Question: When a married couple gets divorced, do they have to report the divorce to the car insurance company? Also, does it change the rates they pay? 

Answer: Yes, if you and your spouse have divorced you need to inform your car insurance company about this change in marital status and advise them of any changes that need to be made to your policy. State laws and policy terms vary, but typically you must inform your insurer within 30 days after your divorce is finalized.

Most companies offer a car insurance discount to married couples of 5% to 15%, so getting a divorce will remove this discount. Also, you may lose out on multi-car discounts (up to 25%) and multi-policy discounts (around 10%). However, other factors may lower your rates; for example, if your ex-spouse had tickets or accidents, the surcharges will follow them and not you.

Generally, all vehicles on one policy must be garaged at the same address, so you and your ex-spouse can’t keep a policy for the cars that you insured together when married and living together.

Your car insurance company will require that you report any changes in your household, including moving because these are important rating factors.

If you fail to inform your car insurance company of the divorce and changes of garaging location for the insured cars, your car insurance policy could be canceled, and claims could even be denied.

Ensure that your name is removed from the title and registration of any car your ex-spouse keeps after the divorce to avoid being legally liable for anything that happens with that vehicle.

Also, ensure that your ex-spouse doesn’t takes insurance off of a car that still has your name on it to avoid a lapse in insurance. Your divorce attorney will help you finalize car ownership as part of the divorce process.

Inform your car insurance company of your divorce as soon as it is final. But make sure to comparison shop early so that you find the best car insurance rates and are ready to start a new policy right away. 

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Contributing Writer

Prachi is an insurance writer with a master’s degree in business administration. Through her writing, she hopes to help readers make smart and informed decisions about their finances. She loves to travel and write poetry.