Why Couples With Assets Should Bundle Their Insurance Newlyweds are older in age and bring more assets to the table than ever before. Here are 3 reasons why couples should look at packaging their insurance. BY JOANN KRAEMER
Packaged insurance will make understanding your coverage easier, along with closing any potential holes.
Today, newlyweds come in all shapes and sizes—specifically, more couples wait until their 30s or 40s to get married. In fact, during the past 50 years, the average age of marriage in the U.S. has risen by five years for both men and women to 25 and 27, respectively. Considering the number of people embarking on second or third marriages, the needs of today’s newlyweds may be dramatically different than that of their parents or grandparents.
The insurance needs of newlyweds have changed, too. In the 1960s, most couples had little personal wealth starting out—perhaps a car or an apartment. Their insurance needs were simple: an auto and home policy with average liability coverage added for good measure. In contrast, today’s couples who have waited until they were a little older to get married may have as many as two or three cars; multiple homes (the most likely scenario that each person had a home before getting together); and recreational vehicles, such as boats, campers or jet skis. They likely also have more assets/personal property and wealth that need to be protected with higher policy limits and liability coverage.
Newlyweds who have many joint assets should consider combining all their insurance policies into one package policy for maximum protection and ease. Trying to get all of your paperwork in order after a marriage can be difficult and time consuming as you may already know, especially when you are juggling insurance policies for a few cars, homes and recreational vehicles.
Couples need to take stock of their belongings and whether they have enough insurance to cover everything. Among the questions they should ask:
1. Have you accumulated a lot of valuables? The standard homeowners policy has a $1,500 limit for items such as jewelry, watches and furs and $2,500 for silverware. Over time, these limits may no longer be sufficient.
2. Do you have a lot to be liable for? People who have much to show for their years of hard work need to take a look at their personal liability limits. This coverage is often included in auto and home insurance policies and protects against personal injury lawsuits. Having low limits may expose personal assets if coverage is not adequate to cover a large loss.
3. Will you end up paying too much out-of-pocket? As time goes by, people acquire things—automobiles, houses and secondary items, such as boats and vacation properties—and these items often necessitate separate insurance policies. By combining everything through a "package policy," newlyweds will simplify their bills and lower the amount paid out of pocket in the form of one standard deductible applied to any loss. This can mean significant savings if a large loss occurs.
A package policy can be the ideal solution for a couple with more complex insurance needs. These policies have the ease and convenience of one deductible, one bill and one renewal date. A package policy can also provide comprehensive insurance protection and higher coverage limits than the standard policy. The result is greater peace of mind.
Another benefit to a package policy is that it can help reduce gaps in protection that may exist with simple "standalone" policies. Auto, home and other policies that are written on a standalone basis or through different insurance companies have a tendency to leave gaps in coverage, which can result in unforeseen out-of-pocket "surprises" at the time of a loss. By securing a package policy, these financial surprises can be avoided.
Joann Kraemer is a director of product development at MetLife Auto & Home. Kraemer has more than 20 years experience in the insurance industry. MetLife Auto & Home is a brand of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company and its affiliates, Warwick, RI.