Is it a bad idea to be double-covered on auto insurance?

Paying for multiple policies on one car will cost you money and could be a source for other headaches as well. Filing a claim for one vehicle on two different policies is a form of fraud, and you could find yourself facing a felony charge for doing so. The best way to adequately protect your vehicle is to review your policy and verify that you have the proper coverage or to shop around online for an insurance company that is the best fit for you.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and ...

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2021

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Can't-Miss Facts

  • Paying for two policies on one car is ineffective and costs more money
  • Filing a claim for one vehicle on two different policies is a form of fraud known as unjust enrichment
  • The best way to get adequate protection for your vehicle is to update your amount of coverage, not to buy two different policies

Owners of multiple vehicles are always looking for ways to get the best savings and the best coverage on their automobile insurance. A common question amongst such individuals is, “Can I have two insurance policies on two different cars?”

But this leads to other questions as well. For example, is it a bad idea to be double-covered on auto insurance? Paying for two insurance policies will cost you an exorbitant amount of money even if you have reasonable rates for both policies.

And while you can buy two auto policies from different companies, don’t think that you’ll be able to get double the payout by purchasing two policies for one vehicle.

Drivers should also ask themselves, “Is it bad to be double-covered on auto insurance if auto insurance rates are high?” You can find out by examining insurance quotes from different companies online.

Before learning more about if it is bad to be double-covered on auto insurance, enter your ZIP code today to receive free quotes from companies near you.

Can you have two auto insurance policies in your name?

If you find yourself asking, “Is it bad to be double-covered on auto insurance?”, comparing auto insurance quotes can help illustrate why this is not a helpful strategy for your bank account in the long run.

Even though you may think you could receive double the payout in the event of an accident, having multiple auto insurance policies only costs you money and can be a headache.

Now, you should know that in a situation that involves one driver, two cars, and insurance for each car at two different companies respectively, such an arrangement is legal but not advisable.

By working with two separate insurance companies, you could be missing out on a multiple car discount and paying more than you have to on a monthly basis.

On the other hand, if you only own one vehicle and have two insurance policies for that vehicle, you could get yourself into trouble. If, for example, you were to be in an accident and filed a claim with each company, you would be committing a form of fraud known as unjust enrichment.

What are the disadvantages of having two auto policies in your name?

Your insurance company would most likely highlight that such an idea is not in your best interest since you would be responsible for two separate premiums, with no added benefit.

Aside from that, there are quite a few other disadvantages to doubling up on your insurance policies. Cast your eye on these examples below to see just how damaging have two policies for one car can be:

  • Filing a claim becomes complicated, and it could take a long time to receive your settlement
  • Your premiums will rise with both insurance companies after an accident
  • If applicable, you could lose a good driver discount on both of your policies
  • You may have to add every driver in your household as well as their cars to both your policies
  • Your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles would alert both insurance companies if you have one car insured by two companies when you renew your registration, and both companies could cancel your coverage
  • Filing a claim for one accident on two auto policies is an act of fraud, and you could lose your insurance as well as face felony charges

If you’re worried about a lack of coverage on your vehicle and want to buy auto insurance, or if you think your coverage is lacking, talk to your insurance company about your coverage options.

Usually, the best thing you can do in this scenario is to increase your coverage. This way, your vehicle is protected and you don’t have to shell out money for a second policy. You will also no miss out on any discounts like multi-car or multi-policy.

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When should drivers have multiple auto policies?

If you own two cars, you will have two policies — one for each vehicle. Now, if you regularly drive both cars or if one car belongs to a member of your household who is also a driver on your insurance, you could be eligible for a multi-car discount from your insurance company.

Having multiple policies with one insurance company is never a bad thing. Consolidating your insurance needs with one entity can save you the most money as you’ll be eligible for more deals. Just take a look at these discount types offered by different insurance companies below:

