The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is getting into the marriage game. Literally.
It has launched a new interactive game called I DO Adventures that leads to a colorful insurance tip sheet studded with fun facts from sources like The Wedding Channel and The Knot for the newlywed couple looking to make smart insurance choices in four major lines: Auto, health, life and home.
The post-honeymoon game features a cartoon fox couple driving a convertible red jeep in a tropical forest while trying to avoid — with the help of an owl named Ollie and your quick fingers on the keyboard — perils such as falling logs, tropical fruit and large eggs before reaching their tiki hut. As objects pummel the jeep or stop it, advice to ask tough questions on personal factors affecting future insurance coverage pops up. Players are counseled to ask their state insurance commissioner if they are unsure about how to approach insurance coverage and estate planning. At the end, once the fox couple reach their destination, the tip sheet comes up.
The NAIC took the light-hearted approach to educating couples after a survey it commissioned revealed that many couples had not fully examined sensitive topics that relate to adequate financial protection and insurability later, such as the betrothed’s driving record, beneficiaries in the case of death of one or both spouse and health conditions. The Research Now consumer panel of 500 couples was completed in August.
The survey found that while 62 percent of engaged or newly married couples ages 25 - 34 rated designating a beneficiary as important or extremely important to discuss pre-wedding, only 42 percent even broached the subject of whether or not they will have enough life insurance before tying the knot.
With regard to auto insurance, 61 percent of couples ages 18 - 24 talked about combining auto policies before marrying but only 30 percent cited their spouse’s driving record — a key factor in calculating premiums — as an important topic to discuss before marriage.
On health coverage, 84 percent of the surveyed respondents ages 18 - 24 said it was important or extremely important to share details about pre-existing health conditions before marriage. But by the wedding, only 73 percent had addressed the topic of whose health insurance to keep, the NAIC reported.
Again, the focus for newlyweds is on future fun, it appears, no matter the age. Before tying the knot, recently married couples ages 55 and older were more likely to have discussed their entertainment budget than their life insurance coverage (50 percent vs. 40 percent, respectively), the NAIC survey found.
The survey found that 85 percent of engaged or newly-married couples over the age of 55 said a pre-marital discussion about insurance beneficiaries was important, yet only 40 percent talked about life insurance coverage amounts while they were engaged. A year after the wedding, 33 percent of recently married couples 55 and older still had not discussed life insurance as long as one year after the wedding.
To address these gaps, the NAIC is trying to reach engaged couples to schedule a pre-wedding sit-down to address misunderstandings in all insurance-related areas of their lives together.
Visit InsureUOnline.org for the NAIC's tips for engaged couples and newlyweds, including the Insurance Survival Guide for Newlyweds and the new “I Do Adventures” game. InsureUOnline.org also provides access to each state’s insurance department for unbiased insurance information specific to where you live.