I do (conditions apply)
Ending a marriage is horrid. Insurance might ease the pain
DIVORCE, like any other risk, can be priced and packaged. With half of all marriages doomed to fail, even the moderately hardheaded may be interested in ways of mitigating the danger.
So hopes ARAG, a German-based insurance firm. From September it will offer a kind of divorce insurance that will pay out if English prenuptial agreements are subject to a legal challenge. Such policies are already common in some continental European countries such as Germany and Spain, and are offered by some American employers as a perk. But they are so far unknown in Britain, chiefly because prenuptial agreements have had little legal force in English law (Scotland’s legal system is separate). Judges have traditionally given much greater weight to circumstances at the end of the marriage than to any agreements made at the start.
That changed in October last year, when a Supreme Court ruling upheld a German heiress’s prenup against a challenge from her ex-husband, who claimed he hadn’t realised that it was unfairly one-sided when he signed it. The Law Commission, which helps Parliament tidy up legislation, is currently looking into a statutory framework for prenuptial agreements.
The new insurance is hedged with conditions. It starts paying out if the prenup is challenged in court—so the company’s profit will come from making that unlikely. Only solicitors vetted by the insurers can draft the deals; the prenups must be updated regularly and when circumstances alter (through childbirth, inheritance or changes in earning power, for example). So far two legal firms have signed up: the upmarket Mishcon de Reya, and Prolegal, a commercially minded new entrant。
新的保险受到各种条件的束缚。如果婚前协议在法庭中受到质疑，公司则开始为顾客赔偿，因此公司只有使这种情况不要发生才能盈利。只有通过审查的初级律师才能起草协议；当客观环境发生变化的时候（比如孩子出生，继承或赚钱能力的改变），婚前协议必须定期地升级。到目前为止，只有两家法律公司签署了合同：高级的Mishcon de Reya和一个商业上有思想的新参与者Prolegal。
The cover will range from £50,000 to £500,000, says ARAG, with annual premiums from £500, depending on the scope of the policy and the priciness of the lawyers. The bare-bones version is simply an indemnity for the cost of a challenge to the prenup; elaborate policies will include other expenses such as mediation and, if that fails, the cost of a contested divorce.
Unlike those for car insurance, the premiums are flat rates: the libidinous will pay the same as the uxorious. But an American divorce-insurance company, SafeGuard, is planning a more ambitious product that will pay a big bonus to those who stay married for 25 years. Sounds like a nice wedding present.