Auto Insurance Discounts Available by Company and Discount Amount
Discounts21st Century Discount AmountAAA Discount AmountAllstate Discount AmountAmerican Family Discount AmountAmeriprise Discount AmountAmica Discount AmountCountry Financial Discount AmountEsurance Discount AmountFarmers Discount AmountGeico Discount AmountLiberty Mutual Discount AmountMetLife Discount AmountNationwide Discount AmountProgressive Discount AmountSafe Auto Discount AmountSafeco Discount AmountState Farm Discount AmountThe General Discount AmountThe Hanover Discount AmountThe Hartford Discount AmountTravelers Discount AmountUSAA Discount Amount
Adaptive Cruise Control and/or Headlights----------5%--------3%--
Anti-lock Brakes--10%-3%5%-5%-5%5%5%5%-5%-5%8%5%3%--
Anti-Theft--10%-3%25%10%25%-25%20% off of comprehensive portion of policy.10% -- this discount factors in features such as VIN etching and vehicle recovery;
one anti-theft discount applies.
25%; combined with vehicle recovery discount.---15% discount off of comprehensive coverage; higher discount with "engine cut-off."8%; one total anti-theft discount applies; if vehicle recovery, a higher discount applies.5%3%--
Claim Free--35%----25%-26% for going five years without an accident.Awarded "accident free" on account for lower rating.20% if claim/violation free:
"Superior Driver"
3+ yrs=12%
5+ yrs 20%
save $50 each claim-free year up to $250 (off deductible).
10%-10% if you go six months without filing a claim;
one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
20% "Safeco Safety Rewards" if you have no at-fault accidents in the last 36 months,
no more than 1 point on your license, and
no DUI in the last ten years; one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
15%; must have State Farm for at least three consecutive years without an accident.-15%-23%; must be accident and violation free to get the "Safe Driver" discount listed below;
must be accident and violation free to qualify:
23% - 5 years
10% - 3 years;
one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
12%; "Premier Driver Discount"
4%-12%, depending on driving record;
12% is for being accident and violation free for five years; one safe driver/claim free discount applies.
Not available in HI.
Continuous Coverage-----3%-------No gaps or cancellations;
discount depends on how long you have been consistently insured.
10% for going six or more months with no more than a 30-day coverage gap.7% if you have been with Safeco or previous provider for one year or longer; five or more years gets you the highest discount.--10%; discount applies at each renewal.-15%-
Daytime Running Lights--2%------1%5%5%5%-5%---5%3%--
Defensive Driver5%-10%10%-5%5%10%--10%7%5%10%10%5%5%8%5%10%10%3%
Distant Student--35%---------10%--15%--5%3%7%-
Driver's Ed--10%--5%10%---10%10%-10%10%5%15%8%5%3%8%3%
Driving Device/App--20%40%---25%--30%15%40%20%-30%50%--10%30%5%
Early Signing--10%---10%10%---15%8%--8%----10%12%
Electronic Stability Control--2%--5%----5%-----------
Emergency Deployment---------25%------------
Engaged Couple------10%---------------
Family Legacy-----5%---------------10%
Family Plan------25%-----25%------5%--
Farm Vehicle--10%-------------------
Fast 5-------5%--------------
Federal Employee---------8%10%-----------
Forward Collision Warning-----8%----5%--------3%--
Full Payment--10%--4%-10%--$5---5%15%-8%15%20%7.5%-
Further Education-------15%--10%-15%---------
Good Credit------------"Financial Stability"
gets you a lower rate. You must also have stable residence.
Good Student--20%--10%25%10%-15%22.5%15%10%-10%15%25%8%5%3%8%3%
Green Vehicle--10%-----5%-10%--------3%10%-
Lane Departure Warning-------------Safety features get automatic discounts applied when VIN entered in system. --------
Low Mileage-----10%-15%-------20%30%-----
Military Garaging---------------------15%
Multiple Drivers-------------------5%--
Multiple Policies--10%--15%25%--10%20%10%10%12%-15%17%15%10%20%13%-
Multiple Vehicles-----15%15%--25%10%-20%10%15%15%20%15%5%5%8%-
New Address----------5%-----------
New Customer/New Plan-----------10%--10%-------
New Graduate----------5%-----------
Newer Vehicle--30%---10%---------40%--3%10%12%
Newly Licensed----------5%-----------
Occasional Operator---------------------Discount based on operator's individual driving record.
On Time Payments--5%-----------------15%-
Online Shopper-------11%-----7%--------
Paperless Documents- -10%--2%------5%$50-`-------
Paperless/Auto Billing-5%--2%-----25%$30-$410%$28%2%$53%3%
Passive Restraint--30%30%3%30%-33%-40%-5%20%-5%2%40%8%5%3%--
Recent Retiree----------4%--------3%--
Roadside Assistance-------5%--------------
Safe Driver--45%--15%-40%15%-12%35%31%10%20%15%---23%12%
Seat Belt Use---------15%------------
Senior Driver--10%--------10%-----5%5%---
Stable Residence-------------------5%--
Students and Alumni-------15%--10%-7%---------
Switching Provider-------5%--10%10%--10%--5%5%---
Utility Vehicle--15%-------------------
Vehicle Recovery--10%-5%10%-25%-25%35%10%25%---5%8%-3%--
VIN Etching----------5%10%----------
Young Driver------10%--------------$75

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Discounts are an excellent way to lower your monthly premium costs.

Where can drivers find affordable auto insurance?

Where you live plays a large role in determining how much your insurance rates will be. Every state has its own regulations on what the minimum amount of insurance should be for its drivers.

So you can have an idea of what insurance may cost in your area, here’s the average amount of insurance on an annual and monthly schedule for each state:

Average Sample Liability Coverage Rates by State
StateLiability Coverage Yearly RatesLiability Coverage Monthly Rates
District of Columbia$628.82$52.40
South Dakota$300.22$25.02
New Hampshire$400.56$33.38
New Jersey$869.57$72.46
New Mexico$488.03$40.67
New York$804.51$67.04
North Carolina$359.42$29.95
North Dakota$298.18$24.85
Rhode Island$759.80$63.32
South Carolina$527.09$43.92
West Virginia$491.83$40.99

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As you can see, the cost of insurance varies wildly from state to state.

Double-Covered on Auto Insurance: The Bottom Line

As you can see, paying for two policies on one car is a bad strategy that will cost you money as well as cause other headaches. Filing a claim for one vehicle on two different policies is a form of fraud known as unjust enrichment, and you could find yourself facing a felony charge.

The best way to get adequate protection for your vehicle is to update your amount of coverage or to shop around online for an insurance company that is the best fit for you.

Now that you know more about if it is bad to be double-covered on auto insurance, enter your ZIP code to start comparing free quotes today.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to compare auto insurance rates.

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