Inspired by the love birds around me getting married, I took the serious responsibility to research one of the least appealing aspects of life: insurance.
Homeowners and renters insurance
Couples who spend their first years in a rental should consider renters insurance to cover the value of their belongings. By combining homes, one of the two will have to drop their policy, at the same time making sure that the remaining one covers the possessions of both. However, the insurer needs to be notified to list the spouse on the policy. It’s important that the policy becomes effective as soon as the happy couple moves in, even more so if they’re not living together yet.
Since combined belongings means more items that you may lose, ask your agent about increasing your limits on personal property coverage, the one that will pay to replace or repair items that are stolen or damaged. Also, high-value objects require special coverage, also known as scheduled personal property.
This is also the perfect time to ask about discounts—if you’re in need of both home/rental and car insurance, buying them from the same company will come with some savings.
Car insurance – cheaper for the wedded
You can combine policies, thus get quotes from both insurers to compare prices. In addition, include other car insurance rates from other companies as you might find a better deal there. Keep in mind that whoever is cancelling coverage (you, your spouse or both) has the new insurance policy effective on the day the old one expires. Lapses in your coverage might cost you higher rates at a later date when you’re shopping for coverage.
Discounts are a good subject to bring up in this case, too. specifically, ask about a multicar discount (if you have more than one car that you’re about to insure), and about a bundling discount if you’re also purchasing homeowners or renters insurance. Also, just by letting your insurer know that you’re married might reduce your rate in some cases, as married people often get lower rates because they’re perceived as less risky.
Health insurance – it’s a must
Unlike single people, married ones can buy health insurance any time of the year, for a certain time. Typically you have up to 60 days after getting married to enroll in a new individual health plan, or 30 days in which one of you can join the other’s employer-based health insurance, according to HeathCare.gov.
Of course, you can each keep separate health plans if you’re both satisfied with the service and price. Yet, you might find it cheaper to get on the same plan, especially under an employer plan. Furthermore, sharing a policy could also help you reach your annual deductible faster. Here is important that you pay attention to deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, coverage limits, prescription coverage and choice of health care providers.
Life insurance – to get or not to get
Young married couples who both work and have no children, needn’t hurry. Still, it’s not a bad idea to purchase life insurance early in life as doing so when young and healthy gives you the opportunity to be offered some favorable rates. On the other hand, newlyweds with children from a previous marriage, as well as couples with only one working spouse should consider purchasing life insurance for both.
There are two kinds of life insurance: term and whole life insurance. Term life insurance offers coverage for a specific period of time (usually 10, 15, 20 or 30 years). When the term is up, you can apply for a new policy, unless your current one is renewable. The renewable one will imply you paying a higher rate since your older age means more health risk. Furthermore, when you reach the end of your term, you don’t get any return on the money, yet if you pass away before the term is over, your dependents will receive the full amount of the policy. It is typically chosen by people with good health.
Whole life insurance lasts your entire life (as long as you continue making payments). It is usually the go-to policy for people with serious medical conditions as they have always the option of cashing out the money that they’ve paid into the policy at any time throughout your lifetime. There’s also a downside—those who decide to cancel this type of policy will have to pay taxes on what was cashed out (which is unpleasant, considering they technically paid taxes on that same money before they submitted the monthly insurance payments). This type of coverage is also very expensive.