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Car insurance after a divorce

How getting divorced changes your car insurance rates.

Your new life could mean a new insurance premium due to splitting up your vehicles, addresses and finances. That single status often results in a higher rate, but you’re not left stranded when it comes to savings options.

How does car insurance change after getting divorced?

Regardless of how you look at it, a divorce means changes that will influence your car insurance rate. That change occurs either because you’re moving to a separate policy or removing your ex-spouse from your current one.

Getting a new policy. When separating to your own insurance policy, you may see your premium go up. However, the cost might not change much if your insurance company considers your previous spouse a high-risk driver. You might even save money if you’re the safer driver.

Updating an existing policy. Removing a policyholder from your current policy might also result in a rate jump, but that jump might lessen if your ex was a secondary driver.

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How much does getting divorced affect car insurance rates?

Getting divorced can have a big effect on your car insurance rates. Singles pay more for car insurance than married people — by about 10%.

Your divorce might cause a change in your rate because of several factors:

  • Moving. Giving up the city and moving to a less risky location could improve your rates. Or in the opposite case, moving to a high-claims neighborhood could raise your rates.
  • Changing cars. Your insurance takes your car type into account. So if you’re sticking with the family car instead of keeping the convertible, you should see a lower rate. You’ll also lose your multicar discount if you insured two cars on the same policy.
  • Fewer drivers. Your premium might go up or down depending on whether your ex-spouse had a clean driving record. If not, removing a high-risk driver will work in your favor.
  • Credit score. Splitting up finances could mean your insurer is looking at your higher or lower credit score, causing a difference in the rate unless you live in California, Hawaii or Massachusetts.
  • Insuring teen drivers. This depends on who has custody of the kids and the cars. You may need to contact your insurer about your situation and ask if you need to add your teen drivers to your policy — which can increase your premium significantly.

How do I get cheap car insurance after getting divorced?

Although your divorce could muddle your finances and cause a rate increase, you can still find ways to save.

  • Shop around. This big change might mean it’s time for a big insurance change, too. Find the best rate to fit your new life by comparing multiple insurers.
  • Search for discounts. Take as many discounts as you can find. Multipolicy, homeowners or claim-free discounts may help ease any rate hikes.
  • Drive safely. Keep your driving record spotless so your insurer has no reason to charge more. If you’re already a safe driver or don’t drive much, consider pay-per-mile insurance.
  • Buy a less expensive car. Not commuting as far or taking road trips to see the in-laws anymore? You could switch to a car that’s cheaper to insure.
  • Adjust coverage. Consider nixing unneeded coverage, such as new car replacement if you don’t have a new model anymore.

How do I update my car insurance after getting divorced?

You can make changes to your car insurance after a divorce in four steps:

  1. Figure out coverage needs for your single status and compare new providers.
  2. Start a policy with a new insurer. If keeping your old policy, call your insurer or use an online account to remove your previous spouse. You may need to sign paperwork for policyholder updates.
  3. Notify the company of your name and address change, if applicable.
  4. Cancel a previous policy or drop unneeded coverage.

What should I watch out for with car insurance after getting divorced?

While separating or updating your policy should be straightforward, keep in mind that a few situations could occur:

  • Missing out on better quotes. Car insurance may not top your to-do list, but you could pay more if you don’t get quotes from several companies.
  • Insuring your kids. Typically, teens of driving age need to be insured with the parent who has custody. If you have joint custody, the requirements will likely depend on your insurer.
  • Higher rates. Remember that your rate could jump up if your ex had a clean driving record and yours isn’t quite so spotless.
  • Removing your ex-spouse. Taking off a policyholder might require that both of you sign extra documents to do so.
  • Meeting state deadlines. Make sure you meet deadlines for updating insurance information and license information if you’re changing addresses or moving to a new state.

Making sure teen drivers are insured after a divorce

Custody will play a large part in which car insurance policy your teen needs to be added to. But in truth, they may need to be added to both. It’s up to you and your ex to talk to your respective insurance companies and find out if your teen driver will be covered.

If your teen has a car of their own and is insured under your and your ex’s policy, make sure their coverage stays in effect throughout the change-ups. A lapse could mean even higher rates.

Bottom line

Your new life situation might mean a higher or lower insurance rate, depending on factors like your driving record, vehicles insured and whether you have custody of teen drivers. Take the time to compare multiple insurers for the best value.

Frequently asked questions about car insurance after a divorce

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