You’re married! Time for a shared insurance policy?

04 June 2021 Santam

Despite Covid-19, lockdowns and one of the strangest years in human history, you finally said ‘I do’ to your boo. The planning is over, the cake is cut… and now, in between heading on honeymoon, you’ve got the option to make some savvy life decisions together. Like whether you want to share an insurance policy. The biggest reason to share a policy is price and eliminating duplication in covers.

Marius Steyn and Marius Neethling, Personal Lines Underwriting Managers at Santam, say there are a few things to think about when merging policies, “If you want to share a policy, you’ll need to give notice to one of your insurers to cancel your policy. You’ll also need to make provision on your shared policy for new items. If you’re merging households, there’ll be additions to your home contents cover. Ensure the insured amounts are adequate so that if anything happens, you don’t have the possibility of being underinsured.”

Here, Steyn and Neethling chat through the checklist to tick off to share a policy:

Make sure you’ve adequately covered the combined contents of your home:
Getting married often results in a staggering amount of ‘stuff.’ Sometimes you’re merging households. Plus, there are all the weird and wonderful wedding gifts! Which means you and your partner will probably need to update the insured amount of your household contents.

When you take out a shared policy, remember that one person will be the main policyholder and the other, the additional insured. It’s your choice who plays what part.

Some considerations:
? Remember, the main policyholder will be paid out in the event of a claim. It’ll then be up to him/her to pay the additional insured. Insurers don’t get involved in these politics and are in no way responsible if the policyholder does not pay his/her partner. So, trust is important.

? If you both have separate household content policies with different insurers and are wondering which insurer to go with, don’t just pick the lowest premium. Consider the covers, additional benefits, excesses applicable and terms and conditions.

? Get your household contents evaluated (or do this yourselves using an online calculator) so you’re certain you’re adequately covered for the new replacement value of all your combined items.

? When your household contents are on the move between properties, you should notify your insurer of the new address prior to the day you move.

? You have to declare all the security features at your new home. Generally, there will be specific security requirements in order to qualify for burglary and theft cover.

If you happen to have a fight and temporarily move out…
It’s not commonly known, but, if you happen to argue and temporarily move out and take some of your household contents with you, these items will still be covered in your temporary abode, providing this is a private building – not a tent or caravan, for example. This only applies to a temporary situation though – if it’s a permanent split, then you’ll need your own new policy.

Vehicle insurance is also important:
Remember to declare your partner as a regular driver on your policy if he or she uses your vehicle more frequently than you do.

If it really doesn’t work out:
If, sadly, the relationship comes to an end, then you should get your own policy as soon as possible, especially if you have one policy between you, but you’re not the main policyholder.

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