Getting married is a major event, one that changes everything in a couple’s life. While planning the wedding and booking the honeymoon might seem more exciting, it is equally important to spend some time understanding each other’s financial situations, what insurance for newlyweds looks like and making a solid plan for the future.
Major life milestones, whether it be marriage, purchasing a new home or adding a new member to the family, are great opportunities to reassess your current insurance policies to make sure they’re still working for you. Updating policies and adding new coverages are key to safeguarding yourself, your loved ones and your brand new start.
Most auto insurers require spouses to have a single auto insurance policy, so combining separate policies is a great first step in the insurance journey for newly engaged or married couples. Married couples also usually benefit from a lower rate than single drivers, and having more than one vehicle on a policy can also provide a multi-car discount.
When consolidating to a single auto insurance policy, there are a few key items to consider:
- Liability limits. If each spouse had their own auto insurance policy before marriage, they might also have had different limits for bodily injury and property damage liability. These limits may have been enough to cover their own assets as a single person, but with marriage, couples will need to reassess their liability limits to ensure it is enough to cover their combined assets.
- Coverage options. Similar to liability limits, one person may have additional coverages that the other person didn’t. These could include medical payments or personal injury protection, uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance, roadside assistance, and more. It’s also a good idea to review your comprehensive and collision deductibles and other coverage deductibles if you have them to make sure you feel comfortable paying these out-of-pocket costs in the event of a claim.
- Driving history. Combining auto policies doesn’t just mean vehicles — drivers and their driving records are included as well. If you or your spouse has a mark on their driving record, like a ticket or DUI, this will also affect the overall cost of the auto policy. Driving history can even affect eligibility to have insurance with certain auto insurers. The average cost of car insurance is $1,674 per year for full coverage and $565 per year for minimum coverage, but rates will vary depending on driving records, ZIP code and a variety of other factors.
Like marriage, purchasing a home can also be a major life event. As one of the largest assets a couple may own together, it’s important to make sure it’s sufficiently covered. Married couples can also benefit from a married discount that will make the policy cheaper, although the discount amount percentage may be different from the auto insurance amount. There is also a separate — and typically, even greater — discount for bundling home and auto insurance together at the same insurance company.
Before committing to an insurance provider, it can help to shop around and understand the different policy options available for each company. Get an idea of the average cost for home insurance, consider shopping around with top providers that usually offer the multiple policy types you may need, and speak with a licensed insurance professional to find the homeowners policy that is the best for you.
Newly married couples who rent instead of own should still consider purchasing a renters insurance policy. This policy covers personal possessions, including wedding gifts received at the reception. It also covers liability exposure and additional living expenses if the home becomes unlivable due to a covered loss.
Renters insurance is typically more affordable than homeowners insurance, with average rates around $179 per year, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I). Married couples may receive a cheaper rate, and there is often a multiple policy discount for both the auto and renters policies if they are purchased from the same company. Generally, the savings will not be as comparable to bundling homeowners and auto insurance policies, as the homeowners insurance premium is significantly more expensive due to insuring the structure of a home.
Scheduled property coverage
For newly engaged or married couples, insuring the engagement ring properly is usually a top concern. Although homeowners and renters insurance policies cover personal belongings, there are monetary limits for specific high-value items like jewelry and artwork, and certain loss types, like if you lose your engagement ring, are not covered under a standard property policy.
In these instances, insurance companies offer other solutions. They may allow an increase of the overall personal belongings limit on your property policy or add a scheduled personal property endorsement. An endorsement would insure the item’s value based on the purchase receipt or recent appraisal report, and generally, endorsements offer more coverage. Your insurer may also offer more robust coverage through a separate policy entirely, often referred to as a personal articles floater policy. Any of these options have their own associated costs, so it may be worth consulting with an insurance agent to understand the best choice for you.
Umbrella insurance is another type of insurance newlyweds may want to consider as they begin a life together. This personal liability insurance policy will extend liability coverage above and beyond any underlying auto, homeowners or renters insurance liability limits in the event of a covered loss.
Because newlyweds and married couples are combining their assets together, the maximum liability limit for auto and property insurance policies may no longer be enough. An umbrella policy could step in further to extend the liability limits of these underlying policies to provide an additional buffer. Liability coverage amounts for umbrella policies typically start around $1 million, and the requirements for purchasing this policy may vary for each company.
Life insurance after marriage can provide important protection for couples and parents with kids. Not only can it help pay for funeral expenses, but the death benefit can provide a much-needed cushion should a spouse die unexpectedly. A common misconception is that only the main breadwinner needs to purchase coverage, but it’s a good idea to consider covering both spouses to maximize the financial benefits of life insurance.
Two life insurance types are term life and whole life, both of which have advantages and drawbacks. Term life is usually cheaper but only provides coverage until a certain timeframe, after which spouses or beneficiaries won’t receive any death benefits. Whole life is generally more expensive but usually guarantees beneficiaries will receive money the insured dies. It also provides a savings vehicle that can be borrowed from during the life of the policy. It’s a good idea to do a little research about how to select the best life insurance policy and speak with a licensed insurance professional about coverage and monthly premiums before purchasing.
Frequently asked questions
How do we find the best car insurance company?
Newlyweds are in the perfect position to find the best car insurance company for their needs because combining vehicles and drivers is a huge change for an auto insurance policy. Depending on the carrier you choose, be sure to ask if you qualify for some of their best car insurance discounts. The best strategy is to shop around, speak to insurance agents about your concerns and obtain quotes from multiple insurance carriers to learn which will be the best fit for your needs.
How do we find the best home insurance?
Homeowners insurance is not one-size-fits-all, and finding the best provider depends on your unique needs. It’s a good idea to shop around and compare what each insurance provider offers, then speak with a licensed insurance professional before purchasing.
Do married couples pay less for car insurance?
In most cases, married couples can benefit from cheaper rates than single drivers. The total amount of the discount may vary by company, and the final premium can also be more greatly affected by driving records, credit scores, and the types of vehicles insured on the policy.