CHICAGO — Valentine’s Day is the ultimate couples holiday and a popular time of year for weddings and engagements. It’s also a smart time to think about the insurance issues that arise when two consider becoming one, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
“Insurance might not be the most romantic thing to think about on Valentine’s Day, but taking time to evaluate and update your insurance coverage can help get your relationship off to the right start,” said Chris Hackett, PCI’s director of personal lines. “Insurers want to help you make the best insurance coverage choices, so it’s important to contact your agent or company to talk through options as you plan for your future.”
PCI recommends the following insurance tips for couples:
Check your jewelry coverage. If anything happens to that sparkly ring, you’ll want to make sure it can be replaced. Homeowners and renters insurance policies generally cover up to $1,500 if jewelry is lost or stolen. For more valuable jewelry, you may want to consider a special add-on to your current policy or a separate policy. It’s also a good idea to get a written appraisal of jewelry at the time of purchase.
Consider bundling your policies. If you and your partner have separate auto insurance policies, call your agents or companies to inquire about bundling your policies. Then pick the company that offers the best coverage options for the best value. Auto and homeowners coverage also can be bundled, and some companies offer discounts for purchasing multiple policies.
Understand the details of your policies. Marriage and other life changes can affect your insurance needs, so it’s important to make sure you have a solid understanding of what your policies do and do not cover. On the homeowners side, check on whether your policy pays replacement cost or actual cash value for a covered loss. Replacement cost is the amount necessary to rebuild a home with construction materials of like kind and quality. Actual cash value takes depreciation into account. On your auto policy, review your comprehensive and collision coverage as well as towing and rental car coverage. It’s also important to know your deductibles. Higher deductibles can keep the cost of insurance more affordable.
Investigate coverage options for renters. Renter’s insurance is an affordable and easy to purchase. Policies generally cost $10-$30 a month and can help cover the cost of replacing personal items damaged by fire or theft, for example. It also can provide accidental injury coverage for guests.
Shop around. It’s always a good idea to periodically compare your coverage with offerings from other insurers, but be aware that the lowest cost isn’t always the best option. You can also inquire about discounts that may be available. Having a good driving record, taking steps to safeguard your home, and purchasing multiple policies often can reduce your costs.