When your wedding day draws near, the last thing you want to think about is insurance, but with marriage comes combining your assets – and your risk. Your insurance policies should be updated to reflect that.
The good news is that marriage often brings the benefit of lower insurance premiums when coverage of each spouse’s vehicle is combined under a shared policy. There will still be some choices to make in terms of your homeowners, auto, health, and life insurance once you’ve tied the knot.
Here’s what you’ll need to look at:
1. Homeowners and Renters Insurance
If you’re getting married and you have one of these policies, you may want to contact your insurer about an add-on for your engagement ring if it’s ever lost. Once you’re married, you should combine your coverages, with one spouse adding the other to their policy. But remember, you will need to extend the coverage to include your spouse’s possessions. Typically a homeowners policy will automatically extend coverage to a new spouse, but it doesn’t hurt to contact your agent to ensure your policy won’t fall short.
2. Auto Insurance
You can often save money by combining your auto insurance policies to secure a multi-vehicle discount. However, for some couples, it may be less expensive to keep separate policies, depending on driving records and types of cars.
3. Health Insurance
This will probably be one of your biggest decisions, particularly if either of you is part of an employer-based plan that includes an option to add a spouse. Review your plans for the best deal, and consider having one spouse drop their policy. That includes assessing premiums and copays, as well as any changes if kids are or will be part of the package. Check the terms of your policies to confirm you don’t need to wait until the next open enrollment period to change.
4. Life Insurance
Once married, you should review your combined financial obligations to determine which type of policy is best for you and your spouse. Life insurance generally falls under two main categories: term insurance and whole life insurance. Payouts can cover ongoing, standard expenses such as rent, mortgages, and car payments, as well as unexpected expenses such as debts and funeral costs. If you don’t have life insurance, now is a good time to consider it to ensure that one spouse can live comfortably should something happen to the other.