Multi and dual car insurance

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What Is Multi Car Insurance?

Millions of households across the country have more than one driver, and most of those drivers have their own cars. Whether it’s a couple who have their own cars or older children staying at home longer as they save to get on the property ladder, it’s becoming more and more common for family homes to have multiple cars out on the driveway.

As well as family homes, young professionals who share homes and flats could also have multiple vehicles between them.

So with all these vehicles registered to the same address, you would think there might be a discount available if you all group your car insurance cover with the same provider – and you would be right…

Multi-car insurance is designed to offer benefits and discounted policies that cover multiple vehicles registered to one address. The most common form of multi-car insurance is often referred to as ‘dual insurance’ i.e. a husband and wife getting both of their vehicles insured with the same company, but multi-car policies that include three, four and five vehicles are growing in popularity.

Multi car insurance policies could lead to a discount of up to a third, and there’s the added benefit of everyone in the group having just one renewal date and one premium to worry about.

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How Multi-Car Insurance Works

Multi-car insurance policies offer all the same features and benefits of a regular car insurance policy – so is subject to the same factors like policy excess, No Claims Discounts etc…

The only major difference with a multi-car policy is that the cover applies to more than one car, and motor insurers will offer a ‘bulk-buy’ discount as you are insuring multiple vehicles with them.

With multi and dual car insurance, you can usually choose different levels of cover and excess for each of the vehicles – as long as they are all registered to the same address the multi-car benefits will apply. As with most other car insurance policies the term will run for 12 months – which begins on the renewal date of the last car within the group. As you wait for the date, all the other vehicles within the group will be covered on a temporary basis.

For example, let’s imagine you have one car that comes up for renewal in March and another in July. The March car will be the first to be insured under the new policy on a short-term basis, and then the full 12 month policy will kick in in July.

The different renewal dates of all the cars involved is often the most complicated aspect of multi-car insurance policies, so it’s best to talk to your insurance company and discuss your renewal date situation with them before committing to a new policy.

How Many Cars Can Go On A Multi-Car Policy?

The most popular form of multi-car insurance is a dual car insurance policy, which involves two vehicles registered at the same address – usually a couple who both have their own car.

Noticing the growing trend of children living with their parents longer, and young professionals flat or house-sharing, insurers are now encouraging more and more people to opt for a multi-car package. These now typically extend to up to five vehicles, but some insurers offer cover for up to 10 vehicles at a time.

Who Can Be Included On A Multi-Car Policy?

This depends on each individual insurer, but the general definition of whose car can be included on the multi-car policy tends to be members of the same household and/or family.

This means that there is a wide range of potential cover options available that each insurer can extend to, and a wide range of different circumstances depending on your own situation.

For instance, some insurers can offer multi-car insurance cover to couples who have their own car but live at different addresses. Others can offer cover to children who have left home to go to University with their own car.

Benefits Of Multi-Car Insurance

As with all car insurance products, different insurers will offer different packages and policy features when it comes to what multi-car insurance benefits they provide.

Below is a round-up of some of the common features associated with multi-car insurance policies…

  • Discounts of up to a third off normal premiums are possible – depending on your individual circumstances
  • Further discounts are available with each new car you bring in to the policy. So if you begin with two cars and then add a third, the first two cars will have a discount applied to them as well
  • Easier renewals – every car on the policy has the same renewal date, so it’s much easier to keep track of
  • Adapt to your circumstances e.g. if children go off to Uni they can be covered under the same policy.
  • Each vehicle is subject to its own level of cover, excess etc… and a claim on one will not necessarily affect the No
  • Claims status of other vehicles on the policy (depending on the terms and conditions)
  • No Claim Discount matched to the highest amount, limited to the years the driver’s held a full UK licence

How Much Can I Save With Multi-Car Insurance?

First of all it’s important to point out that there is no guarantee that taking out a multi-car insurance policy will actually save you money on your premiums.

Many insurers claim that multi-car insurance can lead to savings of 10%, 20%, 30% or more, but this is all dependent on your individual circumstances – particularly how much your premiums currently cost – but also all of the different factors that are used to calculate car insurance premiums.

Factors such as the address the vehicles will be registered to, the types and costs of each vehicle, the ages of the drivers, their No Claims history, where each vehicle will be parked, how each vehicle will be used will all be taken into account – so it’s not easy to estimate how much you could save with multi-car insurance.

Multi-Car Insurance And No Claims Discounts

The occasionally complex world of No Claims bonuses and discounts is worth bearing in mind if you’re thinking about a multi-car insurance policy.

Depending on the terms and conditions of your particular policy, a driver with No Claims may lose out if someone else on the policy has to make a claim. Also, you may run into problems if you want to transfer a no-claims bonus that you have gained on a multi-car policy if you want to either change provider or switch back to a single-car policy.

The issues with No Claims is mostly due to the fact that different insurance companies treat renewal dates in different ways. Some will allow each individual policyholder on the multi-car policy to run and renew on their own timescale, while others can demand that each policy renews on the same date. In that case then you could potentially lose out on months of No Claims Bonus on your existing policy in order for your cover to synchronise with the other vehicles on the multi-car policy.


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