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If you’ve recently got married or are weeks away from tying the knot, you may be wondering, how does insurance change as a married couple?
Even though the marriage itself doesn’t change your insurance requirements and needs, having another person in your life that you care deeply for, and are financially tied to, does.
Marriage, as with other significant life events, is a great time to take stock of your current insurance policies. Now is a good time to ensure that you not only have the right coverage, such as life, disability, or critical illness insurance– but that you have enough of it.
In this blog, we break down what insurance we recommend having as you enter this new chapter of your life and some things to consider as you work on getting and/or updating the coverage you have.
Have specific questions you’d rather speak directly to an insurance advisor about? Contact us today!
Getting married doesn’t significantly change how you obtain or apply for insurance. However, it is a great time to take stock of your priorities and ensure the things you care about are protected.
It’s also a great time to ask yourself:
Do I have the right amount of coverage? If you purchased insurance when you were young and single, your needs might have changed now that you’re married. For example, someone may become dependent upon your income and would feel financial hardship should you become sick, injured, or pass away.
Do I have the right coverage? If you already have a life insurance policy (good for you!), you may want to look at your policy type and think if it’s right for your family long-term. And if not, now is a great time to take out a life insurance policy. Plus, if you don’t have a living benefits policy (such as critical illness), now is the perfect time to get one! Keep reading, or jump ahead to learn more about what these policies can offer!
Do I need to change my beneficiary? If you already have a life insurance policy in place prior to getting married, once you seal the deal, you may want to ensure that your spouse is the beneficiary of your policy.
Marriage doesn’t really impact your health insurance policy. However, if you are married or even common law, you’ll want to look at any health benefits you– and your partner– have in place with your employers. Once you’re married, you can usually opt in (or out) of your spouse’s health and dental plan. Meaning more coverage for things like physiotherapy, massage, chiropractic, vision, etc.
As a single person, life insurance is a good idea and something we still recommend. But as a married person, being protected with life insurance is even more critical.
Think about it, all the financial decisions you and your partner make are based on both of your salaries. What would happen if one of those salaries were one day gone, and now you, or your partner, are stuck paying the debts and bills you both accumulated – on one salary?
That’s something no one should have to deal with.
And in the unfortunate circumstance where you or your partner were to pass, we want to help you do everything you can to avoid financial hardship. That’s where life insurance comes in.
Life insurance provides guaranteed financial protection– for the beneficiary– in case something horrible were to happen to the insured.
Plus, if you’re young and healthy, now is the time to get insured; while you can lock in those low premium rates! And if you’re a young adult wondering what other types of insurance plans you should consider now while you’re healthy– check out our young adult resource page for everything young adults need to know about insurance.
So, now that you know you need– or are strongly recommended to get– a life insurance policy, the question becomes, what type of life insurance policy should you get?
Each person (and couple) is unique, so their life policy should be too! Although there isn’t one best policy, there are a few policy options that all offer different advantages. So depending on your needs, you can pick the one that works best for you. The best part, if your needs change, your policy can too!
Term life insurance is a temporary life insurance policy. You can purchase different term options for a fixed period of time. If you were to pass while your policy term was active, the plan would help cover your debts and care for our family and their financial loss.
Term life insurance provides an affordable and customizable option for people who want protection but don’t have a large budget.
Whole life insurance is a permanent life insurance plan offering guaranteed lifelong coverage. It is there to ensure there is always money for final expenses or to leave a legacy for your family.
Unlike term policies, where your premiums will most likely change once your chosen term is up, a whole life insurance policy provides the benefit of having your monthly life premiums locked in from the age you put your policy in place.
When taking out a policy as a couple, each person can take out their own individual life insurance policy – or you can purchase a joint policy with both spouses named. Typically the options with a joint life insurance policy include joint first-to-die and joint last-to-die, indicating at which period the life insurance would pay out the benefit.
The decision is up to you – we recommend chatting with an insurance advisor to ensure you make the best decision. To compare life insurance policy options, you can also check out our blog post, Should You Buy Term Or Whole Life Insurance In Manitoba?
The price of a life insurance policy is contingent on lots of factors, including (but not limited to):
As so much goes into determining a life insurance policy, we can’t say how much it will cost you. The best way to determine your premium is to speak with an insurance advisor.
Getting married doesn’t automatically mean everything has to change. Some things, like your auto insurance policy, aren’t impacted by this new stage of life. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t changes you can make to help save money.
Even though your auto insurance doesn’t change once you are married, your lifestyle may. A lifestyle change could impact the policy that best suits you.
Do you and your spouse commute together? If you and your partner each have a vehicle but primarily use only one, you may be able to adjust one of your policies to reflect the reduction in the vehicle’s use. This could help your auto insurance premium go down.
Did you and your partner move recently? Don’t forget that if you move, you need to ensure your insurance provider knows. And if you moved from downtown to a quieter neighbourhood, you may even see a reduction in your policy’s premiums.
Getting married is a pivotal trigger event for many couples. It can be a great time to start looking at your coverage options and ensure you have enough (and the right kind of) protection as you start planning for your future as a newly formed family.
On top of life insurance– which we already discussed– we recommend considering the following policies: disability insurance, critical illness insurance, and property insurance.
Disability insurance– or commonly referred to as accident and sickness insurance– protects your most valuable asset: your ability to earn an income. It is a living benefit that would offer you financial protection if you were to become sick or injured and could not work for some time.
If you rely on your income to survive and would be at a loss if you could work for a few weeks (or months!), you need an individual policy.
Critical Illness (CI) insurance offers financial protection that you and your family can use if you– the insured– were ever diagnosed with a covered, life-threatening or life-altering condition.
This is a living benefit, meaning it would pay you a lump sum of tax-free money if approved – while you are still living and recovering. The money received could help cover your expenses so you can focus on getting better instead of worrying about your finances.
For some, marriage means buying a house together. If that’s you, you’ll want to ensure you get a home insurance policy to protect your home and your stuff.
And even if you’re not buying a new home but are moving into your spouse’s home, you’ll want to revisit your property insurance policy together. The existing policy may have enough coverage to cover your partner’s items in case of a fire or theft but may not have enough to cover yours.
That’s why it’s always good to revisit your policy every couple of years, or after big life events, like getting married!
While not an insurance product, considering getting a Last Will and Testament is something we strongly recommend.
This can always be done before you’re married, but once you’ve tied the knot, you’ll definitely want to think about having a will in place.
Similarly, it’s never too soon to start planning for your retirement (trust us, it will happen before you know it!).
Opening up these conversations with your spouse and discussing your financial goals and tactics to get there can help you avoid working longer than you want and help you create a financial plan that can guide you for years to come.
As you work to add on insurance, move over policies, and make changes to existing policies, we recommend you reach out to an insurance advisor (like us!). Not only can we help advise you on what insurance to buy. We can also help you lock in the best rates and even have a few tips and tricks on saving money.
Although getting married does not fundamentally change your existing insurance policies, it can impact the type and how much insurance coverage you need or would want to get.
Getting married is also a great time to:
If you recently got married or are ready to take that step, reach out! We’ll help chat you through all the considerations as you enter this new chapter of life, and where possible, help you find the best rates– because who doesn’t love saving a bit of extra cash?!