Over the course of your life, your insurance needs will change depending on the life events you experience, such as getting married, buying a home, having children, or growing older. Let’s take a look at four major life events and how they will alter your various insurance needs over time.
Getting married involves a number of big life changes, including changes to your current health insurance. If your spouse has a great plan, you may want to consider having them add you to their plan. However, keep in mind that many employers tack on a spousal surcharge, and some employers will not allow your spouse to enroll if they have (or have been offered) other coverage.
Alternatively, you may want to consider sticking with separate plans if you and your spouse have different medical needs. Take a look at your individual plans, such as coverage areas and costs, and determine whether it makes more sense for you to be on the same plan or separate plans.
You will also want to revise your life insurance policies. Make sure that you are named as beneficiaries in each other’s policies or else get a joint policy (which is often cheaper than separate policies). Regardless, make sure you choose a plan that is appropriate for your lifestyle and future possible needs, such as in the event that the primary income earner dies.
Buying a Home
If you plan on taking out a mortgage on your new home, your lender will require you to get homeowners insurance for the duration of your loan. Choose an appropriate policy before you close on the house, compare policies, and have your home inspected. You may also decide this is a good time to bundle your auto and homeowners insurance. Depending on the type of coverage you want, you may need to provide (in addition to your personal details) detailed accounts of your home’s features, safety systems, insurance history, and personal property. If you choose extensive coverage, your home and personal property will be protected against:
- Most weather damage, such as lightning strikes, hail, or frozen pipes.
- Fire, theft, or vandalism.
- Major appliance failure or issues.
However, homeowners insurance generally doesn’t protect against flood damage. If you live in an area that is susceptible to flooding, consider purchasing flood insurance.
Although buying a life insurance policy for your child may seem counterintuitive, there are several benefits to covering your child from an early age, such as:
- Low coverage costs (assuming they are healthy).
- Securing future insurability (in the event they develop a health condition, for example).
- Covering funeral costs (or parental time off) in the event of their death.
However, instead of having separate life insurance policies for each member of your family, you may choose to have a single-family plan that will ensure your entire family is taken care of should anything happen.
As for your health insurance needs, you may choose to add your newborn child to your health insurance policy or switch to a new plan that offers better coverage for your growing family. Take a look at the various options available to you to see which option makes the most sense financially and in terms of coverage.
When you turn 50, you’ll want to start thinking about upcoming changes to your insurance, including any senior discounts you may be eligible for.
- Health insurance. If you meet the requirements for Medicare, you will be eligible for coverage starting at age 65. However, you may be eligible for partial Medicare coverage before 65 if you have a qualifying condition. Additionally, you may want to look into supplemental insurance to cover any gaps in your Medicare plan.
- Life insurance. It’s best to purchase life insurance when you’re young and healthy when it’s cheaper. But as you age, you may realize that you need more coverage than anticipated previously, or you may lose coverage due to a change in employment. The good news: You’ll still have plenty of life insurance policy options to choose from as you age.
- Auto insurance. Starting at age 50, you may be eligible for discounted auto insurance depending on the state you live in, whether you’ve had any recent accidents and other conditions. Otherwise, some states offer auto insurance discounts to people over 65, seniors who take a qualifying driving class, and retired people who drive less frequently. You may also save money by bundling your auto and homeowners insurance.
- Homeowners insurance. Homeowners’ insurance discounts are generally available for anyone who is retired or of a certain age. You may also choose to reevaluate your policy at this time if you realize you need additional coverage for theft, fraud, or repairs.
As we go through life, our insurance needs change. It’s wise to reevaluate your insurance needs every year to ensure that you’re consistently receiving the best coverage and deals.