Sure, you're busy dealing with all of the many details that go into planning your wedding. But there are a few things you should definitely make time to do to ensure you're protected. We asked an insurance agent to tell us what he wishes every couple knew.
Mike Tiffany, Kansas City, Missouri
Mike, an Allstate Agent who got married four years ago, dishes on why you should be thinking beyond guest lists, dress colors and favors.
I wish couples knew...to immediately insure the ring.
My wife pretty much had her sights set on one specific ring that was designed at a local shop. The store held it for me until I picked it up and went off to propose. We had it insured the very next day. The ring needs to be completely covered in case something happens to it—whether that's loss, theft or damage. It's not just another bauble; its value is even higher than what it symbolizes. It's so easy to add the ring to either your existing renter's or homeowner's policy, or create a new policy. And it probably costs a lot less than you think—definitely less than the cost to replace it. We had a client who was hiding his ring from his girlfriend in his car, which was unfortunately broken into, and the engagement ring was lost forever. He didn't carry renter's coverage, and auto policies won't cover items like this. So don't get caught in the lurch!
I wish couples knew…to combine insurance policies.
Once you get hitched, you should combine renter's or homeowner's and auto policies. You know the old saying: “What's mine is yours and what's yours is mine." Oftentimes you get a discount for bundling. Combining insurance for me and my wife was a no-brainer. Not only did we get to cut down on renter's policies by combining; we also saved a ton by putting the cars on a policy together. Once we were married, we also set up some modest life-insurance policies to protect each other in the event of something unforeseen. If you're not sure what you need exactly, meet with an agent who can advise you on what a combined policy for you and your spouse will look like. We were fortunate because my brother-in-law was our insurance agent, and I felt like we had a trusted adviser. It all sounds complicated, but it's not; ask for an agent recommendation from a good friend. Every couple has different needs, and you want someone who can help guide you through all of life's changes, from when you get married to buying a new home to having kids.
groom and bride with wedding rings
I wish couples knew…to get event insurance.
Many brides- and grooms-to-be don't know that they can insure their wedding. What if a vendor drops out? What if your venue suddenly goes out of business? Event insurance can help you get refunds for your deposits if there is a cancellation. Plus you'll have liability insurance in case a medical emergency or damage occurs during your event. The hall we used to hold our wedding reception and the park where our wedding was held already had event liability insurance, so I didn't take out a policy. I wasn't an insurance agent at that point, so it didn't cross my mind. But knowing what I know now, I would absolutely buy event insurance if I had to do it all over. Again, a policy is really inexpensive and can give you peace of mind. If your insurance company doesn't offer event insurance, a representative should be able to direct you to a reputable company that does.
I wish couples knew…to cover valuable wedding gifts.
My wife and I used a “pay for our honeymoon" site in order to avoid receiving too many household gifts because we already had a lot. But we did receive some heirloom china that we had appraised in order to make sure we weren't exceeding the limits within the policy. Keep in mind that china, silverware, goldware, even artwork are all wedding gifts that might need additional insurance coverage. Most household appliances—even that sexy $400 stand mixer—are generally covered in your regular homeowner's or renter's policy. What you're looking to add more coverage to are things that are collectible, irreplaceable and accrue value quickly. Get a list going and talk to your insurance agent, who will know what your policy limits are. And don't forget to check in with your agent once a year—or whenever you've made a life change—to make sure everything is up-to-date.