Secure your happily ever after
If you have just married or will soon, you are likely facing some complex insurance decisions. Getting smart about the insurance implications of combining lives and households can help you secure "happily ever after," and perhaps even save money. To get smart about insurance together without tearing each other apart, you need resources.
Have "The Talk"
To avoid misunderstandings that could dim your newlywed glow, Insure U recommends couples have a pre-wedding discussion to address topics such as auto, home, health and life insurance. Vow to follow these tips for marital bliss.
- Driving record: Finding out you're in love with a speed demon after saying "I do" can be a shock to your psyche and your auto insurance premiums. You may want to think twice about combining coverage, and educate yourself about named-driver exclusion clauses.
- Grown-up toys: The rules likely change when you go from passenger to driver of your new spouse's motorcycle, boat or ATV. Before you take the wheel, find out who is or is not covered.
- New home or fixer-upper: A renovation investment of $5,000 or more can change a home's replacement value and your insurance needs. As you research coverage for your first home together, think about what the structure offers today... and tomorrow.
- Where to live: Location, location, location doesn't only affect a home's resale value. Your address also impacts insurance rates, as does your home's construction type and square footage. Do your homework before crossing the threshold.
- Which coverage to keep: The lowest premium isn't the only consideration when deciding between health insurance plans, or if it makes sense to stick with your individual coverage. To avoid a short-term decision that results in long-term out-of-pocket expenses, be sure to review provisions related to cost-sharing—deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance—and consider what is NOT covered by the plan.
- New family coverage: Most group insurance providers consider marriage a qualifying major event, which means you can make related policy changes outside the approved open enrollment period. To avoid a coverage lapse, alert your provider immediately if "I do" also includes stepchildren.
- Update beneficiaries: Even if your agent was in the wedding party, to name your new spouse as beneficiary you must proactively contact your HR department or individual life insurance provider.
- Life insurance – how much is enough? Now that "I" actually means "we," you may want to revisit your life insurance. To determine the correct amount, consider future income potential, the cost of raising kids and any outstanding mortgage.
For more newlywed tips, download the Insurance Survival Guide for Newlyweds (PDF).