Many changes come into effect not long after you get married. You or your spouse may change last names, you may be filing joint tax returns, and you may have to get used to calling your significant other husband or wife. One other change to be aware of is insurance.
Insuring two people is different than insuring a single individual. In some ways, you’ll save on rates and pay less, but you also may add new policies to your name. This is what you can expect with your insurance policies after your wedding day.
How does getting married affect my insurance?
When you tie the knot, you can celebrate for multiple reasons. Not only are you now married to your love, but you can also expect lower insurance rates. Woo-hoo! Combining auto insurance into a single policy often decreases the total rate for both of you, and you may also see a drop in your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
That being said, you may want to add some policies, such as a life insurance policy. After all, you now have more than you to think about! Adding policies will cost you more, but you will also have increased protection for the unexpected events of life.
What insurance options should you consider when you get married?
Life might look a little different now that you have a partner. As you talk about your lives and your future, it’s important to consider how you’ll protect your finances and assets.
Because insurance companies consider marriage a qualifying life event, you can make updates to your policy after marriage. You may not have to apply for a new insurance policy right after returning from the honeymoon, but you do have to get to work quickly. Insurance companies typically give newlywed couples 60 days after the wedding day to add their spouses to their policy or make changes. It’s best to have a basic understanding of your insurance options so that you’re ready to make those decisions quickly.
Signing up for a single insurance policy is one of the best ways to cut your insurance costs as a married couple. Young married couples can save about 20% by switching from two policies to one. If you and your spouse are a little older, your rates will still likely drop, but your savings won’t be as significant.
You’ll have to decide whether or not you want to end one of your policies so you can be on the other’s, or whether you want to terminate both policies to open a new one together. If your spouse has a driver’s license, you should include them on your policy (even if you’re worried their driving record will negatively impact your rates). If there’s a chance they will ever drive your car or you will drive theirs, it’s best to be on the same policy.
Many people start looking into a life insurance policy after they get married. That’s because life insurance helps provide funds to a spouse and other beneficiaries in the event of a premature death. When you depend on your partner’s income to cover bills, or vice versa, then life insurance is important. It helps cover rent, a home loan, or other bills if one of you were to pass away. If you have children, life insurance becomes even more critical.
There’s a financial benefit to having life insurance now, too. Life insurance policies are cheaper when you are young. It doesn’t cost much to be prepared so you and your spouse can protect each other and your family. You can choose between separate life insurance policies and joint policies.
If you or your spouse already has a life insurance policy, you’ll need to update your beneficiaries to make sure your spouse is included.
Homeowners or renters insurance
You and your spouse will also need to find insurance for your home. If you are renting, you’ll need to make sure both of you are covered in the renter’s insurance policy. If you are buying a house, condo, or apartment together, you’ll need to purchase a homeowner’s insurance policy.
Recently wed spouses who were previously living in two separate homes will save on a joint homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. You’ll most likely be moving in together, which means you can drop one of the policies and save on monthly bills.
Consider discount plans
Another way to enjoy savings as a married couple is to sign up for discount plans. If you become a member of a discount plan, you gain access to discounted rates on services, as well as a network of professionals. The two popular discount plans are well-being plans and safeguard discount plans.
Well-being discount plan
Well-being discount plans provide couples with access to discounted medical services, personal health advocates, and a network of experienced medical providers. This is a great option for married couples, whether or not they have health insurance. If you have a health insurance policy, your well-being discount plan helps cover out-of-pocket fees before you reach your deductible. It does not, however, replace health insurance.
Safeguard Discount Plan
Under a safeguard discount plan, or lifestyle assistance plan, you and your spouse have a little extra help when you run into personal problems. Safeguard discount members receive discounts on ID theft protection, travel protection, legal help, and more. Plus, members will be connected with professional providers who are part of the member network.
This discount plan ensures that you’ll have the assistance you need when problems inevitably arise in everyday life. The discounts are available to you and your spouse.
Update all of your records
There are a few personal details that may change after your wedding day. Your last name (or your spouse’s last name) might change, you might have a new address, and you probably want to add your spouse to any important documents. Make sure to update the following records soon after getting married:
- Driver’s license
- Bank account information
- Social Security number
- Business documents
Perform a financial health check
It’s a wise call to conduct a complete diagnostic rundown of your finances after you get married. You might merge your savings, checking, and other accounts with your spouse, so it’s best to lay out all of your assets, expenses, and saving accounts, giving you the full picture.
During this time, you can add your spouse to your accounts and check your personal information to make sure it is still accurate. Take a look at your retirement savings and your health account savings, as well as any other investments you have. Take some time, because it’s important to make sure all of your financial assets are accounted for.
With an accurate understanding of your finances, you can set goals to pay off debts and save for big purchases in the future.
Marriage is exciting, but there are also a lot of big decisions to be made. If you have any questions about insurance and the best policies for you and your spouse, send us a note. Our team would be happy to talk through your options with you.