New changes in life bring a flurry of business and excitement. But don’t forget to review your insurance policies when these significant events happen, to make sure you are getting the coverage you need and take advantage of available discounts.
If you recently got married, Dave Ramsey recommends re-evaluating four different types of insurance policies: homeowners/renters, life, auto and health. Depending on how many possessions you have as a couple, you might need to increase coverage limits for your homeowners/renters policy, as Nerdwallet’s Alex Glenn shares. If you don’t currently have life insurance, it’s definitely a wise idea to invest in this policy to help provide financial stability in the likelihood of your death. Per Glenn, that’s especially true if you share a mortgage that one of you couldn’t afford alone, or you have debts that the other person would inherit. Car insurance is another policy you’ll want to revisit. Per The Balance contributor Emily Delbridge, most carriers will let you change coverage mid-policy if you need to add a vehicle and/or a driver to the current policy. You’ll also want to update health insurance coverage. According to Healthcare.gov, you typically have a 30-day period after you get married to add a spouse to your employer-based health policy.
Change in family size
If your family is growing, you’ll want to revisit health and life insurance policies, per Ramsey. For health insurance, you’ll typically have the 30-day special enrollment period that newlyweds have, for updating your coverage. For life insurance, you’ll likely want to add the new child as a beneficiary on your plan. This will help ensure their financial future is bright in the rare case that you die before they’ve reached a financially-independent age. Per Ramsey, you can always take the child off your life insurance plan once they’ve reached adulthood.
While a new job doesn’t necessarily call for an updated auto insurance policy, if you’re changing to a new career it might benefit you to do so. Per Ramsey, auto insurance carriers sometime offer annual discounts for certain job roles like if you’re a doctor, teacher, lawyer or law enforcement officer.
Adding a new vehicle to you “auto family” is similar to adding a new child to your health and life insurance policies. To add a new vehicle to your policy, Ramsey advises contacting your car insurance carrier. Provide the agent with the vehicle identification number (VIN), make and model of the vehicle.
If you’re about to leave the workforce to begin retirement, you’ll want to re-evaluate life insurance and auto insurance. Per Ramsey, you might want to opt out of a life insurance policy, especially if your retirement fund is sufficient for your spouse to live on after you’ve died. Per Nerdwallet’s Alice Holbrook, some auto insurance carriers offer discounts to retirees. If you have a solid driving record and plan on driving less, it’s easy to secure one of these discounted rates.
Per Ramsey, homeowners or renters insurance has a content coverage provision, which insures every possession within your home, in the event it gets damaged, lost or stolen. However, you should consider modifying your policy whenever you purchase an expensive item like jewelry, antiques, cameras, computers and musical instruments.
Home upgrades like redoing the kitchen or bathroom, or adding a swimming pool out back, are another scenario that calls for a potential change to your insurance policy. Per Ramsey, sometimes carriers offer a discounted rate if the renovation involves installing safety features like smoke alarms.
By implementing these strategies, you can enjoy more peace of mind knowing that you and your family have the coverage that suits your unique life phase. That way, you can focus on enjoying the present and spend less time worrying about the future.