OK I’ll admit it. Sometimes I sneak over to The Nest (theknot.com’s site for newlyweds) even though we aren’t married yet. A girl has to plan ahead ok?! Most brides already know about The Knot and probably the nest too, but in poking around over there I found some good advice for newlyweds. Actually, this is just good advice, period. And there were quite a few tidbits that were new (to me):
10 Insurance Tips for Newlyweds
1. Location, location, location. Homes close to fire hydrants and fire stations cost less to insure.
2. Lucky sevens. Not sure how much life insurance coverage you really need? Start by multiplying your annual salary by seven, say some experts (but talk to an agent about your specific situation). Why this much? Experts figure this is the minimum amount your spouse should get in the unlikely event of your death. You want enough coverage to handle debts and medical and funeral expenses, and to help make up for the loss of household income.
3. You can retire on “permanent life.” “Permanent life” may sound like a cryogenic deep-freeze straight out of a sci-fi movie, but it’s actually a useful kind of insurance in the real world. A permanent life insurance policy is a kind of long-term insurance that accrues value over time. You sock a certain amount into the policy every year, it builds and builds, and you can cash it out if you need it. That’s why some couples think of permanent life insurance as a backup for their retirement savings plan: If you and your honey want to cash out your policy for expenses once you reach happy old age, you can.
4. Save the music. You can add tape and CD coverage to your car insurance policy so that if your music is stolen from your car you can replace what you lost. This extra coverage is an inexpensive no-brainer if you just can’t drive without your entire Neil Diamond collection.
5. You live in a potential flood zone. In recent years, almost 25 percent of all flood insurance claims came from areas no one considered high risk. The fact is, pretty much everybody lives in a potential flood zone. But keep in mind that most home insurance policies don’t cover damage or losses due to floods — it’s an extra policy you have to buy separately. (We’re talking about natural-disaster-type flooding here — home insurance policies do cover damage caused by plumbing overflows or washing machine freak-outs.) Costs vary depending on where you live, but flood policies start at around $120 a year.
6. The high cost of huskies. While the official position of dog lovers is “judge a dog by his deeds, not by his breed,” many insurers take a different view. Some companies will not insure your home (or will charge you more) if you own certain breeds of dogs — including pit bulls, rottweilers, and huskies. Why? In recent years, dog bites have been at the root of about one-quarter of all home insurance liability claims.
7. Little taupe Corvette? It’s a myth that auto insurance companies charge higher premiums for red cars. What does impact premiums? Your age, your claims history, and the age and model of the car you drive.
8. Weighty matters. Because extremely overweight people are more likely to develop health problems as they grow older, life insurance companies often charge them higher premiums. But just to be clear: That’s a caution for the extremely overweight — you won’t see a difference in your premium costs if you put on a few pounds over the holidays.
9. If you can sell it, you should insure it. If your home is damaged by fire, you don’t want to find out after the fact that your homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover your computer, your garage, or the 1,300 still-in-the-box Star Wars figurines you were planning to sell online for a profit, because they’re all considered “business assets.” If you run any kind of business from your home, large or small, make sure to cover your assets with a rider or a separate policy (shop around to see which is more economical).
10. New kids on the block. Homes that are less than 10 years old or have been completely renovated within the last 10 years cost less to insure. And if your home is made of fire-resistant materials, like brick and masonry, you can save even more money.