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AAA Mid-Atlantic: To Have and to Hold – and to Insure
AAA offers expert tips to help couples insure their happily ever (before, during and) after
PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 12, 2017) Wedding season is in full swing and one of the last things on a bride and groom’s mind is insurance. What does insurance have to do with the sparkle of the engagement ring, the wedding photos of your friends and family or the unbelievably tacky gravy boat your Uncle gave you as a gift? Quite a bit, according to AAA.
Your Ring….and that Gravy Boat
Before the wedding, many couples are showered with gifts, not to mention a very sparkly gift for the bride-to-be - an engagement ring. Generally, personal possessions are covered under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies but there may be a limit on the amount covered for theft. Typically, items such as jewelry are limited to $1,000 to $2,000. To properly insure your engagement ring as well as the bridal shower and wedding gifts you received, consider purchasing additional coverage through a floater (also known as an endorsement).
“Before purchasing a floater, the items covered like an engagement ring, must be professionally appraised,” says Tom McManus, VP of Insurance for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “As for gifts, keep any receipts and add the new items to your home inventory.”
Floaters are available as an addition to homeowners and renters insurance policies, carry no deductibles and frequently provide the option of having the insurance company replace the item for you. In reference to engagement rings, prices vary depending on the type of jewelry, the insurance company you choose, where you live and where the item will be kept.
Cancelling the Chicken Dance or the Honeymoon
Special event insurance can come in handy and provide financial protection if you have to cancel or postpone a gathering due to adverse weather and natural disasters such as hurricanes. Most policies also provide coverage for cancellation due to the death, illness or serious injury of a key participant in the event, such as members of the immediate family. Also, if an officiant, such as a minister or rabbi, or a key vendor, like the caterer, florist or photographer, does not show up, you can recover some of the costs. Prices vary depending on the amount of coverage you need.
“If you decide to hold your event at home, you may want to purchase liability insurance above and beyond what is provided under your homeowners policy,” said McManus. “If your event is held at a location such as a hall, restaurant or other event facility, check to make sure have their own liability insurance.”
Additional riders may include coverage for:
Military service - in the event the bride or groom is in the military or active reserves, and is suddenly called to duty.
Gowns and tuxedos - includes stores going out of business or damage to the clothing.
Honeymoon - in case you need to cancel your trip due to illness, bad weather or other circumstances.
After all of the planning and partying for the “big day,” many brides and grooms take off on a honeymoon. Insuring the trip and your health while on the trip might help the new couple relax a little more. Trip cancellation and interruption coverage can help get you out of a bind if you must cancel a trip due to an illness (think a bit more serious than the common cold), death of an immediate family member, mandatory evacuation order or other misfortune outlined in your specific policy. And if said tragedy happens to you or an immediate family member during travel, forcing you to cut your trip short, most policies would reimburse you for the unused portion of that trip.
Because your traditional medical plan may not cover you while traveling abroad, the happy couple may want to purchase International Medical Insurance for long-term and short-term travel. It is designed to meet the needs of international travelers looking for temporary medical insurance coverage while traveling outside of their home country. In addition to medical benefits, the plan includes coverage for emergency medical and political evacuation and repatriation.
And the Two Policies Become One
If you are merging two households, you may need to update your homeowners insurance. Couples should look at their own individual policies and insurance companies and determine which company offers the best combination of price and service. The same can be said of auto insurance. Couples may find additional savings by switching insurance companies and bundling both home and auto policies. It may be worth considering an increase in your insurance coverage for any new valuables received, such as wedding gifts, and for jewelry, such as wedding and engagement rings.
After getting married, it’s also important to review your life insurance needs. There will be loans and other debts to pay off. At this stage, it makes sense to protect what you have. Life insurance is a traditional way of ensuring that the surviving spouse is taken care of in the event of a tragedy. Coverage considerations should be made depending on whether both spouses are working or if one is currently dependent on the other’s income.
The primary purpose for life insurance is to provide a spouse, children or other beneficiary with resources in the event of the premature death of the other spouse. There are two basic types of life insurance:
Term insurance provides a simple death benefit for a fixed period of time. The premium may stay the same for many years. However, when the stated term expires, the premium can go up.
Cash value insurance, as the name implies, provides permanent protection as long as you pay the premium. The premium does not increase over time. The younger a person is when buying the policy, the lower the premium will be for the life of the policy. But because premiums remain level, cash value coverage tends to be more expensive than term insurance.
If you have questions about and of your insurance needs or any gaps in your coverage, please contact a local insurance agent at 866-AAA-4YOU or aaa.com/insurance. AAA has also posted a helpful “Floater" video at AAA.com/TV.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.