Marriage is a significant life event for every one of us. It doesn’t only symbolize the love and declaration of commitment between two people. It also brings about a multitude of changes, from combining households to merging responsibilities.

Updating insurance plans is one of the practical considerations every newly married couple should make. It's a proactive step toward financial harmony and security between them.

Here are the most common post-marriage insurance coverage adjustments to remember:

Health Insurance

If you have health insurance through your employer, you may be able to add your spouse during the plan's open enrollment period. This can also be done outside of the enrollment period, often within 30 days of getting married.

However, be sure to check your plan details and start the process promptly to avoid gaps in coverage. It’s highly recommended that you seek professional guidance in this case. While it costs something, it’s not that high compared to the costly mistakes that may happen.

Besides, professionals can also help you with other matters related to your health insurance. For example, you can ask them if you have questions about how long you have to report income changes to Medicaid or any Medicaid laws preventing spousal impoverishment.

Moreover, if one spouse’s job doesn't offer health insurance or the cost of adding a spouse is prohibitively high, shopping for a new plan together might be the best route. The married couples' plan can offer a wider range of benefits, potentially including maternity coverage, which individual plans often do not.

Here are some examples of new health coverage options for couples:

Family Floater Health Insurance plan - It’s designed to cover the entire family under a single policy with a single premium. This plan can provide comprehensive coverage, including in-patient treatments, pre- and post-hospitalization expenses, and maternity benefits.

Critical Illness Insurance plan - It offers a lump sum payment if either spouse is diagnosed with a severe disease specified in the policy. This can be greatly helpful in managing the financial burden during such tough times.

For couples who are in good health and want to save for future health expenses, Health Savings Account (HSA) compatible plans are recommended. These plans often have lower premiums, and the money saved in an HSA is tax-deductible, grows tax-free, and can be used tax-free for eligible medical expenses.

Auto Insurance

Combining auto insurance policies as a married couple can often lead to cost savings. According to the Insurance Information Institute, many insurance companies offer a multi-car discount, which can significantly reduce your premiums if you insure more than one vehicle on the same policy. Depending on the insurance provider, these discounts can range from 10% to 25% off your premiums.

Additionally, if you and your spouse are considered safe drivers with clean driving records, you may qualify for lower rates. Plus, married couples are statistically seen as less risky to insure, leading to further potential discounts.

However, this isn't always the best route for every couple. Here are some indicators that may suggest rethinking your shared auto insurance policy:

Significant differences in driving records - If one partner has a significantly less clean driving record than the other (e.g., multiple accidents or traffic violations), this could inflate the cost of a combined policy. It might be more cost effective to maintain separate policies in this case.

Discrepancies in car usage - If one spouse uses their car significantly more than the other (e.g., for work commutes or long-distance trips), this may result in higher premiums for a combined policy. Consider separate policies if car usage differs substantially.

Diverse car values - If one partner drives a luxury vehicle while the other drives a more modest car, the insurance rate could be higher than if each partner insured their car separately.

Before combining your auto insurance plans, determine whether it’s right to do so. Then, compare quotes from multiple insurers to ensure you get the right deal.
Remember, the goal is not just to save money but to obtain the right coverage that suits both your needs and budget.

Homeowners/Renters Insurance

If you're already covered by a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, be sure to add your spouse. If both partners own property, consider consolidating homeowners or renters insurance into a joint policy.

A consolidated policy typically simplifies the management of insurance policies, reduces insurance costs, and provides better liability coverage. Don’t forget to reevaluate your coverage and deductibles together to ensure the policy covers all your combined possessions.

However, note that a consolidated policy means joint liability. In other words, any claims made against one policyholder will impact both. For example, if one spouse has a higher risk factor (for instance, they run a home-based business that increases the likelihood of property damage or personal injury lawsuits), this could potentially increase premiums or risk for the other spouse.

It’s also equally important to understand the implications of policy cancellation. If your joint policy needs to be canceled due to a claim, it can affect both individuals' ability to get affordable coverage in the future. Hence, always discuss cancellation terms and consequences with your insurance provider to fully understand the potential implications.

Final Thoughts

Amidst the hustle and bustle of post-wedding bliss, it's important to reassess your insurance coverage in order to navigate unforeseen circumstances together. While it may not be as exciting as planning a honeymoon or decorating a new home, ensuring that both partners have proper insurance coverage is a crucial step in providing a stable foundation for your shared future.

Author's Bio: 

Alex is a professional writer and digital marketing expert.