Too often, I work with women who are going through a divorce who admit to me that they don’t have their own insurance coverage. “We insured my husband, since he’s the primary breadwinner,” they tell me. Now that you’re on your own and working to understand your finances, you need to think about how you will gain and maintain your financial independence. If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that bad things can happen at any time. We can choose to be prepared for these possibilities, or we can be blindsided. Making insurance part of your budget in the early stages of separation is essential in ensuring your family’s safety, security, and stability. To learn why it’s important for newly separated women to get their insurance in order, we chatted with Nicole Morton, owner of iClick Financial Services, and found out what options you should be considering. – Alicia
If you’ve never thought about your insurance needs, thinking that you aren’t “worth” insuring – you’re definitely not alone. “There’s this very antiquated idea that you should insure the person in the household who is the most important financially speaking,” explains Morton. “First and foremost, we need to shift that thinking. All people, whether you work outside the home or not, whether you earn less than your partner or not, there’s value that you contribute to your household.”
And now that you’re going through a major life change like a separation, it’s time to re-address your needs to give you the peace of mind that your family will always be taken care of, no matter what happens. If you’re newly separated and trying to figure out where to start when it comes to insurance, here are the three most important questions Morton suggests you ask yourself:
Do you have any insurance already?: When working with a client, Morton will always start by asking if they have any insurance already and take a look at what coverage they might currently have. Many people have joint policies where they are covered under a spouse’s insurance, and it’s important to understand how that insurance works and if you have independent control over it or not.
Does your former partner have adequate life insurance to maintain child support payments?: Many people don’t think about the fact that if your former partner is paying you regular child support to help with your family’s needs, life insurance can help ensure that these payments are still made even in the case of death. Make sure that this policy names you as an irrevocable beneficiary, meaning that your former partner can’t make changes to the policy without your consent. You might also want to consider asking your former partner to invest in critical illness and disability insurance for this same reason – if something happens to them and they can no longer work, this insurance would help protect the support payments to your family.
Do you have adequate insurance to cover your fixed expenses if you are injured or diagnosed with an illness?: “Insurance is preparation for something you can’t control,” explains Morton. Now that you’re a single income household, it’s important to think about what you would do if the unexpected happened. If you need to take time off of work to focus on recovery, having sufficient critical illness and disability insurance will help you pay your bills and maybe even allow you to hire some help while you heal.
Remember: you don’t have to do this alone! If you’re not already a money expert, consider hiring a financial team, including an independent financial advisor, an accountant, and an insurance specialist, to help guide you through this process.
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