So you’ve survived the planning…had a fabulous wedding with all the people you love and now you’re ready to start a new chapter in your life with the person you’ve just promised to love forever… but now what? You’ve signed a piece of paper that makes you marriage official in the eyes of the law, but what does that mean and what do you have to do beyond opening a joint checking account and changing your last name at the Social Security office? Well today we’re going to talk about insurance and some amazing ways to save money as a married couple because who doesn’t want to save money?
Elbert Taylor with Farmer’s Insurance
When you first get married, there are so many exciting new experiences to look forward to as a couple. Insurance likely is not on that list. Couples, however, are often able to access better rates and better coverage than either spouse would have individually. Some of the benefits of combining insurance policies include discounts for having multiple policies with the same company and getting the same coverage for less. Here are the most common types of insurance and some of the marital benefits.
1. Car Insurance
You might not think that a 25-year-old single man is any different than when he gets married the next day. In the eyes of insurance underwriters, however, he is a completely new man and a much lower insurance risk once he says “I do.” Married men attract much lower car insurance rates than their single counterparts. Statistically, they get into fewer accidents. When you get married, one of the first telephone calls should be to the insurance agent to obtain a new quote.
If both spouses have vehicles and have insurance policies with different companies, bring them both to one company. Many insurers offer discounts for multiple-car families. Be sure to ask for several quotes, both from your existing insurers and from their competition to get the best price.
2. Life Insurance
Life insurance premiums are also based in part on marital status so renewals may be less expensive after marriage. Your combined income replacement needs may also change. For example, if you each owned a home with a mortgage while you were single, after marriage you may choose to sell one of the houses and pay off that mortgage. That leaves you with less overall debt to pay off if one of you dies. If either of you came into the marriage with minor children, your life insurance needs may also decline as the spouse’s income will help contribute to the financial needs of the kids. When you get married, it is important to sit down with your insurance agent and review both of your policies together. Don’t forget to think about plans with savings benefit for the little ones.
3. Health Insurance
If you and your new spouse both have group health insurance plans at your places of employment, they are likely to be very different in their coverage and their premiums. It is often less expensive to add a spouse to a group health plan than to maintain separate plans. Compare both plans and choose the one that most closely matches your needs. If either you or your spouse is self-employed and the other works for an employer, covering the self-employed spouse under the group plan will usually be less expensive than maintaining an individual plan
4. House Insurance
House insurance consists of both insurance on the structure itself (if you own the home) and insurance on the contents – all of your “stuff.” Contents insurance is needed whether you own or rent. The first way that you and your spouse may save money on house insurance is if you go from two homes down to one. One entire policy goes away. The second reason why it may be less expensive is because it is cheaper to cover your combined contents than it was under separate policies. Let’s say that you have about $200,000 in furniture, clothes, kitchen equipment and everything else that is in your home. The contents portion of your insurance policy may be $300 per year. Your spouse may have $50,000 in contents and is paying $75 per year. Combining the $250,000 in contents into one policy may only cost $325, saving you $50 per year.
The Bottom Line
It may not be the best part of getting married, but saving money on insurance is one of the best financial benefits of matrimony.
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