Valentine’s Day 2024 : Insure Your Love
By Michael Giusti
What could be more romantic than insurance, right? Well, as a matter of fact, this Valentine’s Day, couples might do well to pay attention to several aspects of their relationship that could benefit from some insurance coverage.
Each year InsuranceQuotes.com explores the connection between Valentine’s Day and insurance. Whether it’s insurance for an engagement ring and wedding bands, for romantic getaways, for wedding receptions, or for the first joint purchases that come after tying the knot, Valentine’s Day presents a good opportunity to evaluate all the ways couples can fall in love with insurance.
Ring Protection & Insurance
Each year, jewelry theft accounts for nearly $130 million in losses. And while most of that theft occurs at jewelry stores, that doesn’t mean individuals can’t insure their beloved jewelry, too.
Homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance represent the first policies that couples can turn to if something happens to their engagement ring or sparkly Valentine’s Day gift.
Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance have provisions to protect theft or damage to personal property, and that includes jewelry. There are a few details that would be good to pay attention to, though.
First, there are limits on how much coverage any particular piece of jewelry can enjoy — typically $1,500. These policies typically step in for theft and damage, but not something like dropping the ring down the drain, or if it mysteriously disappears.
For most couples, that is probably enough coverage, but if they are looking at a particular pricy piece, more coverage may be in order. The first thing they can do is talk to their agent to raise the policy limits for how much is covered. This tends to be the less expensive route, but it is still limited to just a few thousand dollars.
If the piece is particularly valuable, the couple can then buy what is called a “floater” which will then “schedule” the piece, raising the amount that is covered, and in many cases, increasing the types of things that the piece is insured for — often including loss or accidentally dropping it down a drain.
It is important to keep in mind that if a couple is relying on a homeowner’s or renter’s policy to insure their jewelry, they will have to pay their policy deductible on any claim. And if they live in an area where high deductibles are customary, that might eat into their claim. Also, filing a claim on a homeowner’s policy may mark the couple as a higher risk, potentially leading to higher premiums down the road, or worse yet, the company choosing not to renew their policy the next year.
That is why some couples instead opt for stand-along policies specifically designed to protect jewelry. Some major insurers and some specialty lines offer stand alone jewelry insurance. Like the floater, these policies also protect against more circumstances than a basic homeowner’s policy might — known as “all risk” coverage — even covering in some cases mysterious disappearance.
As an added benefit, the couple doesn’t have to make a claim against their homeowner’s policy if they have a loss.
It is important to know that intentional damage or intentional loss is not covered by any policy. So, if you drop your Heart of the Ocean neckless into the depths of the sea while mourning your lost love, don’t expect an insurer to reimburse you.
Similar to jewelry, other pricy gifts are also protected by homeowner’s insurance. If the gift is something of particularly high value or is a collectible, it is worth talking to an agent about getting it scheduled as well.
When it comes to gifts, one insurance policy many people don’t think about is the protection offered by premium credit cards. Many premium credit cards protect your purchase for a limited number of weeks after purchase from theft, loss, or damage. Cardholders don’t need to take any extra steps to trigger that coverage, but if there is a loss, they may need to take formal steps like file a police report before they are able to make a claim.
Insurance for Romantic Getaways
If Valentine’s plans call for an exclusive getaway to a romantic destination, travel insurance may be worth looking at.
Travel insurance protects the non-refundable prepaid deposits couples are required to pay up front and would stand to lose if the trip had to be called off.
Travel policies cover trip cancelation, as well as trip interruptions. They also offer a health insurance element.
Cancelation coverage steps in if something happens to a member of the traveling party, preventing them from traveling, or if something happens to the destination that makes the trip impossible.
If one member of the couple gets flu a few days before departure, or if they slip and break a leg, cancelation could kick in and protect them with refunds. Things like jury duty and military deployment are also covered.
If the couple misses a leg of the flight during the trip, the interruption portion can help rebook to get the trip back on track. It will also likely cover a hotel and possibly a small allowance for clothing if their bags made the connection, but the couple didn’t.
Speaking of lost bags, the contents of those are also covered by most travel policies.
The health portion of travel insurance is handy if the trip brings the couple outside their health insurer’s home coverage area. The health portion is especially useful for trips abroad where health insurers typically won’t offer routine care without paying extra for coverage abroad or out of network fees.
