By Catherine Powell
|Image courtesy Pixabay|
If you’ve recently wed or are within months of tying the knot, there are some things you need to know when it comes to insurance. The good news is that combining households can represent a substantial saving when it comes to insurance. The bad news is you may need to add some additional coverage to better protect the assets your new household represents. Either way, I thought I’d give you some food for thought along with congratulations for keeping the age-old tradition of matrimony alive and well.
- Save money by combining your auto insurance policies. – One big perk for getting married is that both spouses can combine their auto insurance policies and in so doing save money. Provided you both have good driving records, it isn’t uncommon to see the rates for insuring both parties drop by $100 or more by combining policies. Many insurance companies also offer multi-car discounts for which you’ll now qualify. If you own a home as opposed to renting, this will save you even more.
- Should you consider buying a safer vehicle? – When you’re young, you’re more likely to drive a sportscar. Once you settle into married life, you may wish to consider trading that in for a family sedan or minivan. Not only would either be a more practical form of transportation for a growing family, but it can save you money since insuring a safe, practical vehicle costs less than insuring a flashy, high-performance one.
- Home Sweet Home? – Unless you already live together, getting married means you’ll save quite a lot of money when you combine households, since you‘ll now only need one renter’s or homeowner’s policy as opposed to two. However, if your spouse brings a lot of furniture, art, collectibles, and/or expensive jewelry to the household, you need to let your insurance agent know about it so he or she can help you protect the possessions you cherish most. Even if you do currently live together, there could still be some redundancy when it comes to coverage, which is another good reason to clue your agent in on your upcoming nuptials.
- Are you planning on buying a new home once you wed? – What kind of features does it include. Buying as opposed to renting a home will most definitely qualify you for a discount on your auto insurance. If the home has a 2-car garage where you plan to park both vehicles, this can save you even more. Depending on the neighborhood and security features your new home has, you could be surprised at the amount of money it can save you on your homeowner’s policy as well. On the other hand, if your spouse brings a pit bull into your household or buys a trampoline for the kids, this could cause your homeowner’s rates to increase.
- You bet your life. – Life insurance is another item you’ll want to discuss, since it represents a safety net were something to happen to either party. If a spouse suddenly passes away, you’ll want to make sure the surviving spouse can continue to pay the mortgage, cover existing and future expenses and maintain the same standard of living the two of you will quickly become accustomed to. If your spouse has existing children that will also become part of your new household, you’ll want to make sure that they are provided for as well.
- Healthy is as healthy does. – Another thing you’ll need to do once you wed is reevaluate your health insurance coverage, especially if neither spouse is covered through their workplace. If you’re both covered under the Health Insurance Marketplace, you only have 60-days to make changes to your existing plan after you get married. Since health insurance can be one of the biggest budget items for newlyweds, you both need to discuss the options quickly so you can make a qualified decision as to the kind of coverage that works best for all parties. Sometimes this can mean switching providers if you both aren’t currently seeing the same physicians and specialists.
- Does either party own a home-based business? – If your new spouse intends to run a business from your home, you definitely need to report this to your insurance agent. If a client or delivery driver were to slip and fall while on your property, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover the liability. Even if the business is online and your spouse sees no customers at home, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to broach this subject with your agent since everything from product and professional liability to negligence and copyright infringement lawsuits could wind up eroding your assets whether you participate in the business or not.
- Has your ship come in or have you missed the boat? – If your spouse owns a boat, is it insured? If it isn’t and the vessel is involved in an accident, either on the water or while being transported, your assets may go down with the ship. If someone is injured or killed while on your spouse’s boat, everything you own could be in jeopardy even if you never set one foot on board.
- Should you shop for a better insurance deal when you get married? – Absolutely, unless you have money to burn. Since most couples don’t think twice about insurance until they really need it, this set it and forget it mentality can cost you money, particularly if you haven’t had your agent shop your rates in a year or more. Another way you can save big is by having multiple policies bundled under one insurer.
- What do newly married couples who are both retired need to know about insurance? – Retirees especially need to plan for things like annuities that can provide a guaranteed source of income in the years ahead. They also need to consider potential disability, nursing home care and assisted living coverage. Since Americans live to an average of 70-75 years or more, something more than social security is going to be needed if you’re going to live well in the years to come.
Catherine Powell is the owner of A Plus All Florida, Insurance in Orange Park, Florida. To find out more about saving money on all your insurance needs, check out her website at http://aplusallfloridainsuranceinc.com/