From the CountryGetting Married Requires Talking about Insurance
Soon you and your fiancé will promise to have and to hold each other, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part.
Before or shortly after saying these vows, you need to discuss your finances, including your insurance coverage, or you might end up testing the strength of those vows. To help, here is a checklist of insurance needs to talk about:
- auto insurance
- home or renter’s insurance
- life insurance
- health insurance
Spend some time talking together about insurance. Then talk with a financial representative to determine what insurance coverages are best for you.
Married couples pay less than singles for car insurance. If you and your fiancé do not have the same insurance company, you should combine your policies under one company. Many companies give a multiple vehicle discount that can save money.
Couples can also save money on their auto insurance by buying cars with safety features, keeping a clean driving record and staying with one company for an extended period of time. Talk to your financial representative for specific details.
Home or Renter’s Insurance
Whether you own a home or rent, make sure you have adequate coverage for your home’s structure and your possessions.
Check with the company that insures your car to see if they offer home/renter’s insurance, too. Companies often offer multiple policy discounts if they insure both your car and home.
Life insurance is another coverage you may want to buy or increase the amount of insurance you own. Life insurance is especially important if one or both of you have a number of debts, such as student loans, if you have bought a house or plan to have children soon.
It provides money for the surviving spouse to pay for funeral expenses, as well as the mortgage and daily expenses. Even if you don’t have children, you don’t want to leave your spouse in a difficult financial situation.
When talking about life insurance you will need to decide between term and whole life insurance. Term life insurance only covers someone for a set amount of time, such as 15 years. Whole life insurance accrues value and can eventually earn a return. Talk to your financial representative to determine which type is right for you.
If you both have jobs with health insurance coverage, then you will need to figure out how best to maximize your benefits. One of the most important issues to look at is if your doctor is covered in each plan. If you switch to your partner’s health care plan, your favorite doctors may not be included under it. If this is important to you, you should consider keeping your own plan or having your partner join yours.
Also, see what each plan has to offer. If your plan has excellent dental coverage but no vision coverage, and your partners has a great vision plan, you may consider switching if you have poor eyesight but rarely have dental problems. Compare the out-of-pocket expenses you incur throughout the year with the cost of your plan.
One more aspect of health insurance to consider is disability income. If you or your spouse becomes disabled and cannot perform your job duties, you may lose an income, while daily living expenses may rise. If you cannot afford to live on one person’s salary, you should evaluate your health coverage plans to see how and if disability income insurance is provided.