(BPT) - Bundling insurance products with one company - and scoring cheaper premiums as a reward - isn't a new concept. But, according to a recent study by J.D. Power and Associates, not only is bundling still popular among consumers, it also results in higher customer satisfaction.
The study found that nearly 60 percent of customers bundle auto and homeowners policies with the same insurer. When customers need additional products - such as motorcycle, boat and life insurance - 77 percent of them choose to bundle. The study notes that insurance bundlers also tend to be more satisfied with their insurers overall, not just with the premium discounts they're getting.
Charles Valinotti, Head of Underwriting & Product with insurer QBE, says bundling insurance policies offers other benefits besides lower premiums.
'Customer convenience is one advantage,' says Valinotti. 'It's easier to manage insurance policies when you don't have to work with multiple insurers. And if you have a claim, you just need to call one company.'
Bundling might also give you an edge when you file a claim. Valinotti says insurance companies are interested in keeping your business and will be open to renewing policies when there's a loss - unless it's something extreme.
How can you get the biggest bang out of your insurance bundle? Valinotti suggests:
* Take a look at all your insurance policies. If they're not with the same insurance company, you could be losing as much as 25 percent in bundling discounts on each car, as well as on your homeowners policy. Think about including your life insurance, as well, which could result in another 2 to 5 percent in savings.
* Consider adding an umbrella policy. If you own your home, an umbrella policy gives you extra liability protection on your home and car, and might earn you even more discounts to your homeowners and auto insurance.
* Research options for renters. If you don't own your home, bundling may still be an option. Look into bundling a renters policy with your car insurance, which might result in as much as a 20 percent discount on your auto coverage. Because renters insurance is inexpensive, it may almost pay for itself by savings through bundling.
* Investigate bundling with business policies. If you have a business, find out whether bundling your business policies will qualify you for discounts on your personal insurance.
Valinotti cautions that some auto or home insurance bundling discounts might not be available to people with poor driving records. He also advises not to base decisions on price alone. 'Customer service is just as important to consider,' he says.
Valinotti adds, 'Make sure you speak with your agent about all available bundling options and choose those you're most comfortable with.'