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How marriage impacts insurance coverage

Posted by Scott Stueber, CPCU, CISR, AAI on Aug 16, 2022 10:03:10 AM

GettyImages-136596474 (002)If your child is getting married, you know how much time, effort, and money are involved in wedding planning. From invites to menu selections, there’s always something to do. When the wedding day ends, you may feel relieved and think everything has been taken care of; they’re finally on their own.

What may get overlooked throughout it all is insurance coverage.

For example, under a personal auto policy, the definition of who has coverage includes "family members." Family members are limited to “a person related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption who is a resident of your household.” Once your child is married and moves out of your home, they no longer meet the insurance definition of a family member. This can lead to gaps in auto insurance coverage if your child lived with you before getting married.

If your child is overwhelmed with everything that’s happening, here’s some insurance information you can share:

  • Auto insurance requirements can vary by state. While each state may have minimum coverage requirements, these requirements may not be enough should an accident occur. More information about basic auto insurance coverages and why adequate insurance limits are important can be found here.
  • The process is simple if one of the newlyweds already has an auto policy. All they need to do is call the current insurance agent and have the other person added.
  • If neither has an auto policy in their name, they’ll need to start from scratch and get a policy that will provide coverage for both. Consider referring them to your agent if you’ve benefited from a long-standing relationship.
  • If they’re renting, renters insurance is a must. In college, they may have had some basic personal property coverage extended to them through your homeowners policy. Now that they have a place of their own, they’ll need a renters policy to provide coverage for:

- Personal Property – Clothes, shoes, TVs, and video game consoles 

- Personal Liability – If someone is injured in their apartment due to their negligence and that person submits a claim or files a lawsuit against them, their renters policy will help protect them. A common limit for Personal Liability coverage is $100,000.

- Additional living expense – If a loss covered by a policy makes their apartment unfit to live in (think fire or tornado), their renters policy will cover any necessary increase in living expenses they may incur while trying to maintain their usual standard of living.

  • If they’re fortunate enough to buy a home, their mortgage company will require homeowners insurance. Now they may be able to combine their home and auto under one policy.

Do you have any suggestions or information you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you. Please share them in the box below.

This article is intended for general educational and illustrative purposes only and should not be construed to communicate legal or professional advice. Further, this article is not an offer to sell insurance. Please consult with your licensed insurance agent for specific coverage details and your insurance eligibility. All policies are subject to the terms, conditions, limitations, definitions, and exclusions contained therein.

Topics: Home Insurance, Auto Insurance

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