The health portion of travel insurance pays for routine care, like if that case of flu happened once a couple arrives at their destination, as well as emergencies, like if the broken leg happened on their romantic sunset hike.
The health portion also pays for medical evacuations if the health care system at the destination isn’t equipped to take care of the travelers and they have to be flown to a bigger city with more resources.
According to the UK consumer advocate Which, medical issues make up the largest portion of travel insurance usage, accounting for 28% of claims, followed closely by cancelation coverage, which accounted for 27% of claims.
Wedding Reception Insurance
Romantic trips aren’t the only events that can be insured. Weddings also have policies to protect them.
Wedding insurance typically falls into two categories: cancelation and liability.
The cancelation portion protects the couple if the venue can’t hold the event, or if a key member of the wedding party is sick or injured and can’t attend. Like travel insurance, wedding insurance refunds those non-refundable deposits that would be lost if the event didn’t go forward because of something that is unpredictable and unpreventable.
Often the wedding policies opt first to help pay to reschedule the event.
They can also pay to find last-minute replacements if a key vendor, such as the florist or photographer pulls out at the last minute.
The liability portion of these policies protects the couple if there is damage to the venue or if someone is injured at the event. So, if a drunk uncle slips on the dance floor and dislocates a shoulder, this policy would kick in. If a waiter trips over a running toddler, again, the liability coverage would protect everyone involved.
Some policies take it a step further and protect lost or stolen gifts – offering more coverage than the couple is already getting from a homeowner’s policy.
Some policies do offer “cold feet” provisions, but not for the couple. These policies protect “innocent third parties,” such as if the bride’s parents paid for the reception, but then the groom called off the wedding at the last minute. The parents would get their deposits back, but the couple would still be on the hook for their portions of the bill.
After the couple says “I do,” honeymoons can also benefit from travel insurance.
According to Travelers Insurance, 31% of claims against their wedding policies resulted from problems with vendors, followed by property damage, which accounted for19% of claims.
Postnuptial Insurance Checklist
Once the couple says “I do,” taking a few minutes to consider insurance implications of their relationship makes a lot of sense and prevents problems down the line.
One of the first things they should check would be to make sure all of their new wedding gifts and the rest of their property is covered through a homeowner’s or renter’s policy. They should also make sure to look for separate policies to protect against floods and earthquakes, which aren’t covered by homeowner’s or renter’s policies.
The next thing they should do is see if merging their respective health insurance policies makes sense.
Sometimes one spouse’s employer offers a generous enough premium subsidy that it makes sense to go with just one “employee and spouse” policy. Other times each spouses’ employer subsidies make separate policies a better decision.
If the couple does opt for a single policy, they need to watch out for spousal surcharges that some employers charge if they forego a spouse’s employer-subsidized plan and instead go to one joint policy.
Life insurance is another area that could stand to be considered. Life insurance is meant to replace someone’s income that other people rely on and would be without if that person dies. Life insurance can be especially important if only one spouse works, or if they are looking to grow their family and have kids who would rely on their parents for support.
As a rule, term life insurance policies are almost always the best bet unless there is a tax planning, estate planning, or retirement strategy that makes a permanent policy make more sense. Otherwise, the much lower cost of a term policy tends to serve most couples’ needs.
Joining the couple’s auto insurance policies could also net them some discounts – especially because young married men tend to pay less than young single ones do. And if they are able to bundle this with their homeowner’s policy, they may see even more discounts.
As couples venture out into the wilderness of Valentine’s Day romance, many people may wish there was an insurance policy that could protect them from a bad date.
In 2023, one insurer promoted just such a policy. Their bad date insurance was a breath of fresh air for lonely hearts. The policy would offer the policyholders a refund if their date stuck them with the bill, and it would spot them their reservation cancelation fee if they were stood up. The policy even offered a little extra benefit for selfcare after the catastrophic date — like a massage or a facial.
Unfortunately, the policy doesn’t exist. It was an April Fool’s Day joke. So, for now, at least, couples are on their own when it comes to a bad date.
And, although insurance doesn’t seem like the most romantic of topics and won’t protect someone from being ghosted, many aspects of a couple’s lives could stand to be insured this Valentine’s Day.
Michael Giusti, MBA, is senior writer and analyst at InsuranceQuotes.com