Are you 'insurance compatible'? How to find the right mate through insurance clues
A match made in heaven is great. But matching two peas of the same insurance pod can be just as good. And finding your perfect insurance match may even give you a better shot at surviving some of life's ups and downs.
"Couples can manage different household or parenting goals and outlooks, but the financial part can be critical to a relationship succeeding," says Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., a psychotherapist and author of “Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage.”
"If you're on the same page with things that impact your long- and short-term financial planning, the relationship becomes much easier and has a much higher success rate," she says.
Spotting a good insurance match
One of the best ways to avoid heart break as a result of insurance incompatibility is assessing your mate's behavior before you “put a ring on it." Having adequate insurance protects your financial future; without sufficient coverage, you could go bankrupt if you cause significant injuries or property-damage to yourself or others.
Whether you're speed dating, blind dating or regularly dating someone, Tessina says the following tip-offs can help you spot an undesirable insurance personality.
He doesn't know his insurance agent's name. If your question of "I'm thinking of switching insurance companies, what’s the name of your insurance agent?" is met with a blank stare, beware! Not having a clue about who to notify that you're getting hitched and deserve a "married" discount on car insurance is a sign that this fellow isn’t paying attention to his policies -- or might not be insured at all!
He's a cheapskate. Put your heart on hold if he suggests exchanging 99-cent cards instead of going out to dinner on Valentine's Day. He could be penny pinching his insurance, too.
"Since money is often one of the most common fights couples have, it's smart to have similar expectations when it comes to spending," says Tessina.
He drives with reckless abandon. Does he want to have a record full of violations and car insurance claims? Not only will this jack up his car insurance rates and show that he doesn't have his eye on that safe-driver discount. Tessina says this level of irresponsibility will probably permeate other areas of your relationship.
"This behavior is not easy to change," she adds. Ask yourself: Do I want to share a car insurance policy with this person?
She fails to follow through. Sure, you might be able to overlook your sweetie's habit of forgetting to buy cereal or fill up the gas tank. But failing to follow through could also lead her to fail to comparison shop for good auto insurance quotes or forget to drop collision coverage on her old car. That will cost a bundle.
He cheats on his taxes or steals from work. This could also mean he's willing to try to scam his insurance company, leaving him without coverage – or even in jail. Unless you’re both cheaters, you might be insurance-incompatible.
"If one partner cheats about, spends or loses money without telling the other, persistent fights are in the couple's future," predicts Tessina.
A look into your incompatible future
Figuring out whether you’re insurance compatible can help you avoid the situation that millions of other couples now face. A recent State Farm Life Insurance Co. survey shows that even though couples recognize the importance of talking about insurance, money and spending habits, they simply aren't doing so.
Women are the biggest culprits of sidestepping the all-important "money talk”: Sixty-four percent of women say they're too stressed out by other financial pressures to talk about life insurance. Guys are stressed out too, just not as much as women. Turns out 47 percent of men say stress has them falling silent when it comes to discussing a host of insurance subjects.
The State Farm survey also reveals that even though 62 percent of lovebirds recognize that life insurance is more important now than before the economy tanked, a whopping 74 percent rarely or never talk about it with their main squeeze.
Here's how Tessina suggests you might approach your insurance-compatibility investigation.
- Find the right setting. Pick a neutral spot in the house where you're both comfortable to ease all that stress.
- Find the right time. Waiting until the end of the day when you're both cranky and tired from work increases the odds of a disagreement.
- Compare notes. Make lists of what your insurance goals are and compare them to find some common ground.