Marital Status & Car Insurance: Married, Divorced, Separated, and Widowed

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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If your marital status changes due to a separation or divorce, you will need to change your car insurance policy. If you are recently separated and are simply living apart, no changes are immediately required. You can continue to receive the discounts for multiple cars and any other car insurance discounts on your existing policy.

Separation and Car Insurance

If your separation will be for any extended period of time, an insurer requires the information on the garaged location of your vehicles. Therefore, an extended separation will probably require each party to acquire separate auto insurance. Make sure you shop around and compare auto insurance quotes as your present insurance company may not give you the best deal after your change in martial status.

TIP: An extended separation, particularly one that requires the vehicle change ownership and title, will require each party to acquire separate auto insurance. This is for the best from a liability stand point because as long as you are still on the same policy, you could be legally responsible for each others liability in the event of a loss.

If you need to obtain new insurance after a marital separation, click here to get started at the Free Advice quote center.

Your Significant Other Just Passed Away

Call your insurer and advise them of the death of your significant other, and work to restructure your auto insurance policy. If you have more than one car, as long as you keep the second car on your policy, you will continue to receive the multi car discount. Contact your insurance company to see how the death of your spouse can change your car insurance. If your rates go up, you are free to change companies and find the cheapest car insurance for your situation.

Newly Wed looking for Car Insurance: Same Policy or Different Policies

If you are just married, you do not have to combine your auto insurance. Many couples go for years, or forever with separate insurance. Whether combing auto insurance policies is up to you and your spouse. When getting an auto insurance quote as a married couple, be sure to take the time to find your cheapest car insurance options.

TIP: If you each have only one car, you are missing out on a multi car discount on each policy. This can save as much as 20% on each car.

A disadvantage to combining the insurance would be if one of you has a bad driving record or major violations. If you advise your agent or company that you are married you will be asked for the driving information on your spouse. The best way to determine how to move forward is to talk to your respective agent or company and see which offers the best premium and coverage for you and your spouse.

What If Your Spouse is High Risk Driver

In some cases, one spouse may be considered a high risk driver, which can cause your combined insurance payments to increase. Major violations such as a DUI or reckless driving can adversely affect your rates. In addition, states can suspend or revoke the license of a driver depending on the severity of the offense. Insurance companies have the right to cancel your auto insurance policy when these major violations or suspensions appear on your driving record. You have a couple of options in this case:

  • You can have your mate excluded from the policy. Some insurance carriers allow this and it can be done with a phone call. This exclusion usually needs to be acknowledged by you, the policy holder, and the driver in question in writing. This would mean there is NO insurance in the event your mate drives the vehicles listed on the policy.
  • You could obtain a separate policy for your mate and the car he/she will use. There are several companies available which will write insurance on high risk drivers. However, your company may still want to exclude him from your policy for the remaining vehicles.

A change in your marital status or living arrangement requires some review of your car insurance. The best way to go about this is to contact your agent or a reputable representative of your present insurance company in order to get the best advice on how to proceed with your newly change status. Click here to get a free quote from the Free Advice auto insurance quote center that reflects your newly changed status.

For more information about getting the right car insurance policy to fit your needs, check out the following articles:

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