How Divorce Affects Your Car Insurance

If you have a joint car insurance policy with your ex-spouse, you need to purchase a new policy after getting divorced.

Elizabeth Rivelli
Elizabeth Rivelli
  • 5+ years writing insurance and personal finance topics

  • Auto, home, health, and life insurance expertise

Elizabeth has extensive insurance industry experience, having written for Insureon, Rate Retriever, and Insurify. She’s also finance and insurance editor for Car and Driver.

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Courtney Mikulski
Courtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
  • 3+ years producing insurance and personal finance content

  • Main architect of the Insurify Quality Score

Courtney’s deep personal finance knowledge extends beyond insurance to credit cards, consumer lending, and banking. She thrives on creating actionable content.

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Konstantin Halachev
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Konstantin HalachevVP of Engineering & Data Science
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  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

Updated July 18, 2024

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Going through a divorce is challenging, especially when it comes to dividing shared assets and accounts, like a car insurance policy. Getting divorced can affect your auto insurance in a few ways, especially if you and your former spouse have coverage under the same policy. You’ll need to get your own insurance policy, and your rates could slightly increase.

Here’s what you need to know about comparing rates and getting a new car insurance policy after divorce.

Quick Facts
  • Average car insurance rates for married and divorced drivers are similar, but married drivers can usually get discounts that single drivers might not be eligible for, such as for insuring multiple cars.

  • After divorce, you may need to buy your own auto insurance policy, especially if you and your ex-spouse don’t live at the same address.

  • Make sure any teen drivers in your household have enough coverage when driving your or your ex-spouse’s vehicles after a divorce.

How marital status affects your car insurance rates

Car insurance companies use various factors to calculate car insurance rates, and marital status can be one of them. In general, married drivers pay slightly less for car insurance than single and divorced drivers, according to Insurify data. Many insurers charge cheaper rates for married couples who get a joint policy and insure more than one vehicle.[1]

The average car insurance premium is $200 per month for married drivers and $208 per month for divorced drivers. But other factors also affect your rate, like your location, age, credit history, and driving record.

Below are the average monthly car insurance premiums for single, married, and divorced drivers.

Average Quote by Marital Status

Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

How divorce affects car insurance depends on whether the couple remains in the same household during the separation.

If you continue living with your ex-spouse at the same residence, you can share vehicles and stay insured on a joint car insurance policy until the policy period ends. But if one person moves out, both people must get separate policies. Legally, the address on your policy must match where you park your insured vehicle.[2]

The divorce settlement may also outline how you and your ex-spouse will divide car insurance, health insurance, and life insurance policies.

For example, if you and your spouse jointly own several vehicles, the settlement may state what happens to those cars after the divorce. If you take possession of one or more cars, you may need to apply for a vehicle title change of ownership and get new auto insurance policies.[3]

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How to separate car insurance after divorce

You don’t have to separate car insurance policies immediately after a divorce. But you’ll need to get your own policy if you move away from your spouse and park your vehicle in a new place. When you’re ready to separate car insurance policies, here are the steps you should follow:

1. Apply for a vehicle title change (if applicable)

If you and your ex-spouse jointly own a vehicle, both of your names will be on the title. If you take sole ownership of the vehicle in the divorce, you need to apply for a vehicle title change of ownership in your state. To do that, you can contact your local department of motor vehicles. You also have to update the registration and title records if you decide to legally change your last name, if needed.[3]

2. Get new car insurance quotes

The cost of car insurance depends on many factors, but married drivers usually pay slightly less for car insurance than divorced drivers. Additionally, you might lose discounts you had with your ex-spouse, like a multi-car or multi-policy discount. Before you purchase a new car insurance policy, shop around and get quotes from several companies. Comparing rates will help you find the cheapest car insurance for your situation.

3. Purchase a new car insurance policy

Once you’ve found the best car insurance policy for your needs and budget, you can purchase a new policy. Make sure to replace your previous insurance ID cards with your new ones in your vehicle. If you have an auto loan or lease, contact your lender to update the car’s insurance information.

