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]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.