Tips for tying the insurance knot

Posted in General, Auto, Home, Life

Invitations? Check. Rings? Check. Honeymoon reservations? Check. Insurance policies?

Um, what?

We get it. If you’re planning a wedding, insurance considerations likely aren’t at the top of your honey-do list. But when you gather together to join two lives, you’re also creating a legal union that will merge all your assets, finances, taxes and—if you do things right—your insurance coverage.

Obviously, reviewing your insurance policies before the big day is not nearly as exciting as debating the merits of the Electric Slide versus the Cha-Cha Slide or hashing it out over Beef Wellington or Chicken Florentine for the buffet. But the insurance decisions you make now will have a much longer-lasting impact on your life together than whether or not you put Aunt Sally at the same table as Cousin Bruce.

That said, sometime between registering for gifts and finalizing the seating chart, carve out a few minutes to sit down with your independent insurance agent. You can review existing insurance coverage and discuss any new insurance needs you may have based on your upcoming change in legal status. When you do, you can walk down the aisle with confidence, knowing your future life together is covered, for better or for worse.

Tips for tying the insurance knot

  1. Bring it all together. Ever heard the phrase “What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is yours”? The same idea should apply to your insurance. Review all of your existing policies, including homeowners, renters, auto, life and health insurance. Your independent agent can help you decide which policies should be combined so that you don’t pay for duplicate coverage. Your agent can also identify any areas where you may be under covered and ensure your spouse is added to all policies so that you’re both covered.

  2. Add it up. If you’re combining households, you may be dropping one homeowners or renters policy. Be sure the remaining policy has enough coverage to protect your collective household goods. Don’t forget to consider the value of any shower or wedding gifts you may receive. Do you have adequate coverage for gifts of significant value, such as silverware? If not, consider purchasing broader coverage or policy enhancements.

  3. Got the bling? Protect those rings! If a new engagement ring or wedding bands are lost or stolen, your current homeowners policy might not cover the cost. Be sure to have your rings appraised to establish their value. Then talk to your independent agent about adding the coverage you need to insure your jewelry. You may want to schedule an Inland Marine floater policy, which covers items you take with you outside of your home, such as your rings.

  4. Drive down your costs. As a married couple, you may be eligible for discounts on some of your insurance policies, so ask your independent agent about available cost savings. Specifically, many insurers offer reduced auto insurance rates when you combine two drivers on one policy. However, there may be situations where it makes sense to maintain individual policies, such as if one of you has a poor driving record. Your independent agent can help you compare costs and make the best decision.

  5. Make it a home. If you’re shopping for a new home to start your married life, remember that location will impact your homeowners insurance rates. Location will also affect your ability to sell if you decide to upgrade to make room for a growing family down the road. If you make significant improvements or additions to your home, be sure to check with your agent to see if your policy covers the increased value of your home.

  6. Think ahead. Right now, it’s hard to think past your wedding day. But your future may hold children, retirement and any number of unforeseen curve balls. Purchasing a life insurance policy can help you save for a child’s education or retirement, and it can protect you and your new family from the unexpected.

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