As the saying goes, “Marriage is about love, and divorce is about money.” Dividing property accumulated over the years can be as emotional as it can be difficult and fraught with legal complications. Deciding who gets which car may be an obvious decision in a divorce, but careful consideration of how to take possession of an affordable auto insurance policy may be a little more difficult. While auto insurance regulations and collision coverage requirements vary by state, there are enough similarities to offer this quick checklist to make sure that you’re covered.
Be sure to inform your insurance agent when you and your spouse first separate. Depending on your state’s auto insurance laws, you may need to purchase a separate policy if you and your spouse are not living in the same home or are legally divorced. Removing your ex from your auto insurance policy now will clear you of any possible future liability in the event of his or her involvement in an auto accident.
Just because you’ve always had an insurance policy with a particular company while you were married doesn’t necessarily mean their rates are going to be the best for you now that you are single. Call or get an online auto insurance quote, do your research and obtain cost comparisons to make the best financial decision for you.
How much do you need?
Review your auto insurance policy and make sure that it provides you with adequate coverage in your current situation. Your newly single self may need to add some features not covered in your previous policy, such as towing, car rental reimbursement and emergency roadside assistance. If your car is an older model and paid for in full, you might think about raising the deductible and eliminating collision and comprehensive coverage. Another way to save money is if your circumstances have necessitated you move back home with your parents; they might be able to add you to their auto policy.
Who gets the car (and the car insurance)?
Typically, whoever gets possession of the car is responsible for paying the automobile insurance premiums. Be sure that your new policy clearly states who is responsible for paying the auto insurance premiums and that your insurer knows your current address, which person is driving which car, and if there will be significant changes in the type or amount of driving that you will now be doing.
Sometimes, if there are children involved, and the custodial parent incurs additional transportation costs such as driving more miles per year or needing to purchase a newer or larger car to take care of the kids’ needs, then the non-custodial parent may be ordered to pay all or part of the custodial parent’s auto insurance policy. Also, if it is necessary for one of you to purchase a new vehicle, a gap car insurance policy or a new auto insurance policy will be required before the car can be registered.