A North Carolina businessman who describes his own failed marriage as "world-class ugly" has come up with a novel product aimed at helping people defray the cost of a break-up.
Divorce can be as hard on your wallet as it is on your heart, but a new insurance scheme might help.
At least that's the pitch put forward by serial entrepreneur John Logan, himself a divorcee. Logan's company has introduced WedLock, a divorce insurance that aims to defray the cost of a breakup. Depending on whose statistics you use, somewhere between 40 to 50 percent of first marriages ultimately end in divorce. (Click here for a breakdown of divorce statistics.)
"I got divorced several years ago and it was world-class ugly," Logan told Los Angeles's ABC TV affiliate. "People can say that all they want but the truth is the odds of divorce are higher than most of the other things we commonly insure ourselves against."
Logan says the policy is the first of its kind, and he's already expanding -- he has also incorporated in London and set up a website specifically targeted at a British audience. (The policy is also novel in the U.K., though companies have sold divorce maintenance insurance – which targets nonpayment of country's equivalent of child support – since 1999.)
For $16 per month – or what the company (called Safeguard Guaranty Corp.) is calling a single "unit" of coverage" – you may receive for $1,250 in benefits. You can buy additional units at the same price, on up to 200 units, or $250,000 of coverage. As long as you continue paying the premiums, the company adds $250 of coverage every year.
You'll have to celebrate at least your fourth anniversary with your sweetie in order to cash in, because that's when the policies mature. If you're Elizabeth Taylor or just seriously pessimistic, you can include a rider for what's called an accelerated maturity, which reduces the period to three years months. That will hike your monthly premium to $30 per unit.
Not sure if you need divorce insurance? The North Carolina-based company's web site features a free Divorce Probability Calculator, which claims to predict your probability of getting divorced within a 13 percent margin of error. To use the calculator you'll have to answer a bunch of questions about race, religion, education background, age, and children, but mostly it boils down to this: if you didn't finish college and got married before age 21 to someone of a different race and religion, the odds of a long and happy marriage are not in your favor.
Logan is asking customers to have a bit more faith in his company than they do in their marriages -– the policies aren't backed by any state insurance or other government fund, only by Prime Insurance, Safeguard's underwriters.
Inc. contributing editor COURTNEY RUBIN was for five years a London-based staff writer for People magazine. Rubin, a former senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, has written for the New York Times magazine, Time, Marie Claire, and other publications. She is the author of The Weight-Loss Diaries.