With Valentine's Day smack dab in the middle of the month and stores full of candy, flowers, and cards, the last thing on your mind is likely whether your relationship affects your insurance needs or not.
What may surprise you is that it probably does!
Did your significant other move in with you?
That big screen tv, clothing, or jewelry that your significant other moved in to your home or apartment may not be covered in the event of a claim! Homeowners and renters insurance policies are designed to protect the insured (you, a married spouse, and dependents under 21 years old) and will likely exclude coverage for individuals not named as an insured on the policy. There are a few options available for ensuring that their belongings are insured however, such as naming them as a Named Insured on your policy or adding an endorsement such as the "Other Persons in the Household" endorsement.
Did they move in any valuable jewelry, artwork, or collectibles? Many insurance policies will have a limit on the covered value of any one individual item, meaning that even if you've added your significant other to your insurance policy, coverage for these high value items may be capped. Endorsements are available that expand coverage on items that you have specifically listed.
This also extends to liability coverage. If you for example, as the insured, are burning leaves and catch the neighbor's house on Fire, your insurance company would extend coverage for this damage under the liability portion of the policy. If your significant other, not being insured under the policy, were to have the same stroke of bad luck, this would not be covered under the policy.
Did you get engaged?
Valentine's Day is one of the most popular days to pop the question. While this is an incredibly exciting start of a new chapter in your life, you also need to think about the insurance implications of your engagement. Expensive engagement rings may not be adequately covered by your existing insurance policy and may require a separate endorsement.
While the engagement is a huge step, it's important to recognize that the both of you are not automatically covered under the same homeowners / renters policy until you officially tie the knot. This means that, if you move in together prior to the nuptuals, you still need to notify your insurance agent and specifically add your partner and their belongings to the policy. Even after the wedding, it's a good idea to let your insurance agent know about the good news so they can make sure your coverage is adequate.
Are any insurance discounts now available to you?
If you've recently gotten married, there's a good chance that additional insurance discounts may now be available to you.
As insurance company statistics show that married couples are less likely to take risks and also less likely to submit claims, insurance companies are willing to offer discounted insurance rates to them. Discounts may be available on both your auto and homeowners / renters policies so be sure to inquire about both. While you will likely need more coverage now, these discounts may help offset the additional cost and may even reduce your annual insurance cost!
The more insurance you need, the more opportunities there are to bundle! Many insurance companies offer additional discounts to customers who purchase multiple insurance policies with them, which can significantly reduce the overall insurance cost.
As with any other life change, speak to a local insurance agent who will be able to review your coverages and ensure that you are both adequately covered and taking advantage of any discounts that may be available to you.
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*This story originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of Connections Magazine, as part of a monthly contribution made by Disaster Blaster, Inc. Please check out the current issue of Connections Magazine for this month's story!
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