Congratulations! You're combining your lives, but should you combine your insurance? We'll walk you through what to consider for your auto, renters, condo, and homeowners insurance policies after you get engaged.
When should an engaged couple get on the same auto insurance policy?
This is a bit of a trick question because what matters is not whether you're engaged, but where you live and if you regularly drive each other's vehicles.
If you don't live together and you only very occasionally (or never) drive your partner's car, you don't need to list each other on your policy. However, if you live together and ever drive your partner's car, you should be listed on the policy. The reason is that if you get in a crash, the insurance company may consider you to be someone who has regular access to the vehicle. Anyone with regular access usually needs to be listed on the policy and included in the price for there to be coverage.
Let's get through this, together.
Once you get married, you will want to call your insurance agent for two reasons. First, most insurance companies require that you list your spouse on your policy, even if you exclude them from coverage. Second, many insurance companies offer discounts to married couples. Might as well get that discount!
Should a couple be listed on the same renters insurance policy?
This really only matters if you live together. If not, you should keep your own renters insurance.
Some insurance companies do allow unrelated partners to be listed on the same policy, while others require separate policies, so if you are interested in combining policies, you'll have to ask your agent if it's possible.
There's no problem with keeping two separate renters policies until you get married. Once you are married, though, update one of your polices to add your partner and cancel the other. While most renters insurance policies automatically cover anyone related to you living in the same household, there are some additional things to consider:
- Some renters insurance companies give married couples discounts which you'll want to take advantage of.
- Since your belongings and your partners belongings are both covered under the same policy, you'll want to increase the limit to fit your combined stuff.
- If you don't disclose your spouse and there's a claim involving them or their stuff, the insurance company may consider you to have failed to disclose relevant information. This could cause a problem with your claim.
If you do choose to combine policies before your wedding date, in addition to making sure you have enough coverage for your stuff, also check whether your liability limit is high enough. In most states, married couples can only be sued as a unit, if, for example, there's an injury in your apartment. Unmarried couples, however, can be sued individually, so if you're both found liable, you're competing for the same total liability coverage.
Should an engaged couple share a condo or homeowners policy?
This really comes down to who owns the property. If you're both on the deed, you'll want to both be listed on the condo or homeowners policy so you're both protected if there's, say, a fire, or an injury on your property.
If one of you owns the condo or home and your partner is moving in, the best solution is for the partner not on the deed to get a renters insurance policy. This is because many insurance companies will not add a non-owner, non-relative to a condo or homeowners policy.
Condo and home policies generally cover all relatives living in the home automatically, so technically once you're married, your partner is covered too. However, you'll want to call your agent to get your new spouse listed on the policy to take advantage of any discounts and to adjust and personal property limits to protect their stuff too.
Can we both be listed on an umbrella policy?
Umbrella policies vary more than home and auto policies. In general, both partners will need auto insurance and a renters, condo, or homewoners policy to be added to the umbrella. You'll need to call your agent to find out if you can add your partner before you get married and to make sure they are added as of your wedding date.
What about other kinds of policies?
For other kinds of policies, you should call your agent or insurance company to ask. Health insurance in particular follows a completely different set of rules, and you'll want to make sure you understand your options well in advance of any deadlines for changes in coverage.