Newlyweds and Insurance: 5 Do’s For When You Say “I Do”
Getting married is an exciting time in the life of a young couple, but it’s also a time when financial matters can go overlooked. The newlywed stage is one filled with ideals of what could be, and let’s face it: insurance planning just isn’t that sexy. Even so, you want to take steps to ensure that your future together is secure. That’s why we’ve compiled these five do’s to take care of before you say, “I do.”
1. Life Insurance: Get the Right Amount.
The general rule when dealing with life insurance is to buy as much as you can as early as you can. With age, whole life policies, in particular, become more expensive, so buying early will ensure adequate coverage. One other rule for picking an amount is the rule of seven — as in buy seven times the amount of your gross salary. Experts say this will cover your spouse for up to 10 years if something should happen to you. If children are involved, make sure they’re your secondary beneficiaries should you and your spouse die together. Not a pleasant thought when you’re thinking about your life together, we know. But even early on, you should plan ahead.
2. Location And Insurance: Learn Geography.
This doesn’t mean you should learn the 50 states — though it certainly wouldn’t hurt — but it does mean that when buying that first home, you should pay attention to safety risks. For instance, homes located near fire stations are much less to insure. Also, a community’s insurance rating will result in lower rates all-around. If your home is located in an area prone to earthquakes and flooding, rates could be higher, and standard policies probably won’t cover natural disasters. Consider picking up flooding or natural disaster insurance to avoid being left out in the cold.
3. Auto Insurance: Drive Sensible Cars.
This tip is especially for couples, who marry young. Auto insurance rates can be expensive for people under the age of 25 (males especially). When you’re starting out and money is tight, you need to control costs as much as possible. Keeping car payments low and safety features high will serve your family budget well, especially in the newlywed stages.
4. Health And Life: Get Fit.
Body weight can affect both health and life insurance coverage, especially as our bodies get older and more goes wrong. Being overweight makes insurance companies uneasy about offering coverage, and combined with other behaviors like drinking and smoking, will spiral costs out of control. Eating right and getting plenty of exercise will not only improve the quality of life, but also the quality of coverage. Start young, and stay on top of it.
5. Homeowners Insurance: Make Smart Decisions.
When buying a home there are signs you can look for to keep premiums affordable. One of the biggest: buying homes with a relatively recent history. Specifically, homes built in the last 10 years (or newly renovated within that length of time) take less to insure than homes built in historic districts. They also better incorporate stronger building standards, not to mention they’ll save additional funds via improved energy efficiency. If building a house, use brick and other strong building materials. And if you plan to pick out a dog, check with your agent to make sure the company doesn’t have restrictions against pit bulls and other high-risk breeds. Same goes for if you insist on owning an exotic pet (i.e. pythons).
Finding the right person to spend your life with will enrich it in so many ways. But the newlywed stage lasts for only a short while in the grand scheme. Your marriage is a trust built on longevity. Secure that future by making wise insurance decisions today.