After a divorce, insurance is probably the last thing on your mind. However, it’s important to review and change your policies based on your new financial situation. Here are some helpful tips for how to handle insurance after a breakup.
Alert your insurance company
If you’re going through a divorce, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners recommends letting your insurance company know that you are now the owner on your auto policy and that you want to remove your ex from the policy. You should also make sure to change the address listed on your policy if you move.
Understand how your premium may be affected
Your auto premium will likely change depending on your situation. According to Allstate, you may lose certain bundling discounts, such as multi-car or homeowners discounts. Because the amount you pay for insurance depends, in part, on your driving record, you may see your rate increase or decrease. If you are a safer driver than your ex, for example, you could see a lower premium.
And if you and your ex decide to divvy up the vehicles, your rate may also be affected. If you end up with the brand new Mercedes sports car and your ex takes the 2005 sedan, you’ll likely pay more for insurance.
Make the necessary adjustments
Your financial situation will likely change after a divorce, so it’s important to make sure your premium stays affordable. Esurance recommends checking your limits and deductibles and buying as much coverage as you can afford. Generally, a higher deductible means a lower premium.
Decide who will insure the kids
If you have teenage drivers, you’ll need to decide whose policy they’ll be listed on. According to Esurance, that should depend on who retains custody, since the kids will probably live with that parent. If you have joint custody, whichever parent garages the car should insure it, according to Esurance.
Don’t ditch your liability insurance
Home and auto liability insurance is particularly important to maintain during and after a divorce. According to bankrate.com, if your spouse eliminates liability insurance but your name is still on the deed to the home, you could be held liable for any accidents on the property. Additionally, the NAIC recommends increasing liability coverage if you are a parent, especially if you will be carpooling your children’s friends.
It may also be a good idea to consider investing in an umbrella insurance policy. This type of coverage kicks in once the limits on your normal policies have been exhausted, protecting you in the event of a serious accident involving your vehicle or property.
Take advantages of new opportunities for discounts
If you change the locks on your house or update your security system, the NAIC recommends letting your insurance company know, as it could make you eligible for certain discounts.
Don’t forget about renters insurance
If you or your ex decide to rent after the divorce, it’s a smart idea to protect your assets with renters insurance. This will protect your personal property as well as give you liability coverage in case an accident happens.