A Newlywed’s Guide to Updating Insurance

A lot of things change when you get married, including your insurance options.

Making sure your insurance is adequate once you are married is an important step to take. You have the option of buying new, combining, and/or discontinuing policies you will no longer need. Here are the insurance coverages we recommend you review or consider purchasing once married.

Life Insurance

After you say “I Do”, you might need to increase your life insurance coverage. The bills you would leave your spouse with include, debt payments, and the cost of funeral/final expenses if you were to pass away. Make sure you have enough insurance coverage to at least pay these minimum costs. You might also consider additional coverage if your spouse will need extra money to manage the lifestyle you have now built together, or to allow them to take time off from work after this traumatic event. Compare the cost of insurance with your employer versus getting a term life insurance policy through a broker.

Disability Insurance

If you were to become disabled from a change in health or an accident, would you be able to survive off a single income? The answer for our clients, who mostly live in expensive cities, is definitely not. Disability insurance typically covers 50-70% of your monthly salary. It is a necessary insurance to have when you start building a lifestyle off of two incomes. Look into your employer’s disability coverage and purchase increases up to the limit if it makes sense and is affordable. Start your evaluation with the spouse who makes the most money as this would hurt the greatest if they are unable to work.

Health Insurance

Once married, you can apply for joint coverage as a family under one of your health insurance plans. Compare the costs of a family plan with both of your employers versus insurance as an individual. Other things to consider are; who has the better coverage, do you both like your doctors/plans, and which employer covers more insurance costs. Weigh your options and decide on the best deal.

Auto Insurance

The coverage for you autos will likely remain the same but you do want to make sure your spouse is added as a second driver of your vehicle if you will be sharing cars. While you are logged in or talking with your broker, this is a good time to confirm that you and your spouse have adequate liability and property damage coverage.

Homeowners or Renters Insurance

If you are just moving into one of your residences or getting a new place together, cancel the policy associated with the old residence. Make sure your new policy has enough “contents replacement” coverage for both of your personal belongings and has both your names listed as policy owners/insured.

Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella insurance is used as an additional liability protection on top of the liability coverages in your property and casualty insurance (ex. home and auto). This coverage is often used in a personal liability event like a lawsuit. It includes coverages for things like libel, slander, vandalism, and invasion of privacy. If your net worth together is more than the liability limit on your home/auto insurance ($300K-$500K, most often) it can be a good idea to get umbrella coverage to protect your additional assets.

Combining Policies Under One Provider

Lastly, combining your insurance coverage under one roof is usually the best way to keep your costs low, as most providers offer bundling discounts. It will also make sure you don’t have gaps in coverage and that your limits on insurance all match. If you and your spouse have separate insurance companies, discuss which company you like best and get a quote.

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