4. Remove yourself from the old policy

The final step is to remove yourself from your joint car insurance plan. Depending on the insurance company, you might be able to remove yourself as a named insured online, or you might need to contact your insurance agent directly. To avoid a lapse in coverage, make sure your current policy takes effect before you officially remove yourself from the previous policy.

What to do with teen auto insurance policies after divorce

If you and your ex-spouse share custody of children who drive, it’s important for them to have the correct coverage. If your teen driver spends an equal amount of time with each parent, they should have coverage through both parents’ car insurance policies. It’s a good idea to speak with an attorney about insuring young drivers to make sure they have enough coverage when driving both parents’ vehicles.[3]

See Next: Car Insurance for Children of Divorced Parents

See Next: Car Insurance for Children of Divorced Parents

Can you stay on your ex-spouse’s car insurance after divorce?

Yes, you can stay on your ex-spouse’s auto insurance policy after you get divorced. Typically, divorced spouses living together can stay on the same policy until the policy period ends.

But this is only legal if both parties live together in the same household. If one spouse moves out and gets a new permanent address, they must remove themselves from the joint car insurance policy and purchase a new one.

Remaining insured on a joint policy after divorce can help you avoid the rate increase that often comes with getting separate insurance policies. Plus, you might qualify for certain discounts by having a joint policy. However, it’s a good idea to speak with your lawyer about the potential risks of staying insured on a policy with your ex-spouse.

Recent quotes for other Insurify users

Drivers using Insurify have found quotes as cheap as $43/mo for liability only and $83/mo for full coverage.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on July 18, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from July 18, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on July 18, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from July 18, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

Car insurance after divorce FAQs

Separating car insurance after a divorce is a multi-step process. If you still have questions about car insurance after divorce, the following information might help.

  • Why did my car insurance increase after a divorce?

    After a marriage ends, car insurance rates can increase because you won’t qualify for the discounts you had on a joint policy with your ex-spouse. But the average rate difference between married and divorced drivers is slight, so you shouldn’t see a significant rate increase.

  • How do you get car insurance during a divorce if the car isn’t in your name?

    In most cases, you can’t insure a vehicle you don’t own or have an insurable interest in. If you want to get car insurance for a vehicle that isn’t in your name, you may need to purchase a non-owner car insurance policy. This type of insurance provides state-minimum liability insurance, which covers you when driving vehicles you don’t own.

  • What should you do if your divorce caused a gap in your auto insurance?

    If you get divorced and have a lapse in auto insurance coverage, it can affect your insurance history and you could pay a higher rate for coverage in the future. In this case, you should purchase your own car insurance policy as soon as possible to avoid driving uninsured.

  • Does divorce affect your credit score?

    Getting divorced has no effect on your credit score.[4] But because getting divorced can be an expensive process, it’s important to stay on top of your finances during this time. If your credit score drops for any reason, it can cause your car insurance premium to increase when your policy renews.

Sources

  1. III. "Married."
  2. Progressive. "Insurance After Divorce: Home, Car, Life, Health."
  3. American Family Insurance. "Car Insurance After Divorce."
  4. Experian. "How Divorce Can Impact Your Credit Scores."
Elizabeth Rivelli
Elizabeth Rivelli

Elizabeth Rivelli is a freelance writer covering insurance and personal finance. She has extensive knowledge of various insurance lines, including property and casualty, health, and life insurance. Her byline has been featured in dozens of publications, including Investopedia, Forbes, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, and Insurance.com

Courtney Mikulski
Edited byCourtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
Courtney Mikulski
Courtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
  • 3+ years producing insurance and personal finance content

  • Main architect of the Insurify Quality Score

Courtney’s deep personal finance knowledge extends beyond insurance to credit cards, consumer lending, and banking. She thrives on creating actionable content.

Featured in

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Konstantin Halachev
Data reviewed byKonstantin HalachevVP of Engineering & Data Science
Headshot of Konstantin Halachev, VP of Engineering at Insurify
Konstantin HalachevVP of Engineering & Data Science
  • 7+ years experience in data analysis

  • Ph.D. in Computational Biology

Konstantin has led data teams across multiple industries, including insurance, travel, and biology. He’s led Insurify’s engineering team for more than three years.

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