Getting Married? Time to Talk about Insurance

Your impending nuptials are certainly a time for great celebration. However, along with planning the joyous occasion, you need to consider some of the changes that will likely come along with being married. In many ways, getting married can affect your home insurance due to changes in property ownership regardless of what city you reside in – Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Oakland, Omaha, etc. Your personal liability will also evolve with the addition of a person to your household and that requires a review of your policy. It’s smart to take a few minutes of your time during the wedding preparations to also think about the practical implications of being married.

One thing that you might need to consider even before getting married is the issue of the wedding itself. If you are renting a facility for your wedding ceremony or reception, you may be required to provide evidence of liability insurance. The facility will be concerned about any damage to their building as well as any injury to your guests. If you are asked to provide evidence of insurance, check with your insurer to see if your existing home insurance policy will cover the event. Another thing to consider is the gifts you may be receiving at the event. If you have concerns about the gifts being lost or stolen from the event, check your policy’s wording as to personal property and coverage locations. You might find that you will have some coverage on the home insurance policy.

Once you are married, you should immediately add your spouse to the policy. While a standard home insurance policy is fairly broad in that it defines an insured as all named parties and the residents of your household, it’s much better to have both of you specifically named. Your next step is to evaluate how much personal property coverage is necessary. If you were not living together prior to the wedding, the value of your possessions is going to increase significantly with the value of your spouse’s personal property added to yours. Keep in mind that you also likely received a large amount of gifts for your wedding. These need to be considered in the total value of your personal property, which will likely end up being a large increase on the policy limits.

Along the lines of the personal property coverage, you should evaluate if it will be necessary to add a floater policy for jewelry. Weddings usually involve some gifts of jewelry and those added items might not be covered under your standard home insurance policy. The standard policy has a very low limit for jewelry. Therefore, if you have items of significant value, you will need to purchase additional coverage, generally in the form of a floater policy.

From the standpoint of liability coverage, you should be aware that your policy will now cover both of you when there is a personal liability claim. At the same time, if someone brings a claim against one of you, your joint assets can potentially be attached in the event of a large court judgment. Therefore, you should seriously consider increasing your personal liability limits and purchasing an umbrella liability policy if you do not already have one. The single home insurance policy that you will now have as a couple will need to cover the liability of two people instead of one. Therefore, it’s only logical to increase the limit.

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