Insurance for non-married couples

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
An030815
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:26 pm

Insurance for non-married couples

Post by An030815 »

Good morning friends!

I am 29, engaged, living in a rural village in NY.

My question for you all is...if you are in a relationship but not married (for simplicity let's say you plan to stay together long-term), how do you (or would you) handle insurance policies?

We currently have two separate car insurance policies, I have renter's insurance. She does not. I am thinking of getting a $1M umbrella policy. We don't own any property.

I have one vehicle: a paid-for 2011 Subaru Forester with 138k miles on it. I use it for daily commute to work 5 days a week about 10 miles one way. She is leasing a 2012 Honda CR-V with probably ~90k miles, also used for daily commute about a mile from home. I am pretty obsessive with maintaining the condition of my vehicle. I try to do the same with hers. Neither one of us have any moving violations/accidents.

We are renting an apartment, have similar (modest) salaries and we don't own lots of valuables. We don't have any jewelry, except for one engagement ring. We don't own any guns, no family heirlooms, and don't keep cash in the apt. We have a young, well-behaved dog.

She has a 401k with maybe ~10k.
I have a ROTH IRA with 4k.

We have no other investments (but hopefully in the near future!)

Should we be combining all the insurance policies?
Is the umbrella necessary if we don't have very high net worth? (I've read pretty extensively on the forum on this one, but it seems skewed for people with higher net worths)
Any other insurance coverage we should be considering (other than health insurance, which is taken care of)?

Please, ask any questions if I didn't give enough info.
I appreciate your thoughts.
User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 6015
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by Pajamas »

Personally, I wouldn't combine any insurance policies until there is a legally-recognized relationship beyond that of being roommates, such as marriage or domestic partnership. You probably can't share policies, anyway.

Renters insurance doesn't generally cover roommates so each of you should have a policy if you don't want to self-insure.
User avatar
dm200
Posts: 23148
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by dm200 »

An030815 wrote: Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:44 am Good morning friends!
I am 29, engaged, living in a rural village in NY.
My question for you all is...if you are in a relationship but not married (for simplicity let's say you plan to stay together long-term), how do you (or would you) handle insurance policies?

We currently have two separate car insurance policies, I have renter's insurance. She does not. I am thinking of getting a $1M umbrella policy. We don't own any property.
I have one vehicle: a paid-for 2011 Subaru Forester with 138k miles on it. I use it for daily commute to work 5 days a week about 10 miles one way. She is leasing a 2012 Honda CR-V with probably ~90k miles, also used for daily commute about a mile from home. I am pretty obsessive with maintaining the condition of my vehicle. I try to do the same with hers. Neither one of us have any moving violations/accidents.
We are renting an apartment, have similar (modest) salaries and we don't own lots of valuables. We don't have any jewelry, except for one engagement ring. We don't own any guns, no family heirlooms, and don't keep cash in the apt. We have a young, well-behaved dog.
She has a 401k with maybe ~10k.
I have a ROTH IRA with 4k.
We have no other investments (but hopefully in the near future!)
Should we be combining all the insurance policies?
Is the umbrella necessary if we don't have very high net worth? (I've read pretty extensively on the forum on this one, but it seems skewed for people with higher net worths)
Any other insurance coverage we should be considering (other than health insurance, which is taken care of)?
Please, ask any questions if I didn't give enough info.
I appreciate your thoughts.
My son has been in several live-in relationships in the last few years and, in two cases - including the current one - has his car's insurance under the name of the woman (both happened to be USAA).
User avatar
Edie
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri May 06, 2016 4:03 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by Edie »

Also, umbrellas do more than protect your current assets, they protect you from claims against your future income as well. If you have a judgement against you of 500k, you'll still owe whatever's left after they take what they can get from you now. You should both have an umbrella policy, since until you are married, each policy won't cover the other person.
123
Posts: 6735
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by 123 »

Spouse has two cousins who jointly inherited a house (paid off). One lives in with their spouse and the other lives elsewhere (receives some rent from the cousin living in the house). Their homeowners policy names all 3. The cousin who lives elsewhere is considered an "additional insured" since she has an ownership interest in the property and therefore would be impacted by any loss.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
sailaway
Posts: 2529
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by sailaway »

You are going to have to make some phone calls. Car insurance is pretty straight forward, but there may be discounts for domestic partners, which is not a legal relationship in the US. When we looked into it, some companies did offer domestic partner policies, others only had boxes for legal status. I imagine the same will be true for other kinds of insurance, as well.

Full disclaimer, we we're looking at the height of the marriage equality debates, and some companies were happy to get around it by recognizing domestic partners, so I don't know if that is still true.
User avatar
goingup
Posts: 3971
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:02 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by goingup »

At 29 with a modest salary and no assets you don't need an umbrella policy. Carry adequate car insurance.
kaudrey
Posts: 1061
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:40 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by kaudrey »

My fiancé and I have combined our car insurance - I added him and his car to my policy. We live together. We also both have umbrella policies. The house insurance on where we live (my house) didn't change, although we added a rider to insure the engagement ring.

