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Make Sure Your New Life Together is Well Protected

Make Sure Your New Life Together is Well Protected

(ARA)-If you or your sweetheart just popped the question, your mind is probably racing with exciting plans. But among those thoughts of gowns, gifts, rings and receptions, make sure that insurance doesn't slip your mind. Adding insurance to your wedding checklist will help protect you from whatever bumps may lie ahead on your journey together.
Renters coverage:
If you rent, it's important to have renters insurance to cover your belongings in case of fire, theft, catastrophic weather, etc., and it's usually reasonably priced. A 2003 poll conducted by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America found 64 percent of respondents living in rental properties had no insurance.
You may think that you don't own much, but consider the cost of your computer, TV, DVD player, stereo equipment, clothes, furniture, CDs, etc. These items add up fast. Plus, if you're merging households with your new spouse, you suddenly have twice as many belongings. Not to mention your wedding gown and all of the wedding gifts that may soon be coming.
The ring:
In addition to all of your smaller possessions, you now have one big one that should be insured -- the engagement ring. Most carriers consider this a gift, so it should be insured under the woman's policy (or joint policy, if you have one). Check the limits of your homeowners or renters policy because, most likely, your ring won't be fully covered with your other property. Your agent can help you determine if you should add an endorsement to insure the ring.
Combining policies:
When combining your insurance policies, it's a good idea to get your autos and homeowners or renters insurance from the same company. Many insurance carriers give a discount for auto policies with more than one vehicle and another discount for purchasing homeowners or renters coverage with their company.
"When it comes to insurance, two definitely can live cheaper than one," says Dan Kovac, assistant vice president at General Casualty Insurance Companies. For example, General Casualty policyholders receive up to a 5 percent discount for multiple vehicles on one policy and up to a 15 percent discount for multiple polices insured by General Casualty.
However, Kovac warns that if you or your fiance has a poor driving record, don't automatically combine your policies without doing your homework. It may be worth it to keep the poor driver on his or her own policy so you don't bring the good driver's rates up. Your insurance agent can help you decide what's best for your situation.
Other considerations: homes, umbrellas, kids and dogs.
There are several other considerations, too. Here are a few to keep in mind:
If you purchase a house together, make sure your coverage limits are high enough so you could recover in the case of a total loss. Figure homeowners insurance into your monthly budget--it's significantly more expensive than renters coverage.
When you're married, you may find that you have more assets than you did as a single person, which also means you have more to lose if someone gets hurt on your property or you're involved in a serious car accident. For additional protection, you may want to consider an umbrella policy, which offers higher liability coverage limits and more peace of mind.
Couples with step children should make sure the children's belongings are covered in your homeowners or renters policy if they reside with you at least part of the time. They should also be included on auto policies for vehicles that they drive, even if it's just occasionally.
If your spouse-to-be has a dog that will be joining the household, or if you plan to buy a dog together, be aware that certain breeds or dogs with a history of biting could make you ineligible for home or renters insurance with your current carrier because of the added liability. You may have to switch to another insurer in order to stay covered or consider purchasing a different breed. Consult your insurance agent for more information.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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