Bob Effner

What's your idea of financial security?

Bob Effner
630-584-0001|St Charles, IL
Sunday, November 29, 2015

Getting Married Requires Talking About Insurance

Soon you and your fiancé will promise to have and to hold each other, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do you part. However, you both need to discuss your finances, including insurance coverage, before or shortly after saying your vows.

Have you and your partner talked about money? It can become a source of conflict for newlyweds if they don’t have similar expectations.

Spend a minute or two separately filling out this assessment and then compare answers.

1. Will you have a monthly budget?

          a. Yes, we will use a budgeting worksheet/computer program for

              all expenses.

          b. Yes, we will have a set amount to spend on what ever we want each month.

          c. No, we will just buy what we want whenever we want.

          d. I don’t know.


2. Who will pay the bills?

          a. I will.

          b. My spouse will.

          c. We will share the task.

          d. I don’t know.


3. Will you have a joint-checking account?

          a. Yes.

          b. No.

          c. We will have a joint account and our own money.

          d. I don’t know.


4. Does your future spouse have any credit card debt?  

          a. No.

          b. Yes, but we plan to pay it off soon.

          c. Yes, but we have not talked about it.

          d. I don’t know.


5. What will you do with extra money (money left over after paying bills or work bonuses)?

            a. We will make extra mortgage payments.

            b. We will save it for retirement.

            c. We will buy new clothes, appliances, or whatever we want.

            d. I don’t know.


6. Will you have an emergency fund?

            a. Yes - about 10 percent of our income.

            b. Yes – about $500.

            c. No – We’ll have enough savings.

            d. I don’t know.


7. What will you do about car insurance?

            a. We will each keep our own insurers.

            b. We will use one company because we will get a multi-vehicle discount.

            c. We will only have one car because my spouse will use

                public transportation.

            d. I don’t know.


8. Do you have life insurance?

            a. We feel we are too young to need it.

            b. Our employers provide life insurance.

            c. Our auto insurance provider also offers life insurance.

            d. I don’t know.

Now compare answers. If you both chose the same answers for any or all of the questions, it is good that you’re on the same page. However, it doesn’t mean that you have chosen the most suitable option.  Spend time talking about what you will do for each of these situations, even if you both made the same choice.

Insurance is another crucial element of financial security that must be taken into account by engaged couples and newlyweds.

To help, here is a checklist of insurance needs to talk about:

  • auto insurance
  • home or renter's insurance
  • life insurance
  • health insurance

Auto Insurance

Married couples pay less than singles for car insurance.  If you and your fiancé do not have the same insurance company, you should combine your policies in order to be eligible for our Multi-Car Discount.

You can also save money on auto insurance by successfully completing a state-approved driving course or by having an anti-theft device on your car. 

Home or Renter’s Insurance

Whether you own or rent a home, you must make sure you have adequate coverage for your home’s structure and your possessions. We offer a multi-policy discount for customers who purchase homeowners insurance along with auto, life, long-term care, and/or disability insurance. There are also discounts for having alarms, new electric wiring, and other household safety precautions.

Life Insurance

Life insurance provides money for the surviving spouse to pay for various expenses, including funeral, daily living, and mortgage.  This insurance is especially important if one or both of you have a number of debts (e.g. student loans), if you have bought a house, or if you plan to have children soon.

When talking about life insurance, you will need to decide between term and whole life insurance.  Term life insurance only covers someone for a set amount of time, such as 15 years.  Whole life insurance accrues value and can eventually earn a return. 

Health Insurance

If you and your fiancé both have jobs with health insurance coverage, then you will need to determine how to maximize your benefits from these two plans.  One important factor is whether your doctor is covered in both—if you switch to your partner’s health care plan, your favorite doctors may not be included under it.  If this is important to you, you should consider keeping your own plan or having your partner join yours.

Also, analyze the specific benefits to each plan.  For example, if your insurance plan has excellent dental coverage but no vision coverage, and your partner’s has a great vision plan with limited dental, you may consider switching if you have poor eyesight but rarely have dental problems.  Compare the out-of-pocket expenses you acquire throughout the year with the cost of your plan. 

Another consideration is disability income.  If you or your spouse becomes disabled and cannot perform required job duties, you may lose an income.  If you cannot afford to live on one person’s salary, you should evaluate your health coverage plans to see if and how disability income insurance is provided.

I can help you achieve financial security, no matter where you’re starting from. You can trust me to provide you with customized solutions and a plan to help you balance your current needs with your desire to build for the future. Contact me for more information.

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