Once we get married, we'll put him on my health insurance; right now he has insurance through ACA since he is self-employed.
User avatar
Pajamas
Posts: 6015
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:32 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by Pajamas »

sailaway wrote: Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:44 am domestic partners, which is not a legal relationship in the US.
Depends on the state. Some states legally recognize domestic partnerships or civil unions in addition to marriages of various types.
sailaway
Posts: 2529
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by sailaway »

Pajamas wrote: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:07 am
sailaway wrote: Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:44 am domestic partners, which is not a legal relationship in the US.
Depends on the state. Some states legally recognize domestic partnerships or civil unions in addition to marriages of various types.
Huh, turns out I live in a domestic partnership state.
soccerrules
Posts: 1057
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:01 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by soccerrules »

goingup wrote: Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:52 am At 29 with a modest salary and no assets you don't need an umbrella policy. Carry adequate car insurance.
+1
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.
golfCaddy
Posts: 728
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:02 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by golfCaddy »

I don't see an umbrella as necessary, although it still might be desirable. In the unlikely event, you had a judgment against you for more than your primary policy limits, you could file Chapter 7 bankruptcy to have it discharged. With a net worth near zero and retirement accounts protected from creditors, anyway, you don't have much to lose in bankruptcy except your credit rating. Some umbrella policies allow you to include excess UM/UIM. For that reason, it may be to your benefit to consider an umbrella even if you have no assets to protect.
Rupert
Posts: 4122
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by Rupert »

If you maintain separate auto policies, make sure you add each other as authorized drivers on those policies if you ever drive each other's cars. Most insurance companies require you to notify them of other people living in your household who regularly drive your car.
investor997
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by investor997 »

Rupert wrote: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:14 pm If you maintain separate auto policies, make sure you add each other as authorized drivers on those policies if you ever drive each other's cars. Most insurance companies require you to notify them of other people living in your household who regularly drive your car.
I ran into this situation with my GF (who lives with me). We each own our own cars (and policies) but I own the home in which we live. My insurance company told me she wouldn't be covered if she borrowed my car because she lives at the same address but they didn't have her name down as a licensed driver in the same household. I tried to combine our policies but they wouldn't let me do that either since we weren't married. In the end, I made some calls and went with a different insurance company that had no problems with us being unrelated. We now have a shared auto and condo insurance policy that allows us to drive each others' cars without any worries.
User avatar
dm200
Posts: 23148
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by dm200 »

investor997 wrote: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:39 pm
Rupert wrote: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:14 pm If you maintain separate auto policies, make sure you add each other as authorized drivers on those policies if you ever drive each other's cars. Most insurance companies require you to notify them of other people living in your household who regularly drive your car.
I ran into this situation with my GF (who lives with me). We each own our own cars (and policies) but I own the home in which we live. My insurance company told me she wouldn't be covered if she borrowed my car because she lives at the same address but they didn't have her name down as a licensed driver in the same household. I tried to combine our policies but they wouldn't let me do that either since we weren't married. In the end, I made some calls and went with a different insurance company that had no problems with us being unrelated. We now have a shared auto and condo insurance policy that allows us to drive each others' cars without any worries.
Interesting - since (as I posted) my son has been on each of two different girlfriend's' USAA auto policies. It might be specific to the insurance company and/or the state.
Rupert
Posts: 4122
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by Rupert »

dm200 wrote: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:55 pm
investor997 wrote: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:39 pm
Rupert wrote: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:14 pm If you maintain separate auto policies, make sure you add each other as authorized drivers on those policies if you ever drive each other's cars. Most insurance companies require you to notify them of other people living in your household who regularly drive your car.
I ran into this situation with my GF (who lives with me). We each own our own cars (and policies) but I own the home in which we live. My insurance company told me she wouldn't be covered if she borrowed my car because she lives at the same address but they didn't have her name down as a licensed driver in the same household. I tried to combine our policies but they wouldn't let me do that either since we weren't married. In the end, I made some calls and went with a different insurance company that had no problems with us being unrelated. We now have a shared auto and condo insurance policy that allows us to drive each others' cars without any worries.
Interesting - since (as I posted) my son has been on each of two different girlfriend's' USAA auto policies. It might be specific to the insurance company and/or the state.
In my state, State Farm and USAA definitely require notice of any other unrelated (as in, not a family member) driver in the household who regularly uses the car. You notify them, and the other driver's name actually appears on your written insurance policy as an authorized driver of the car. It doesn't typically increase your rates unless the authorized driver has an awful driving record. My state does not permit you to buy a joint policy with a person in your household that you have no legal relationship with.

Edited to add this speculation: The purpose of the policy might be to prevent people from achieving lower rates by only insuring the one good driver in a household, even though multiple residents of the household use the vehicle.
Topic Author
An030815
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:26 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by An030815 »

Thanks for your insight, everyone.

On whether or not to get an umbrella policy: I tend to be a "better safe than sorry" consumer. Currently shopping around before renewal time. We'll see how the rates are. Good to know the tip on filing for bankruptcy.

On the authorized drivers: We rarely drive each others vehicles, but we really should do this for my peace of mind.

But really...what we should do is hurry up and get married! Ha!
User avatar
Hayden
Posts: 1377
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:13 pm

Re: Insurance for non-married couples

Post by Hayden »

I'm surprised by some of the responses. All of our policies, including the umbrella, cover us both. We've never had any issue getting a policy that names us both. Suggest you call an insurance agent in your state and ask.
Post Reply