People buy insurance to financially protect themselves against undesirable events – house fire, health problems. But now people can "protect" themselves against a marriage gone wrong.
With only a 50 percent chance that a first marriage will last in the United States, some people are buying into the idea that they need divorce insurance. The idea became reality in August when John Logan, a man who suffered great financial loss after a divorce, launched WedLockDivorceInsurance.com.
For as little as $16 a month for every $1,250 coverage, policyholders can cash into the divorce coverage after four years if the unfortunate but not unforeseen happens.
On WedLock's website, it admits no one wants to think about divorce when the person is about to get married. But it points potential clients to a long list of "statistics [that] don't lie" showing divorce is prevalent in U.S. society.
According to the prediction of the U.S. Census Bureau, only 33 percent of people who marry today will reach their 25th anniversary.
The site also features a large counter that shows there have been 686,025 divorces in the U.S. so far this year (at the time of the article), according to the National Center of Health Statistics.
But not everyone is a fan of the divorce insurance and the idea it plants in a marriage.
Jenny Tyree, marriage analyst for CitizenLink, the political arm of Focus on the Family, said divorce insurance builds into a marriage an "escape plan" rather than setting it on the foundation of strong marital commitment.
"This divorce insurance plan is someone trying to make the best out of a bad situation," Tyree commented to The Christian Post. "But a financial incentive for divorce is a terrible way to begin a marriage."
"When the going gets tough, which it inevitably will in every marriage, that money might look better than the hard work required by the husband and wife to get through the hard times," she said.
Statistics suggest that the level of commitment wanes with each subsequent marriage. The divorce rate is 67 percent for second marriages and rockets to 74 percent for third marriages, according to Jennifer Baker, the director of the Center for Professional Solutions at the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Mo.
Given the slim chances of a successful marriage, WedLock asserts that divorce insurance is part of a good financial plan.
In addition to personal protection, WedLock contends that the insurance protects any children involved in a divorce from falling into poverty.
Forty-four percent of American families who suffer a divorce spend some time below the poverty line, according to the article "Determinants of Spells of Poverty Following Divorce" in the journal Review of Social Economy.
And in 2002, 7.8 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared with 38.4 percent of children in female-householder families, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
For Logan and others, the solution for the alarming divorce rates and the likelihood of children living in poverty is divorce insurance. But hopefully for Christians, the number of broken marriages and young lives hurt will translate to churches and ministries being more proactive in protecting the sanctity of marriage.
"The benefit of a lifelong marriage is priceless," remarked Tyree. "No dollar amount could heal the loss experienced by a child when his parents divorce."