Insurance Advice for Engaged Couples

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Health Insurance

It is not uncommon for many happy couples to spend months in wedding planning mode to guarantee that their special day is flawless. But as couples prepare to share a life together, they need to look further down the road to plan for their future security.
"There are even more details to ponder when trying to secure the life you'll have with your loved one," notes Steven Paul, vice president at Insurance.com, the online insurance resource. "Engaged couples should examine their existing insurance policies to make sure they are adequately protecting both their possessions and each other."

Insurance.com suggests that couples consider a few common insurance issues before they leave for the honeymoon.

In Sickness and Health

Health insurance generally costs less for married couples than for two separate individuals. If both are covered by employer sponsored health insurance, it may make sense to integrate health plans. Couples should determine which of the two plans is more attractive and obtain coverage under that plan. If one spouse is uninsured, the other can add him/her to the existing policy.

When comparing policies, they should consider the monthly premium, deductibles, co-payments for routine and emergency care, the doctors and hospitals that participate in each plan (e.g., if it's a Health Maintenance Organization or Preferred Provider Organization), and any additional coverage provided (e.g., dental, vision care, prescription drugs, etc.).

Unmarried couples may have a more difficult time getting coverage if one companion is uninsured because employer sponsored health plans don't always offer domestic partner coverage. For plans that do offer this coverage, the value of the coverage provided to the partner is taxable as income for the employee and may not provide suitable benefits for the couple. Individual policies may be a more appropriate option, and in many cases, the only option.

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'Til Death Do Us Part

Life insurance is not a topic most people like to talk about, but it is a serious consideration for couples that have promised to spend their lives together. The right policy can help protect family members from losing an income stream, or missing mortgage or tuition payments. To make sure either spouse could carry on financially after the death of the other, both should consider an appropriate amount of life insurance.

If either spouse owns an existing life insurance policy, he/she should review both the beneficiary designation and the adequacy of his/her coverage. They may want to name their spouse as beneficiary and, depending on their situation, may need more coverage than when they were single.

There's No Place Like Home

For newlyweds, both spouses' property is automatically covered under the typical homeowners policy. This is not necessarily true for unmarried couples, however, so they should consult with their agent or carrier to determine if coverage can be extended to both partners. Policyholders should clarify these matters so there isn't any question.

If renting an apartment, couples end up with twice as many possessions under one roof. Renters insurance provides coverage similar to homeowners insurance, protecting their possessions and offering liability protection.

Getting married is a major event in a person's life - the kind of milestone that marks a change in their responsibilities. Reexamining insurance needs before the ceremony is over will help couples be sure they can live happily ever after.

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