Understanding Insurance

Your guide to multi-car insurance

With an increase in the number of multi-car households, it’s possible you have more than one car in your driveway. But did you know you can insure all those cars under one policy? Whether you’ve never heard of multi-car insurance before, or just want to know more, here at Dial Direct we’ve put together a quick guide to give you all the details.

What is multi-car insurance?

For a quick introduction, watch our video summarising the ins and outs of multi-car insurance:

Multi-car insurance is what it says on the tin: car insurance for multiple cars. It is designed for households with more than one car and usually covers up to 5 cars. Most multi-car policies only cover cars registered to the same address, but some insurance providers will also include cars driven by family members who live elsewhere. The concept of multi-car insurance works in the same way that bulk buy deals work for other products: the more cars you add to the policy, the more discount is applied.

With multi-car insurance, several cars are covered under one policy rather than separate policies for each individual car. Although the cars are on the same policy, they can have different levels of cover. For example, each car can have a different excess and additional cover options. Also, if one of the driver makes a claim, this does not generally affect the No Claims Discounts of the other drivers on the policy, but this is worth double-checking with your insurance provider.

How does it work?

Multi-car insurance works in the same way as regular car insurance. It provides protection for you, other drivers in the policy and your vehicles. But with different vehicles on the policy, they’re likely to have different renewal dates. So, how does it all work?

Firstly, don’t worry: there’s no need to cancel all your individual policies and pay out a small fortune in cancellation fees. Many multi-car insurance providers allow you to start a multi-car policy with one car and add the other cars later on. When you purchase the policy, the insurance provider will ask you for the renewal dates of the other cars you wish to add to the policy. Once they come up for renewal, they will automatically be added to the policy. But remember to let your original insurance provider know that you wish to switch provider in order to cancel the renewal of the policy.

The annual insurance policy will only begin once all cars have been added to the multi-car policy. Until the last car is added, the other cars will be covered by short-term insurance. This means that once all cars have been added to the policy, the larger annual payment will come off, although this will include the discounts you’ve built up from adding multiple cars.

Although multi-car insurance is handy, it is not one size fits all and might not be as beneficial to everyone. As with regular car insurance, premiums may be higher for modified cars, beginner drivers or drivers with a history of claims and offences. This would drive the overall price of the policy up and may mean it’s not actually cheaper to be on a multi-car policy. It’s worth comparing the price of the multi-car policy to individual policies for each car to work out which one works best for you.

Another thing to note is that if you have a work van, this can’t be added to the policy. But if you’re looking to insure your van, you can read our handy guide on van insurance to find out more.

What are the benefits of multi-car insurance?

The benefits of multi-car insurance is likely to differ for different people, but the main benefits of taking out such a policy are:

It’s cheaper

Due to the nature of multi-car policies, discounts are applied for each additional car you add to the policy. This means that it could result in being cheaper than taking out separate policies for each car. But again, it’s worth comparing your multi-car quote against the standard quotes to make sure it’s cheaper as this depends on a number of factors.

It’s convenient

Once all the cars are set up on the policy, you’ll see the convenience benefits it brings. All your cars’ insurance will now renew on the same day, you’ll only have one insurance company to deal with, and one payment will be taken for all your cars. It’s much simpler than dealing with numerous different companies, different payments and different renewal dates to remember.

It’s flexible

Although multi-car insurance is an obvious benefit to families with multiple cars at the same address, other types of people can reap the benefits it gives. Whether you’re a couple with separate cars, an individual with more than one car, or even friends in a house share, you can get a multi-car policy. Some insurance providers will even offer policies for family members at different addresses, for example a child at university, but this is worth checking with your insurance provider.

It’s secure

Having a multi-car policy allows you to know that all your family’s cars are fully insured with the right protection. You can choose which level of cover each car has and easily ensure that the policy is paid for with one payment for all cars.

Things to consider

Before you set your sights on changing to a multi-car insurance policy, it’s worth considering a few things:

Young and inexperienced drivers

If you’re a parent who has a clean record and low insurance premiums, then adding your young, new-to-the-road child to your policy will likely drive up the price of your policy. It may work out cheaper to get separate policies until your child has more experience on the roads.

Cars with modifications

Similar to young drivers, modified cars can increase the cost involved with your multi-car insurance policy. If you’re unsure whether your car would be classed as modified and more expensive to insure, you should contact your insurance provider to check.

Drivers with claims and offences history

Adding a driver to your policy who has previous claims or driving offences is likely to make your premiums more expensive. Make sure you’re aware of any drivers on your policy who may have previous claims and ensure this information is given to your insurance provider.

With any new insurance policy, don’t assume the insurance provider will cover everything that other insurance providers do. Make sure you read the terms of the policy and find out from the insurance provider what is and isn’t covered to make sure you find the right policy for you.

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