Stack a variety of discounts for multiple cars, autopay or homeownership
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Case study: Car insurance for two cars with two drivers
Michael and Ruth are a married couple with two cars which both of them drive regularly. Since they both own the vehicles and live together, Michael and Ruth need a co-owner insurance policy. After a car accident required Michael to get immediate medical attention, Ruth was still able to file the claim and receive payment without Michael’s involvement.
Car insurance for multiple cars that you don’t share
Say every family member has a car that they drive exclusively. Getting a policy for this scenario is similar to insuring multiple shared cars. Options to consider:
- Primary drivers. You can list different primary drivers with different cars based on who uses them. This works well for families who have individual cars or those looking to save with high-risk drivers. A high-risk driver could be listed on an older or less valuable vehicle to lower risk for the insurer.
- Driver exclusions. One way to lower risk for your insurance company is to exclude a high-risk driver from certain cars. For example, you could exclude a teen driver from driving an expensive luxury car but still allow them to drive the family minivan.
- College students. If you need to insure a college student, you can save money when the student is away at school but still drives the car occasionally. Most insurers offer a discount for college students who don’t drive much.
Case study: Car insurance for a family of four
Jason and Sam have a licensed teenager, David, who drives the family sedan regularly. However, the family also owns a Ferrari convertible.
The parents could be listed as co-owners with one of them as the primary driver on each vehicle. David would then be listed as a secondary driver on the sedan. To lower rates, Jason and Sam could exclude David from driving their high-dollar convertible. In addition, the family could let their insurance company know when David is away at college and not driving at all for a discount.
Car insurance for cars you rotate driving
You may find yourself switching out the cars you drive based on a season or vacation period. Consider several options:
- Seasonal or storage car insurance. This policy works well if you expect to keep your car in storage for the winter or while out of the country. The policy works by keeping only minimum coverage on your car, such as liability only or comprehensive coverage. However, you may not be able to drive the car during this off-season if coverage doesn’t meet minimum state requirements. And you must meet your state’s DMV laws, which may require you to keep certain coverage since the car is registered. Also, this policy may not be ideal if you have a loan or lease contract, which often requires specific coverage kept on your car at all times.
- Reduced coverage. Many insurers allow you to change coverage even in the middle of a term. This works well if you need to drop unnecessary coverage during an off-season, such as roadside assistance or collision. Switch to liability-only coverage or your state minimum coverage when you’re not driving your car.
- Switching primary drivers. You can also switch out primary drivers on a vehicle during a term if your driving situation changes. For example, you could reassign a college student’s vehicle to another driver at home while the student is away at school.
Can I cancel car insurance if my car won’t be driven for a while?
You may be tempted to cancel coverage on a car not being used for a certain timeframe. However, this will show up on your history as lapsed coverage, which could put you in the high-risk category when you do need insurance. Consider a seasonal policy or reduced coverage instead.
Car insurance for cars you don’t drive often
If you don’t drive your car much, you may not need a regular insurance policy. Consider these options:
- Classic car insurance. This policy works well for cars considered classics by insurers, including cars around 15 years old or limited-edition models. Classic cars often cost less to insure because companies know they’re pampered and driven less often. Classic car insurance may include coverage for car shows, too.
- Storage or laid-up insurance. You could keep storage insurance if your car stays in a garage or storage facility most of the time. You may need to switch to a regular policy during periods you know you’ll be driving it. This works well for cars you might only bring out for a short time, like during the summer.
- Pay-per-mile insurance. This policy charges based on the miles you drive per month or year, saving you money for low mileage. Many pay-per-mile companies require you to install a device or use an app that tracks your mileage and driving habits. This could be a cheap option for people who only drive their car part of the year, like seasonal workers.
Car insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all. You may find yourself with different driver and car situations than other drivers you know. You can find a variety of car insurance options to fit your needs and save money at the same time.
Frequently asked questions about insuring multiple cars
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