Car insurance after a divorce

How getting divorced changes your car insurance rates.

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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, 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 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 spouse 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 10% more for car insurance than married people. Your divorce might cause a change in your rate because of several factors:

  • Moving out. Switching to a less risky location could improve your rates, such as moving from a city to a rural area. Or in the opposite case, moving to a riskier neighborhood could raise your rates.
  • Changing cars. Your insurance takes your car type into account. So if you’re sticking with the family car versus 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 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.
  • Financial changes. Your budget might change after a divorce, whether it’s because of losing an income or paying alimony. If you’ll have a lower income than before, you could look into reducing coverage to lower your premium.
  • 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 so you know whether to add teen drivers — this will increase your premium significantly.

Get cheap car insurance after getting a divorce

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 for your new life by comparing multiple insurers.
  • Search for discounts. Take as many discounts as you can find, such as multi-policy, homeowners or claim-free discounts.
  • 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 shuttling the kids around or taking road trips to see the in-laws anymore? You could switch to a car that costs less to insure.
  • Lower 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 a few 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 update unneeded coverage. For instance, you might need to cancel your spouse’s policy if you’ve decided to keep yours.

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, which means the kids live with that parent. If you have joint custody, the requirements might depend on your insurer.
  • Higher rates. Remember that your rate could jump up if your spouse had a clean driving record and yours isn’t quite so spotless.
  • Removing your 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 or license information if you’re changing addresses or moving to a new state.

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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