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Is marriage insurance a good solution?

With 10 million marriages in America expected to end in divorce by 2015, this probably isn't a bad idea

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Awhile back, I wrote a column about life insurance and ended it with a wishful quip: "Now only if there was divorce insurance, we'd all be rich."

Little did I know that it was already in the works. Sometime this year, John Logan, an entrepreneur from North Carolina, hopes to offer couples around the world the option to buy marriage insurance. His company, SafeGuard Guaranty Corp., is in the final stages of funding this one-of-a-kind program.

"Almost half the families that suffer through divorce spend at least some portion of time at poverty level" as they're forced to set up separate households, says Logan, who spent $35,000 on his own marital dissolution.

He claims divorce creates financial devastation for many people who have to start all over again. "It is the No. 1 reason for bankruptcy and poverty among newly single mothers worldwide."

And a recent study out of Ohio State University found that people lose an average of 77 percent of their net worth during a divorce. (I was a stay-at-home mother when I divorced. How would you calculate the value of that?)

MAKES PERFECT SENSE?

Really, though, it makes perfect sense, doesn't it? We have life insurance, fire insurance, house insurance, medical insurance, travel insurance and even pet insurance -- so why not marriage insurance? With an estimated 10 million marriages in America expected to end in divorce by 2015, getting married appears to be one very risky venture, anyway.

Just ask rocker Rod Stewart, who said, "Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house."

While it seems that I got married and divorced way ahead of my time, Logan is quick to point out that the premise of his idea isn't to get rich from a divorce, but rather to reward couples who "invest in themselves" and stay married for a long time.

"Our goal is to give people real incentive to make their marriages last," he said. So if you buy the insurance and stay married for years and years, the cash benefit will be greater than if you divorce, and your marriage will, literally, be golden.

"We hope divorce is never on their minds because we'd be happy to hand them a very large check after 25 years of marriage," Logan said.

MARRIAGE FRAUD

But wouldn't this encourage people to marry for the wrong reasons?

"Quite frankly, we think few criminals would be willing to pay substantial money into a program for years on a timely basis simply to commit fraud," he said. "More importantly, we won't lose money if they do."

Logan estimates the market for divorce insurance to be nearly $200 billion worldwide.

SafeGuard's CEO can't discuss the specifics of his program, the "secret sauce," if you will, since the patent and funding are pending. But Logan says the base price will be affordable for everyone.

Gee, all this talk about marriage insurance is making this divorced columnist a little soft and sentimental. Hmmm . . . if only the ex and I could start all over again -- I'd eventually own property in the Bahamas.

To contact John Logan of SafeGuard Guaranty Corp., send an e-mail to: john.logan@safeguardguaranty.com. Lynn Armitage, a syndicated columnist from Orange County, Calif., believes the best insurance against divorce is to marry the right person to begin with.


2007 Staten Island Advance

2007 SILive.com All Rights Reserved.