Insurance and Marriage: Have your Considered Your Options
Ensure you’re covered after the big day…
All the planning has been done, the dress and tuxedos ordered, the music for your first dance set, everything has been thought through to the littlest detail for the wedding. Regardless of how many times you go through the ”mental checklist,” you are never 100 percent sure everything has been taken care of. Did you think about things that need to occur before you return from your honeymoon?
It is never as exciting as picking out the flowers or hors d’oeuvres, but dealing with your insurances is something that should be added to your list. In your life, you or your spouse have likely had an incident where having insurance has been important and saved you a great deal of money, anything from a visit to the doctor or fender bender to something more comprehensive. Making sure that this is all taken care of will allow you to rest assured that you and your soon to be spouse are taken care of.
Dealing with health insurance is likely the most complicated of the insurances to deal with when getting married. This is not because the process is difficult, just that there are many options available depending on your current insurance, if any, and various other factors that should be addressed to meet your needs. Determine what you are looking for with your health insurance coverage, any specific things you want covered, and what kind of deductible you would like to have; this will make the rest of the process easier.
The simplest scenario would be if both you and your spouse had a plan through work. At this point, you would then both want to look into the policies to see what they offer and how much it would cost to add the other person onto the policy. From those results, simply compare the two together and make an educated decision based on the information you have gathered.
If one person has a work policy and the other is on an individual policy or is uncovered, then it would be advisable for the person with the policy from their work to speak with their HR department or whomever to get their spouse added on to the plan. While this will increase the cost, generally there is a discount given for having multiple people on a policy with an insurance company. If you are a younger couple and one of you is on your parent’s policy, it should be noted that it will likely be terminated once you are married as legally you are no longer under your parents’ care.
The other scenario is that neither you or your spouse has a plan through work or an individual policy. This is not uncommon and is easy to remedy through individual health plans. There is a common misconception that these plans cost a lot more than group plans, which is not the case. They do tend to cost a bit more as group plans are subsidized by the company who started the plan, but individual plans also are more selective and thus they keep costs lower by not allowing for as many high risk candidates. This may present an issue if you fall into a high risk category, as insurance will unfortunately cost a lot more; if you do not fall into that category, you will get the benefits of lower premiums.
At this milestone in your life, it is a good time to look into your needs for you and your family’s future. A new family will oftentimes find themselves stretched relatively thin financially and thus rely heavily on the incomes of both partners. If there is only one person in the relationship working a standard “40-hour job,” it becomes even more important to look into a policy to ensure that if some tragedy were to ever occur that the spouse could deal with financial matters. Many life insurance companies offer joint policies as well.
If you and your spouse both drive, then you each have some sort of car insurance whether it be liability or comprehensive. So if you both wish to continue driving, legally you will have to both be insured. This is not really news to anyone, but the good news is that by being married many insurance companies offer discounts. The car insurance rate is determined by several factors, two of which being age and driving history. For young couples, marriage is almost certainly going to save you some money on auto insurance as the insurance companies tend to look on married couples as more responsible. Many insurance companies also offer discounts for adding someone else to a policy, thus it is important to look into both policies in place, and perhaps others, to see what gives you the best coverage at the most affordable rates.
Getting married can create some headaches when it comes to housing, if one person is going to have to move. Sometimes this choice is easier than others, but regardless, there is a lot to deal with. If the person moving is deciding to keep their old place and rent it out, they should notify the company who they have a homeowner’s policy with and let them know. Homeowner’s is not the appropriate insurance if you are going to rent out your house; you will need landlord’s insurance, thus you should cancel your original policy. It is also important to look into the policy in place for your new home as the odds are it will not cover the combined value of the assets once your partner moves in. The engagement ring alone could be reason enough to increase your homeowner’s policy.
With all of your insurance sorted out, you can begin to focus all your attention on the wedding, the honeymoon, and your life to come with your new spouse. Insurance companies enjoy the business of married couples as they see them as more stable than singles, and thus they offer nice discounts for married couples that you can now enjoy!
This article was written by Barbara Waltz, one of the founders of 247QuoteUs.com, an online resource blog and insurance quote comparison guide.