Insurance After the Wedding
The big day has come and gone but the happily ever after has just begun! You may think that planning the wedding was the worst of your stress, but there is still a lot to address afterwards. Once you are unpacked from the honeymoon, there are changes you will need to make, especially if you have a new last name or new address. It’s important for all of your information to be accurate, not just on your license, but also on your insurance policies.
The first thing on your to-do list should be revising all documents with your name change. If you took your spouse’s last name, you need to update your name with the social security administration, on your driver’s license, and insurance policies. An agent can help you update your polices with your current name and assist with combining you and your spouses’ policies as well.
Sharing a Home
If you own a house or a condo, your spouse now has the same rights and coverage’s as you do. It’s not necessary for your spouse to be listed on the deed to get full coverage and protection of the policy. If you two lived together before the marriage and you already added coverage for a domestic partner, the endorsement can be removed. If your spouse had a separate renter’s policy, it can be cancelled as you are now under one roof. However, in order for you and your spouse to be covered under one policy, they need to be added as a “named insured” on the Homeowners Insurance policy. Also look to see if you have enough personal property coverage.
Now is a good idea to take a home inventory. After a wedding, you could have acquired some new items or your spouse may have brought some additional things that need to be accounted for. A home inventory list can help determine if you have enough personal property coverage. A detailed list helps you calculate the value of your belongings. Once you start the list, it can be surprising how quickly things add up! Keep the list in a safe place, like on a computer or with a loved one. If something devastating happens to your home, then you will still have access to your home inventory. Talk with an agent about your coverage in case you suffer a catastrophic loss and need to start replacing things. Using your home inventory, you and your insurance agent can pick the most appropriate coverage for you.
When doing a Home Inventory, it is important to remember that items such as jewelry and silverware have maximum limits of coverage. To insure valuable items (wedding rings, gifts, etc.) they can be “scheduled” on a policy by submitting a recent detailed invoice or appraisal to your insurance company. These items then become covered for “all risks” and not subject to the policy deductible. When in doubt whether something should be scheduled on your policy or if you have any concerns about a specialty insurance policy, call your insurance agent. They will know what items might need additional coverage and the best way to insure them.
Auto Insurance Changes
Review the overall coverage on your Auto Insurance policies and make sure you have enough. While talking with your agent about enough coverage, you may want to also ask about an umbrella policy for further protection for the two of you.
Combining auto policies is a great way to get new discounts, such as multi-car and multi-policy discounts. Failure to list a “household member” as a driver on an auto policy could result in a denial of coverage. A comprehensive review of both policies by an agent can help you find the best coverage and discounts. Since discounts vary from company to company, your spouse may have discounts that you didn’t. The vehicles you currently own don’t need to be re-registered to be added to an existing policy. The best time to combine auto policies is upon renewal and can be as simple as making a phone call to your agent.
Thinking About Life Insurance
If you have a life insurance policy through work or an insurance agency, it’s important to review the policy and know who your beneficiary is. The previous beneficiary listed on your policy won’t be automatically replaced with your spouse now that you are married. In order to change this, you will need to contact your insurance provider. Also consider the amount of life insurance you have. The amount of Life Insurance you need may need to be increased, especially if you plan to have children in the future. Many people think that if one spouse is staying at home that they don’t need life insurance, but this isn’t true! A stay-at-home partner is providing a valuable service: if they were to pass away unexpectedly, a life insurance policy could help with the new expenses the surviving spouse may encounter, such as child care. A comprehensive review of you and your spouse’s policies is an important step to take.
Hopefully having some insurance changes to make doesn’t give you too much of the sense that “the honeymoon is over”. Just think: once you make your changes and updates you won’t have to worry about them again. That is unless you purchase a home or condo or a new car together. No matter what changes life brings, when you have questions or need help, know that an Encharter agent is there to help.