Marital Trouble? Consider Divorce Insurance!

You already have home insurance, car insurance, life insurance, and maybe even health insurance—why not insure your marriage, too? For around $16 per month, a North Carolina company called SafeGuard sells “units of protection” that could be worth $1,250 if your marriage implodes in divorce. The company claims that it wants to help defray the costs associated with legal fees and finding a new home, but the insurance, called WedLock, comes with plenty of catches.

To keep embattled couples from buying up insurance on their way down, the company waits two years before allowing policies to mature. If you divorce before then—which wouldn’t be surprising if you feel the sudden need to purchase divorce insurance—the premiums are lost unless you pony up extra cash for extra insurance.

Why not just save the money yourself?

“There is nothing to stop your spouse from raiding those investments and taking it all. And then with all the money gone, you’re left with all the legal bills,” said [John A. Logan, chief executive officer of SafeGuard Guaranty], who said the idea for the product came from his own experience with a financially painful divorce. In addition, the company’s Web site makes the argument that most people don’t have the discipline to save consistently.

We can see how a clever divorce lawyers could turn the insurance into a liability, if not go after the payments themselves as part of a settlement. It also doesn’t seem very cost effective. Ten units of protection worth $12,500 would cost nearly $4,000 over two years in premiums before you could collect, money that could be better used to stock your freezer with Hungry Man TV dinners.

Divorce Insurance (Yes, Divorce Insurance) [The New York Times]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    reminds me of some muslim women i once met working retail. they were buying up multiples of small portable expensive collectibles like limited edition watches. i asked them if it was gifts and they explained that it’s their practice to have things like that in case of marriage failure. during the marriage they get to spend as much money as they want [and since it was a wealthy family there was a lot to spend] and if their husband divorces them they don’t get to keep any money but any material goods purchased during the marriage are theirs to walk away with. so small portable things like jewelry, collectibles, gold, etc are their major purchases. things that are easily sold for cash.
    i guess that’s traditional marriage insurance for them

  2. dumblonde says:

    It’s better insurance and cheaper to pay a lawyer a couple hundred dollars to cook up a prenup.

  3. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I would imagine the time and money would be better spent going through (religious or secular) pre-marriage counseling. As a atheist (aka non-believer to the Catholic Church), my wife and I were required to go through Pre Cana in order to get married in my wife’s church.

    I really didn’t enjoy the process at the time but we were able to get a lot of the uncomfortable discussion out in the open. Things like how many kids we wanted, our current financial conditions, our careers, views on marriage & divorce, whose career would take priority, how active the in laws would be with future offspring, willingness to move, etc.

    Of course, things can change over 10 or 20 years but I’ve known many couples whose divorces were rooted in the above issues.

    • MaliBoo Radley says:

      I find myself endlessly amazed by the idea that people don’t sit down and have this conversation for themselves, without intervention. Marriage is a huge step. You’d think people would think to talk it all through first. As an Atheist (like yourself) who married an Atheist, we didn’t have any sort of church based (or otherwise) councilor or the like. We just figured that we should probably have a bit of a chat before taking the big plunge. 11 years later, it feels like that chat payed off.

      • Big Mama Pain says:

        I agree completely. It really is a no-brainer, ESPECIALLY the children thing. Another one high on my list would be religion- marriage in a church and a pre cana would have been a deal breaker for me, hahaha.

      • roguemarvel says:

        its amazing how many people don’t. We talked about most of those questions before we even got engaged, even early in dating. But when we went to the couples retreat so many couples were just amazed by the questions, they had never thought about them at all and some where getting married shortly after the retreat. There were a few questions that we hadn’t thought of but for the most part we were pretty bored since we had talked about everything several years before hand.

      • halfcuban says:

        It is often lamented that people “lack committment”, but the reality is that people have committment in spades; what they don’t have is the discrimination to decide what they want to be committed to. Children, jobs, living arrangements, who takes out the trash, all these things matter at some point another. And in many cases its stuff that if talked about before hand can either be negotiated or compromised on before. That way it doesn’t come as an earth shattering surprise down the road, when someone presumes the other person always wanted X or Y all along.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I think many subjects, especially related to careers and who would have priority, are uncomfortable so the topics are avoided or both partners make assumptions. My wife and I dated for a very long time and lived together even longer before getting married, so most of that stuff was already out in the open. We knew we wanted 2 or 3 kids, she moved twice to further my career, etc.

        I’m old enough now that several waves of my friends have already been divorced. It seems to always come down to money or children. When it’s a situation where one partner wants to have kids and the other absolutely does not, it’s amazing how this subject was avoided for so long or how one partner thought s/he could convince the other to change.

        • MaliBoo Radley says:

          Heck, if people are uncomfortable talking about those kinds of things with someone they want to marry, they should think twice about the whole marriage thing. If you can’t talk to your intended about everything, why on earth would you marry them? Maybe my idea of marriage is a little different from the average. I dunno.

