The last thing you want to think about when you are getting married is insurance, but as the big day draws near, you may be soon combining your assets and your risk – and your insurance policies should reflect that.
Often, once you are married, you may enjoy the benefit of lower insurance premiums thanks to combining them into one or when you have two vehicles under a shared policy.
Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance
If you are getting married and you have such a policy, you may want to contact your insurer about a rider for the engagement ring to cover it if it’s lost. If your fiancee is still living apart from you, once it’s on her finger, she should insure it instead.
Once you’re married, you should combine your coverage, with one spouse adding the other to their policy. But remember you may need to increase the coverage to include your spouse’s possessions.
Typically, homeowner’s policies automatically will extend coverage to a new spouse, but it doesn’t hurt to contact the company to make them aware of the addition, and especially if your new partner has a lot of valuable stuff. In that case, you may want to increase some of the coverage.
You can often save money by combining your auto insurance policies thanks to a multi-vehicle discount, but in some cases it may be less expensive to keep separate policies.
That’s because if one of the spouses has a bad driving record, the rates may actually increase for the other just by virtue of the fact that they are sharing the same policy.
Before deciding on combining policies, consider both of your driving records, what types of car you drive and how many miles you drive every year.
Take the time to review your driving histories together before making any changes to your auto policies.
This will probably be one of you biggest decisions, particularly if one of your employer-based plans includes an option to add a spouse. You should review your employer-sponsored plans for the best deal and consider having one spouse drop their coverage at work and be added on to the other’s coverage.
That includes assessing the premiums and copays associated with each plan. And if kids are part of the package, or soon will be, you will also want to consider them when making your coverage decision.
Usually a new spouse can be added to an employer policy at any time during the year because it’s considered a “qualifying life event.” In other words, you don’t have to wait until the next open enrollment to make the change.
Once married, you should review your combined financial obligations to determine which type of policy is best for you and your spouse. And you should also be naming your spouse as a new beneficiary.
Life insurance generally falls under two main categories: term life insurance and whole life insurance. Payouts can cover ongoing, standard expenses such as rent, mortgages and car payments, as well as unexpected expenses such as debts and funeral costs.
And if you don’t have life insurance, now would be a good time to consider it to ensure that your spouse can live comfortably should they suddenly lose you and your income.