Most auto insurance companies let customers combine up to four vehicles and four drivers on the same policy, and some will allow even more. If you and your family live together, it will most likely be cheaper to have one insurance policy. It could make sense to have two separate policies if one family member’s driving record isn’t up to par with the rest. However, if you only have one vehicle, multiple insurance policies can complicate the claims process and is typically not advisable. 

To be sure you get the best insurance rate for your individual situation, you’ll need an easy way to compare quotes from multiple insurers. With Insurify, you’ll only need to provide information about your family once, and you’ll be able to see customized rates from different companies side-by-side. 

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Is it cheaper to put my family on one car insurance policy?

If multiple members of your family need insurance coverage, you’ll save a significant wad of cash by choosing a multi-driver policy over separate auto insurance policies for each person. And if you have more than one car, multi-car discounts can save you between 10 and 25 percent on average for your auto policy

While everyone in your family will be covered by liability coverage, you can tailor collision and comprehensive coverage to meet your needs. For example, you might want more coverage for your brand new car than for the old one you passed on to your teen. Or, you might want emergency roadside service for your teen driver, but may not need it for yourself. 

If you want to save even more money on insurance, consider bundling your car insurance with another policy, such as your home or renters insurance. You can expect a 10 to 25 percent discount from most companies by bundling. Just make sure it’s cheaper than getting your policies from two different insurance companies. You can do this research by checking out Insurify, which lets you customize your policy as many times as you like so you can compare quotes from up to 20 different companies at a time!

Companies Offering Multi-vehicle and Multi-policy Discounts

Insurer Multi-Vehicle Discount Multi-Policy Discount
GEICO Up to 25% Varies
State Farm Up to 20% An average of $854
Progressive 10% 10%
Travelers Up to 8% Up to 13%
Farmers Varies Varies
Allstate Varies 10%
Liberty Mutual Varies Varies
Nationwide Varies Up to 25%
USAA Varies 10%
Esurance Varies Up to 10%

For most companies, your discount amount will depend on individual circumstances. That’s why it’s important to check personalized rates when shopping for the right coverage. You can compare car insurance rates with Insurify to find out if it’s in your best interest to have a multi-car policy or single vehicle policies for each car. 

What if someone in my family has a bad driving record?

Accidents happen. But insurance companies consider drivers who have been in collisions to be risky to insure, which could drive up the total cost of your family policy. 

Young and inexperienced drivers are also considered high-risk. If someone in your family (or your roommate) has a particularly bad driving record or is high-risk, you might save money by excluding that person from your multi-driver policy. 

However, most drivers under 18 can’t purchase their own policy.  Moreover, in many states, parents are legally liable for the actions of their minor children. So regardless of the insurance option parents choose, they can still be sued for any damages that occur while their child is behind the wheel. 

That’s why it can be safer to add your teen to your family policy. Generally, if your teen gets in an accident while on your family policy and you are sued, the insurance company has the “duty to defend” you. Your insurance company will try to settle the case for less than your policy limit. But if your teen driver has a separate policy and gets into an accident, your family’s auto insurance may not offer any protection for you in case of a lawsuit. 

You should research the laws in your state before purchasing a solo policy for your teen, even if it would save you money. Age limits vary by state, as do limits on what damages can be collected from parents and guardians. For example, you could be liable for up to $25,000 if your child under the age of 18 causes damage while driving in California. 

It’s also possible that there’s an adult driver in your family with a poor driving record. You can compare auto insurance rates with Insurify to see if it would be cheaper to exclude that driver from your family policy. Remember that you’ll still need to get insurance coverage for that driver, so be sure to add up the total cost when making your comparison. 

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What is the best way to find the cheapest car insurance quotes?

The best way to find the cheapest auto insurance rates is to compare personalized quotes for coverage from multiple insurance companies. You might find some stellar multi-car insurance policy discounts, or you could find that it’s cheaper to get a separate policy for one family member from a different insurance company

Pay attention to other discounts offered by different insurers as well. For example, you may be able to somewhat offset the extra cost of adding a teen to your policy if you choose a company that offers a safe driver or good student discount, assuming your teen qualifies. 

You may have to run a few searches based on different scenarios to see the best path forward. But Insurify makes the process of comparing quotes so easy, a distracted teen could do it. You’ll just need to provide some information about your family and their driving histories to get started. From there, you’ll be able to compare rates across multiple insurance companies.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How many cars can be on one car insurance policy?

Different insurance companies have different rules, but most will allow you to insure up to four vehicles on the same policy. Some allow even more than that; for example, GEICO allows you to insure up to nine cars on the same policy.

Can I lend my car to a neighbor if they are uninsured?

Yes. Although you will be liable in the case of an accident, your insurance company will cover the damages even if your neighbor was driving. However, be aware of your coverage limits, since your neighbor could be on the hook for damages that exceed those limits. And keep in mind that your insurance premiums will increase if your neighbor gets in an accident.

Can my son drive my car if he is not on my insurance?

Most of the time, car insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. So if your son borrows your car and gets into an accident, your insurance company will cover the damages. However, some companies have rules that require any drivers living in your household to be listed on your insurance policy. In this case, your insurance company may not issue a payout if your son was driving when the damages occurred. It’s important to check with your insurance company before allowing your son to drive your car.

Can one car be on two different car insurance policies?

While it’s legal to have two insurance policies on one vehicle, it can cause serious confusion when it comes time to make a claim. That’s because you can’t claim the full coverage amount from each policy, or you’ll be committing fraud. Since both insurance companies will need to coordinate the details of your payouts, it could take longer to process your claim. Most insurance companies also frown upon multiple insurance policies for one vehicle, and some may deny your application if you already have similar coverage. Most of the time, it will be cheaper to add multiple drivers to one insurance policy anyway. Your safest bet is to compare auto insurance quotes and find something suitable and affordable for all the drivers of a single vehicle.

Updated June 30, 2020

Lindsay Frankel is a Denver-based personal finance writer for Insurify. Her work has been featured in publications such as LendingTree and FinanceBuzz. When she's not writing, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors with her rescue pup, playing music, or listening to audiobooks.