    • Riroon13 says:

      The pre-marriage ‘Cana’ that the Catholic church puts couples through is amazing. While I am not Catholic, my wife is. And while we had many a ‘sit down’ talks between ourselves, with newly-married friends, parents, etc, prior to our experience, the Cana did bring up a stray question or two that no one had thought of yet.

      And since my then-fiancee and I knew each other well, we spent a lot of our time ‘people watching’ (our Cana was a couple’s retreat situation that was done on a campus over the course of a weekend) and making fun of other couples, imagining who wasn’t going to make it a year, predicting bridezillas, etc.

      FWIW, 17 years and counting, baby!

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Ours was very similar. Our Pre Cana was mandatory because we were considered “high risk” due to cohabitation and an interfaith relationship. We needed to go for the Bishop to allow our marriage — I also had to agree to “perform my husbandly duties” and consent to having my children raised Catholic.

        We had the option of taking classes once a week for six weeks or going to the retreat from Thursday to Sunday. It was easier to just get it all over with at once. The retreat was actually very nice — it was out in the country, the food was good, the other couples were pretty much in the same boat as us, and we got fairly generous amounts of wine at night to encourage discussion. It really wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I was totally prepared to defend my beliefs, get into dumb arguments about religion, lots of biting my tongue, etc. but it never happened.

        The event was very secular and the actual religious parts (outside of the Sunday mass) were more general spiritual/interfaith kinds of things (we actually had a Jewish couple go through it too). Most of it was taught or facilitated by a marriage counselor who was a professor at the nearby university.

        Because we were older and already living together, a lot of it felt like it was designed for very young adults who had really never been out in the world or lived with anyone besides their parents. The only ridiculous part of it all was the “natural family planning” sessions which were a joke. But all in all, I think it was a good experience. Some of the things that we talked about for the first time included our credit scores, as well as our views on adultery and divorce.

        • kennedar says:

          I hated the natural family planning sessions but now that we are trying for a family, I wish I had paid more attention! The theories that they teach in pre cana are the same as what you pay a ton to have taught to enhance your fertility. The only difference is that when you are trying you use the theories in reverse! So to any couples going through pre cana, please pay attention! You will wish you had one day!

  4. dreamfish says:

    This combined with that other American invention, pre-nuptual agreements, could only kill off the romance in a marriage.

    • dumblonde says:

      I disagree about prenups killing the romance. What’s important is that there’s a meeting of the minds when you make it and just be honest with each other. Or maybe I just think that because we are both lawyers and we didn’t think it was a big deal; just a nice way to avoid getting sued.

    • JMILLER says:

      How does a prenup kill off romance? If the marriage lasts, then there is no worry. It is kind of like marriage insurance in itself. IF it fails, you know what is supposed to happen before. If it works out, then there is nothing to worry about. I personally feel a pre-nup should be done on every marriage by law, and then renewed every year. If we are going to have marriage it should not be an eternal contract. Every 2, 3 or 5 years it should be reviewed and renegotiated. Circumstances that there is no way anybody could forsee can and WILL happen. Why should it be a financial disaster for both parties. Negotiate while you still like and love each other, not when you are bitter and demented.

  5. Dutchess says:

    Sounds like Prepaid legal…..a worthless expense

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      Tell my father in law that. He’s been in that for a year or more, and denies that it’s anything but helpful and tries to enroll EVERYBODY AND ANYBODY. I feel like it’s more of a pyramid scheme myself…

  6. SilverBlade2k says:

    Maybe if prenup agreements were mandatory for marriage, we’d have a lot less divorces

    • giax says:

      Well, prenup IS he insurance.

      Still wtf with that insurance? My marriage is worth a lot more, but sort of like my life – it’s priceless when I’m alive.

  7. EarthAngel says:

    If you have Wedlock insurance and you get divorced, you still have to pay for everything out of pocket and then file a claim.

    People used to stay married for the children. Now they stay married because their maturity period hasn’t expired on the divorce insurance policy. That would suck for you if your claim were denied because your spouse filed for divorce 2 days before the policy’s maturity date.

    • Riroon13 says:

      And here we have the reason this insurance won’t work. I can imagine p.o.’ed spouses counting their days on the calendar to (figuratively speaking) ‘pull the trigger’.

  8. Big Mama Pain says:

    A lot less marriages would end in divorce if people were honest with themselves and married for the right reasons.

  9. yankinwaoz says:

    Naw…. we just get the bulk rate discount in our family. Your 10th divorce is free!

  10. energynotsaved says:

    I would have been better served with anti-bimbo insurance!

  11. ihatephonecompanies says:

    Best way to prevent getting shafted at your divorce is to not get married.

  12. marlathetourist says:

    Do they sell gift cards? This could be my new go to wedding gift.

  13. MakingAMillionDollars says:

    This is funny yet kind of interesting at the same time. If you think about the probability of getting into a car accident in your life time is 1 out of 4 and we pay thousands for car insurance. The chance of getting divorced are over 50% or 2 out of 4 and is way more expensive than replacing an entire car. Maybe it would make since to get divorce insurance if it was reasonable and actually effective in cya. Just a thought?

  14. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    The name is genius.