Choosing insurance may not be as romantic as deciding where to go on your honeymoon, but it is one of the most important things you can do as newlyweds. Although most couples are aware of the need to readdress their insurance needs when they get married, there is a disconnect between that awareness and whether they take action.
Use the considerations in this article as a way to start a discussion about your insurance needs.
If you and your spouse have separate auto insurance policies, it may be wise to combine them. Get quotes from each of your carriers, and shop around to see if any others offer multivehicle discounts.
Keep in mind that it may not always make sense to bundle your car insurance policies. If your spouse has a poor driving record, you may end up paying more by bundling. Nonetheless, you may still qualify for a discount just for being married. Insurers typically offer discounted rates to people just for being married, because of the assumption that married people drive safer.
Newlyweds who both have jobs and are not yet dependent on their spouse’s income may not see the need for life insurance. However, as they build their lives together, that dependency grows. If you’re young and healthy, you can benefit from getting life insurance early in your marriage, since you can typically lock in better rates than if you were older. Remember that the older you get, the higher the rates, so don’t put it off for too long.
While life insurance is less urgent for young couples who are both working and don’t have children, it is important for newlyweds with only one working spouse or those who have children from a previous marriage to purchase life insurance early in their marriage.
If you already had life insurance prior to tying the knot, don’t forget to add your new spouse as a beneficiary.
Young people are more likely to become disabled than die prematurely. In fact, more than half of Americans identified as disabled are in their working years - between ages 18 and 64 - according to the Council for Disability Awareness.
Disability insurance is historically inexpensive, and can pay you between 50-70 percent of your regular monthly income if an accident, illness or injury prevents you from being able to work. If your employer doesn’t offer disability insurance, you can purchase it on your own. This coverage can be critical for you and your loved ones.
Don’t make the mistake of declining health insurance, even if you and your spouse are healthy. An illness or emergency can cause newlyweds financial hardship that could have been prevented with health insurance.
If you and your spouse both have health insurance through your employers, you can maintain separate plans, but it may be cheaper to be on the same plan. Doing so can help you reach your annual deductible more quickly.
Certain life events, such as marriage, allow you to join your spouse’s plan as long as it is within the required time frame. If you decide to share a plan, compare both employers’ coverage and costs to determine which plan best fits your health needs and finances.
Be sure to consider each plan’s deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, coverage limits, prescription coverage and choice of health care providers. Remember that if you have a preferred doctor, you’ll want to make sure he or she is in your network.
If you rent your living space, you should consider renters insurance to cover the value of your possessions. If you already have renters insurance, don’t forget that you have more to lose now that you have combined belongings, such as furniture, electronics and jewelry. Consider increasing your limits on personal property coverage, which pays to replace or repair items that are stolen or damaged.
Homeowners insurance is similar to renters insurance, but it covers more than just your possessions. It also covers your home in case of fire, theft or other perils. Both renters insurance and homeowners insurance also provide liability coverage.
Addressing your insurance needs early provides a solid foundation for your marriage. Review your financial situation and objectives with your spouse, and contact William Blount & Associates to help you find sufficient coverage within your budget.