Falling in love changes everything in your life, including insurance needs. That is especially true for couples who eventually take the plunge and marry.
Once two hearts become one, insurance can help smooth out the bumps that inevitably arise in a couple's life together.
For example, coverage can help protect romantic -- and expensive -- gifts of jewelry. You can even find insurance that reimburses losses if the minister suddenly flees and you have to cancel a wedding.
As Valentine's Day approaches, here are five ways falling in love impacts your insurance coverage.
1. Protecting your sweetheart with life insurance
Purchasing a life insurance policy can ensure your loved one is provided for in the future. There are several types of life insurance, but they boil down to two main categories:
- Term life insurance. A policy that covers a specific period of time -- typically between 10 years and 30 years. If you die within that time frame, your beneficiary receives a death benefit.
- Permanent life insurance. A policy that remains active indefinitely for as long as you pay the premium. It pays out a benefit upon your death and allows you to build up cash in a savings account.
A life insurance policy is a necessity for many couples, says Marvin Feldman, president and CEO of Life Happens, a nonprofit that helps educate people about insurance needs.
"You want to make sure your obligations are paid, and make sure loved ones are not put into a position that is detrimental to their lifestyle," Feldman says.
Term life generally is cheaper than permanent life. But Feldman says you should look beyond price and make sure you choose the right policy based on your needs.
2. Purchasing riders to cover expensive jewelry
Valentines often show their love for one another by giving gifts of jewelry. The right ring, necklace, bracelet or watch speaks volumes about the love two people share.
Most homeowners policies cover jewelry, but may place specific dollar limits on coverage. Insurers typically offer up to $1,500 in coverage per item of jewelry, according to the Insurance Information Institute (
However, you can also purchase a jewelry floater -- sometimes known as engagement ring insurance -- that will increase the dollar level of coverage you have.
At Farmers Insurance, available limits for additional jewelry coverage on a homeowners policy range from $1,500 to $50,000 per item, and up to a combined amount of $100,000 per policy, says Mario Menesse, head of home and umbrella coverage for Farmers.
Rates vary based on a number of factors, including the cost of the item, the potential for future loss and where you live.
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3. Buying special event insurance for your wedding
For many couples, new love eventually and inevitably leads to the altar.
Today's weddings are expensive. The average cost is now nearly $30,000, according to a 2014 study by The Knot website.
Special event insurance -- sometimes called "wedding insurance" -- reimburses deposits with vendors and other nonrefundable expenses if you have to cancel the event due to circumstances such as:
- Bad weather.
- A no-show on the part of a vendor or wedding official (such as a minister or rabbi).
- The death or illness of a family member.
People who purchase wedding insurance also generally have the option of buying liability coverage in case someone is injured at your wedding. However, the
Aon subsidiary Affinity Insurance Services offers wedding insurance through its WedSafe program.
WedSafe policies begin at $75, and the average premium is $200, says Steven Lauro, a vice president at Aon Affinity who manages the WedSafe program.
Other insurers offer similar plans. Travelers Wedding Protector Plan starts at $160, and Geico offers coverage that costs between $100 and $1,000.
4. Deciding whether to combine car insurance and health insurance
Couples who marry typically sign up for one single car insurance policy. And in many cases this makes sense, says Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.
"Statistically, married couples are lower-risk drivers than their single counterparts," she says. "So insurance companies offer a discount to married couples who combine their policies."
But in some situations, combining policies may not be the best idea.
For example, if one spouse has had a DUI or a history of driving infractions, separate policies might actually be cheaper.
5. Considering disability insurance to protect your family in case you can't work
Young couples may feel invulnerable and don't have disability insurance at the top of their minds, Feldman says.
However, a sudden illness or injury can quickly deprive even the healthiest workers of their income.
In fact, more than 1 in 4 of American 20-year-olds will experience a disability sometime during their working years, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration.
For such workers, disability insurance can be a lifeline.
In most cases, purchasing a group short-term or long-term disability policy through your employer is the most cost-efficient option, Feldman says. Group coverage also means you are less likely to be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, he adds.
Coverage is also available on the private market. Costs will depend on factors such as the applicant's health status and occupation.