Insurance and Finance

Say ‘I Do’ To An Insurance Review

By Jennifer Chappell-Smith 5.19.14

Not all the locals in Rockwall County are aware that the county bills itself the “Marriage Capital of Texas.”

“Hmmm. We do have a lot of churches around here,” says Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent Justin DeLong, an agent who was previously unaware of that fun fact.

On its website, Rockwall County touts the “elegance, heritage, and history” of its marriage certificates as a reason lovebirds flock to this corner of Texas to wed. Wherever you tie the knot in Texas, DeLong says, a review of your insurance needs should be part of your wedding plans.

Sure, a comprehensive insurance review isn’t as fun as picking out china patterns or a location for your honeymoon, but it can get your financial foundation as a couple off to a smart start.

 “People call to add their spouses to a policy, and I suggest they come in after the honeymoon and sit down to go over their new financial circumstances and insurance needs,” says DeLong.

After all, assets can accumulate quickly, such as a new house, two cars, and combined retirement and investment accounts.

“Most of the time, couples are well underinsured, and they don’t even know it,” says DeLong.

Here’s a rundown of the kinds of policies newlyweds should review.

Life insurance

Life insurance will never be cheaper for a couple than when then husband and wife are both in their 20s and in good health.

“Plan for the future by insuring yourself now,” says DeLong.

Older couples who create blended families may not realize how much life insurance they need to help support stepchildren.

“Many times, they discover they are life-insurance poor,” says DeLong.

Making sure your spouse has the financial means to support the family’s lifestyle after you’re gone is the best wedding gift you can give.

Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance

Whether a couple moves into one spouse’s current home or buys a new property altogether, adequate homeowners coverage protects the structure and what’s inside. Younger couples who rent shouldn’t skip a renter’s policy, which covers combined household goods.

DeLong notes some young newlyweds move straight from their parents’ homes into their first private place, so usually renter’s and homeowner’s insurance is new to them. They may not realize how much coverage they need or the liability risk of certain amenities, such as a swimming pool. That’s where an agent can help.

Umbrella policies

Couples with substantial assets may want to consider this kind of policy, which provides additional personal liability coverage beyond homeowners and auto policy limits.

Landowners particularly may want to consider such a policy. DeLong sees it time again: even if someone hops the fence, gets hurt, and it’s his or her own fault, those circumstances can still leave the landowner embroiled in litigation.

Personal articles policy

Any pricey jewels, artwork, or other prized possessions may need this specific coverage.

That lovely engagement ring may not be covered under a homeowner’s policy, which carries a $5,000 limit for jewelry. And a homeowner’s policy also won’t cover a ring if you lose it; however, a personal-articles policy would, DeLong says.

Now and forever

Throughout your marriage and until death do you part, you should schedule a 360 ReviewÒ with your agent every two years.

“No matter what life stage you’re in,” says DeLong, “circumstances can change.”

*Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms, and may vary by situation. ©2014 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance