Going through a divorce is an emotional, stressful situation. Even though couples may try to make it as easy as possible, there are many things to consider. If there are children involved, their custody will be the first issue to think about, then dividing the furnishings and possibly even who gets the house. Couples may even amicably decide who gets what car, but they seldom think about the insurance policies on those cars.
Jointly Held Auto Policies
Most married couples own cars jointly and they generally have policies in both of their names. Sometimes they won’t even think about the insurance on the cars until it is time to renew the policy. In reality, the insurance company needs to be notified immediately of any change in marital status or any change in the address where the car is kept.
If the cars are titled jointly, you need to go to a Department of Motor Vehicles and have the car re-titled in just your name. If one or the other spouse disagrees with removing their name, you may have to have it stipulated in your divorce agreement. The idea is to cut all ties with each other, so it makes sense not to share joint ownership of a vehicle.
You should talk to your insurance agent and ask them to separate the policy into individual policies. One spouse may even choose to move to another insurance company. Remember though, that you are going to lose any multi-car discounts you have. Your rates may even increase because married couples usually get a discount.
If you are experiencing a nasty divorce or separation, protect yourself by talking to your insurance agent. Unfortunately, insurances deal with handling policies for divorcing couples all too frequently. The agent should be looking to protect both of you. If the agent seems to be taking sides, you may in fact want to find another agent.
Who Puts Teen Drivers on their Policy?
Hopefully you and your spouse can discuss issues involving any teen drivers responsibly. One of you has to have the teen driver insured on your policy. This too, may be something to discuss with an insurance agent to get the best rate. If one spouse must move to a rented home, the one that remains in the family owned home will be eligible for a discount, if everything is insured with one agent.
Divorce is hard enough on the couple and their children, so try to discuss the auto insurance policies away from any young drivers. You don’t want them to feel like neither of their parents want to have them on their insurance policy.
The auto insurance policies are probably not the most important thing on your mind during a divorce, but unfortunately it is a very important thing that needs to be taken care of. If you are involved in an accident and your new address is different than what is on the policy, it could hold up any claims, or even cause them to be denied. If a claim check is sent, it could be issued in both spouses names and that would just be one more headache to deal with.
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