How Do You Spell Responsibility? N-E-W B-A-B-Y

Any new parent will tell you that a new baby arrives with a ton of new responsibility. Your life completely changes. With these changes, it’s important to make sure you’ve got the right insurance to protect your family.

With welcoming your new bundle of joy, insurance is likely the last thing you’re thinking about. But it’s actually really important to take the time to assess your insurance needs. Here is a handy checklist that can help you decide, and prepare you for a discussion with your Insurance Broker, so you can get back to cuddling with your wee one.

Home or Contents Insurance

New babies also come with a lot of stuff. Strollers, car seats and cribs are expensive to replace. With this new addition, it may be the right time to talk to your broker and review your current policy coverage.

Life Insurance

Parents would do anything to protect their baby. But we often forget to consider life insurance as a protection for your baby’s future. If you don’t have life insurance, it’s time to get some. It can protect your young family from debt if the unexpected happens.

If you have a policy (including coverage through benefits at work), is it the right amount? Here’s one way to look at it: How many years of your salary would it replace? What would your partner do after that? Could they keep the house or pay the rent on their own? Would it allow your child to have the lifestyle you’d planned for him or her?

Disability Insurance

An illness or injury can keep you from working for a few months, or longer. Disability insurance can help pay your bills and even cover some of the additional costs you may incur. You may have new expenses like the cost of taxi rides, extra childcare, grocery delivery or housework while you recover.

Critical Illness Insurance

Critical Illness provides a payment if you’re diagnosed with certain serious illnesses or conditions. Heart attack, stroke or cancer are commonly covered, among others. A lump-sum payment can help you avoid borrowing from your savings to pay bills while you get better.

Health and Dental Benefits

If you have benefits through your employment, add your baby to the plan right away. Why cover the full cost of a prescription or service that your plan will help you with?

Coordination of Benefits

Did you know that it matters which plan you claim from first? The rule of thumb is to claim first through the parent with the first birthday in the calendar year.

For example: Chris and Pat have a new baby who required medical attention that came with a price tag of $500. Chris’ plan will cover up to $350. Pat’s plan will cover up to $250. They’re thinking of claiming through Chris’ plan first, because of the larger amount that would be reimbursed. In fact, they need to claim through Pat’s plan first because Pat’s birthday is February 20th, while Chris’ is May 15th. Pat’s birthday is first in the calendar year, which matters when submitting a claim.

Pat and Chris claim $250 from Pat’s plan, then $250 through Chris’ plan, which covers the full $500 expense. They still have $100 of coverage available through Chris’ plan if the need it down the road for a qualifying expense.

Feeling a little too sleep-deprived to put this all together? Your Insurance Broker is available to help. You can use this checklist to talk with them about ensuring you have the right coverage in place to protect your family.