- Assess your insurance needs. Make sure you have the right amount of homeowners' or renters' coverage for your newly combined possessions. Don't forget to insure your beautiful and costly-to-replace engagement ring via an insurance rider to your homeowners' policy. In addition, you may want life insurance to help repay the mortgage and take care of your children, should one of you die unexpectedly. Depending on your age and personal health situation, you also may want to consider disability insurance.
- Consolidate your financial relationships. You each may have an accountant, insurance agent and financial planner. Now that you're a family, you should choose a single relationship in each area – whether that is a current advisor or someone new to both of you. You can rely on referrals from family or friends, or ask for a referral from other professionals you currently deal with and trust. For example, your insurance agent is likely to know financial planners in your community. A financial planner may be able to refer you to a local attorney or accountant.
- Update your records. Make sure you are the beneficiaries of each other's existing life insurance policies.
- Combine your "just in case" files so that you can quickly find important financial documents just in case one of you is incapacitated or dies unexpectedly. The files should include insurance policies, wills and other legal documents (such as trusts, durable powers of attorney, living wills and healthcare proxies). Store originals in a safety deposit box and make sure each of you signs the form to have access to the box.
- Consider combining your health insurance. If you both have health insurance through work, compare the coverage to see if it makes sense for both of you to be covered under one of the plans. It's likely to be less costly to insure an employee and spouse under a single plan. Many plans allow you to add a spouse within 30 days of your marriage without providing proof of insurability. Depending on your personal health situation, you might consider supplemental health insurance, which can help with doctor bills, hospital stays and even nonmedical expenses (such as transportation) if you're dealing with an accident, disability, cancer or critical illness.
Five Insurance Tips For Married Couples
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