Insurance: What Will You Need?
If you own or lease a car, are in perfect health or have a chronic medical condition, live in a house, conodominium or apartment, you have one or more insurance policies. The last thing that you want to happen after you divorce is suddenly to discover that your policy has been terminated, that you do not have adequate coverage, or that you no longer are the beneficiary on a policy.
The typical kinds of insurance that people discuss in divorce mediation are:
--homeowner's or rental insurance
--disability insurance and long term care insurance
Sometimes people have an insurance agent who handles all of their insurance needs. More often, some policies are part of the benefits provided by an employer (e.g. health insurance, disability insurance) while other policies are bought by people themselves (e.g. automobile insurance). Whether or not a policy is provided through employment benefits or bought on your own, it is important to consider the following questions:
1. How much of the premium is paid by my employer and how much of the premium do I pay for myself?
2. Are there other kinds of policies (e.g. term, whole life, annuities) that can better meet my needs after the divorce?
3. How much are the deductibles, out of pocket expenses, and is there a waiting period before I can receive any benefits?
4. Who are the beneficiaries of the policies? Can the beneficiaries be changed? How?
5. How much coverage will I need following the divorce?
6. How much will the new premiums cost? Are the premiums paid once a year, each month, or on some other schedule?
7. Can the current policy be changed (e.g. from family coverage to coverage for single parent and children)?
8. Does the policy have any exclusions (e.g. pre-existing conditions)?
9. Can I change the policy anytime or only at specific times?
10. For how many years will each policy be needed? When do I qualify for government benefits such as Medicare and Social Security?
During divorce mediation, people share information, think about options, consult with insurance professionals, and make decisions. At the conclusion of divorce mediation, people are able to move on confident that they have adequate and affordable insurance.