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Does Being Divorced Affect Your Car Insurance?

As a marriage comes to an end, couples can expend a lot of time and energy dividing up assets, belongings — and sometimes even the cars they jointly own. You may need to revisit finance agreements at the dealership to take sole possession of the car — and the divorce will likely also affect your car insurance policy. Divorce and car insurance can be difficult to navigate because the policy can be based on joint ownership along with other factors:

Insurance costs

In many cases, premiums are the responsibility of both spouses, also considered “named insureds” on the car insurance policy. The current, jointly-owned policy should be cancelled at the same time the new, individual policies go into effect. This will help to ensure continued coverage and that both parties are paying only for the premium on their own policy.

Legal considerations

Proof of policy ownership may be mandated by the divorce decree or other legal documentation. Depending on your marital status, the terms of your divorce and the “named insured(s)” on your policy, you may need to make specific adjustments. Be sure and work with your divorce lawyer to review your current policy and check in with your insurance agent as well.

Other drivers on the policy

If you’ve got children or relatives named on your shared policy, you’ll need to assign them to one of the new policies. This may also need to be in the divorce decree, so check with your lawyer on all the particulars.

Vehicle title and registration

Divorcees will need to purchase their own auto insurance and may need to file for a vehicle title change in ownership with the state. You’ll also need to update your address and other contact information with local authorities if you’ve moved to a new location.

So, exactly how does being divorced affect your car insurance? That all depends on the divorce decree, or the agreement made between you and your spouse, among other factors. Although each divorce is unique, car insurance is handled in a rather standardized way once the divorce is final. Below are a few key questions that we’ve answered for you.


How Long Can a Spouse Stay on Insurance After Divorce?

Prior to your current auto policy’s cancellation, it’s important to have a new policy in place. Ideally, it should start on or before the final date of your shared auto policy. After a divorce, you’ll need to get your own car policy once you’re living elsewhere and the car’s title reflects both your sole ownership and that new address.

Be aware that insurance coverages can vary by carrier so be sure to talk to your agent about how your group covers instances like these.

Can You Remove a Spouse From Car Insurance Before a Divorce?

Divorcing involves separating accounts, settling debts and assets — and in many cases — splitting the various in-force shared insurance policies. If both parties are listed as named insureds on the policy, there are a few caveats and rules that are key to keep in mind when removing a driver from car insurance:

  • You’ll both need to consent to terminating the policy early
  • Vehicle titles for shared cars will need to be revised to single ownership titles
  • Both parties will need a new auto policy
  • Any teen drivers and other insured drivers may need to be included on new policies
  • Your new policy should start on the same day the shared one terminates

Is It Better to Put Single or Divorced on a Car Insurance Application?

If you’re wondering whether there’s any benefit to putting yourself down as single or divorced when applying for insurance, there typically isn’t. Both are statuses are considered the same when your agent generates a quote.

Auto insurance rates can vary due to a number of factors. Your car insurance company will consider your zip code, your driving record and other items, like the number of claims you’ve filed recently. One of those variables is your marital status. In most cases, when it comes to pricing for auto insurance, married drivers are considered the same as those under a legal separation until the divorce is in effect.

Learn More About Auto Insurance and Divorce

Divorce can impact almost every aspect of your life, from the beneficiaries listed on life insurance policies to the way you pay for your health insurance plan. You may need COBRA coverage to carry you until you can review quotes from health insurance companies. And if you own a place, you’ll need to rework your homeowners insurance to reflect the change. When married people are renting and then divorce, they’ll have to revise their renters insurance policy.

Divorce gets complicated, and with everything else going on, it’s nice to know that you’ve got a trusted resource at American Family who can help you manage your insurance needs. So, check in with your agent to get details on how to best insure yourself after a divorce. They’ll help build you the right policies that can bring you a lot of peace of mind — right when you need it most.


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