By: Corin Cook on January 18th, 2023
4 Insurance Tips for Newlyweds: What You Need to Update Once Married
Individuals & Families | Condo Insurance | car insurance | Renters Insurance | homeowners insurance | Wedding Insurance | personal insurance | Life Insurance
So you've officially gotten engaged or tied the knot? Congratulations!
While we're only slightly jealous we weren't invited to the reception, we're still more then happy to provide some useful tips for any newlyweds entering a new chapter of their life.
At Berry Insurance, whenever we hear about someone getting married, it doesn’t take too long for our minds to shift to insurance. (We can’t help it! We live and breathe insurance.)
But all jokes aside, we know insurance policies aren’t the most exciting part of marriage and we don’t want to hypothetically rain on anyone’s wedding (even though they do say that rain on your wedding day is good luck,) but making the right changes to your personal insurance when you get married is truly an important step of building a family on a strong foundation.
In the following article, we will outline all the insurance changes you will need to make once you get married, as well as share some helpful coverage tips.
1. Update your car insurance:
For one, if you live with someone or ever drive their vehicles, you should be at least listed on each others’ policy, and in most cases actually makes more sense to share a policy.
And believe it or not, getting marriage and joining insurance forces will probably also save you some money on your car insurance.
Since statistics show that married people have less auto insurance claims than single people, insurance companies consider them less of a risk. This means that you could save money on your auto insurance policy once you get married. In fact, married couples can save up to $100 per year just for tying the knot.
Many insurance companies also offer a multi-car discount, meaning you can save money by going in on a policy together.
Also, if your spouse is eligible for any discounts you aren’t there could be additional opportunities for savings.
Some common auto insurance discounts include:
- Being a member of an association (such as AAA, AARP, alumni associations, wholesale clubs, military organizations, honor societies and more)
- Giving to a charity (Safety Insurance offers a discount for those who donate to Clear Path for Veterans New England.)
- Being a safe driver (drivers without accidents or violations for a certain period (usually five years) can save hundreds on their insurance through a safe driver or good driver discount.)
2. Update your home/condo/renters insurance policy:
Whether you live in a house, a condo, or an apartment, your policies will need some attention after you get married.
This is especially the case if you don’t already live together and plan on moving in or getting a place together after marriage.
If one person is moving in with the other, they’ll first need to drop their policy for the place they are moving out of, and be added onto their partner’s policy.
But, if you have renters or condo insurance, there’s more you need to do beyond simply adding a name to a policy. If one person is moving in with another, chances are, the contents of the home will probably double. That means you need to increase your personal property coverage to include all of your combined possessions so they would be repaired or replaced if there were a disaster.
If you have a home on the other hand, you don’t need to make any changes to your personal property coverage because the coverage is built in at 50%-70% of your home value, which is usually plenty.
Keep in mind, home, renters, and condo insurance have limitations when it comes to some items … specifically more high-value items like fine arts or jewelry. If you have any valuables (cough … perhaps the new rings on your left hand,) you can schedule them on your home insurance policy, which will ensure they are covered in full if they are damaged or stolen. To learn more about how to schedule items on your policy, check out this article: Understanding the Benefits of Scheduled Personal Property Protection.
If you are both moving into a new place together, then you will both of course need to cancel your current policies and get a combined policy for the new home, again taking into account all of your combined possessions in your personal property limits.
But even if you already live together, you should still inform your agent of your new life change. First of all, they want to be aware of all your life changes and put it on record, but they may also be able to provide new discounts when you get married.
Here’s a helpful tip: bundle your policies:
Many insurance companies offer incentives for the more business you provide them. By bundling multiple policies (such as homeowners/rental/condo and auto) with the same insurance company, you may be able to save approximately 5-25 percent on your auto policy, depending on which types of insurance you are bundling with.
For example, an insurance carrier might offer a 6 percent discount on your auto policy for bundling with renters/condominium insurance and 10 percent for bundling with home insurance. The supporting policy would also be eligible for a multi-policy discount, which can vary in percentage depending on the carrier.
3. Set up your life insurance policy:
If you just got married, now is probably the best time for you to each get a life insurance policy.
We know what you might be thinking … “We’re young and healthy and most likely won’t be dying anytime soon. We don’t want to waste money on life insurance yet.”
But actually, when you are young and healthy is exactly when you should be getting life insurance for a few different reasons.
Life insurance is a financial safety net for families. If a spouse passes away, this type of policy would pay to upkeep the family’s standard of living, pay off existing loans, cover future expenses like college for children, and more. The idea is by the time you’re older, your loans will be paid off, your kids will have already gone to college, and you will have saved up some type of savings that your family could use if you were to die.
That is why we usually recommend term life insurance policies (that usually last between 10-30 years) to most people. However, we realize the idealistic financial situation we outlined above isn’t the case for everyone. For those people, permanent (or whole) life insurance policies are also an option.
To learn more about term and permanent life insurance, read this article Term vs. Permanent Life Insurance: Which is Better for Me?
Another reason it’s wise to get life insurance right after your wedding is the rates.
The younger and healthier you are, the cheaper life insurance rates are. This is because you are seen as less of a risk by the insurance company.
So if that’s the case, wouldn’t it just make more sense to get a life insurance policy as a kid?
Well not exactly.
If you don’t have any dependents or people who will struggle financially if you were to die, you don’t need life insurance. That’s why we usually recommend that people get a policy once they start a family. With this policy, you’d be protecting your spouse from any financial struggles they would have to deal with if you were to die. You will also have protection in place for any kids you may have.
Speaking of kids, many people decide it’s time to get a life insurance policy once they have children. This makes sense in theory, but we usually recommend that women get a life insurance policy either before, or shortly after pregnancy.
For the most part, a woman in her first two trimesters who hasn’t had any complications won’t have issues getting life insurance, but if she waits until the last three months of the pregnancy, she may run into trouble. Since lab work tends to change in the last trimester, an insurance company may deny an expecting mother or raise her premiums.
This is another reason why getting a policy right after marriage (if you are waiting until after marriage to have children that is) might be the best time to get a life insurance policy.
To learn more, read When are the Best (and Worst) Times to get Life Insurance?
4. Find the right agent for you:
Since you are updating/combining/getting new policies at this time, it is also a great time to consider who you want to trust with your insurance needs.
Do you both work with separate agents or carriers? You’ll have to decide which one you would rather combine your policies with.
OR, what better time to research from scratch and be sure you are with an insurance provider who has your best interests in mind and will build a strong foundation to your future?
Many people don’t put a lot of thought into who their insurance agent or carrier, but the right agent can help make your life easier in several ways.
To dive more into how to find the right insurance provider for you, check out this article What to Look For when Selecting an Insurance Agency or Company.
Review your personal policies often:
But just because you found an insurance provider that works for you and has set up/updated all of your new policies, doesn’t mean you’re completely set.
That’s right, insurance isn’t a “set it and forget it” service.
You’ll need to update your insurance policies after any life changes, and you should also perform a thorough review of your personal insurance every year upon policy renewal.
If you happen to work with us at Berry Insurance, this isn’t something you need to stress out about too much. We reach out to all of our clients prior to renewal to make sure all information on record is up to date and accurate, and that there are no gaps in coverage.
But if you want to be better prepared for your review, check out this article Why You Should Review Your Personal Insurance Annually. It even includes a downloadable worksheet which will help you prepare all the information and considerations you will need before the conversation.