How To Separate Car Insurance After a Divorce

What Happens to Your Car Insurance When You Get Divorced?

A divorcing couple signs paperwork to remove one person's name from their car insurance

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Divorce is a difficult process for all involved, and it requires jumping many hurdles to separate your money, property, and yes, even insurance. Whether you’re considering divorce, are currently separating, or you're about to complete a divorce, it’s worth some effort to delve into how car insurance works both during and after a divorce.

Many of the logistics depend on your state of residence and your insurance company, so splitting policies will look different depending on the people involved. In this article, learn key details you need to know for how to separate a car insurance policy in a divorce.

Key Takeaways

  • Splitting a car insurance policy during a divorce will look different for every couple; there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
  • Most insurance companies require married couples to share car insurance policies for all cars that are kept at the same residence. If you move during or after a divorce, it's important to notify your policy holder and get a separate policy.
  • Most car insurance companies provide discounts for married couples, as well as for those with multi-car policies, which means once separated or divorced, your policy will be more expensive.
  • If you and your former spouse have a teenager of driving age, they likely will need to be listed on both parents' car insurance policies.

Deciding To Separate Car Insurance Policies

When starting the divorce process, you likely will have to make several decisions on how to separate your assets. When it comes to car insurance, you can remove your spouse from your policy even while you’re separated and the divorce is not yet finalized, said Jill Roth, executive vice president of Virginia insurance company Ahart, Frinzi & Smith.

Most insurance companies require married couples to share car insurance policies for all cars that are kept at the same residence. If you move during or after a divorce and take one of the cars with you, it is likely that your premium will change and for that reason, most policyholders require separate policies in this case. According to the Insurance Information Institute, of you or your former spouse changes your address, you should get a separate auto policy immediately.


Most insurance companies require that, before taking your partner off your insurance policy, you must receive their consent to do so.

When the divorce occurs, Roth said, “the standard approach is to endorse the current policy to show only one of the insureds [and their vehicle] and take out a separate policy for the other spouse.”

However, some carriers may simply cancel the existing policy and issue new policies to both spouses. Before making any changes, it’s important to speak with an insurance agent to get advice about your specific situation.

How Divorce Impacts The Cost of Car Insurance

Whether your policy is split off or you stay on the existing policy, your annual rate could go up or down based on your driving record, claims history, discounts for multiple drivers or vehicles, and your credit history (in some states).

If your former spouse had a few accidents on their record, they could have been pulling down your score, so your premium could decrease when you separate car insurance policies. But if you’ve had claims and your ex didn’t, you may be the one facing higher rates.


Most car insurance companies provide discounts for married couples, as well as for those with multi-car policies, which means once separated or divorced, your policy will be more expensive. However, the difference is not huge. According to The General, a divorced driver may pay about $50 more every six months for car insurance coverage than a married driver. 

Many financial factors are in flux during a divorce, Roth said. For example, refinancing a house or buying a car can impact your insurance score—a unique score each insurer maintains based on their rating systems. However, each proprietary rating system is different, so some factors may have a bigger effect on one company’s policies than another’s.

Steps To Separate Your Car Insurance After a Divorce

Separating your car insurance after a divorce takes some planning and research before the divorce is finalized. Below, find the recommended steps to follow when separating your auto insurance policy.

Call Your Insurance Agent

When you know your separation or divorce date, contact your agent or insurance company in advance. Find out how your current insurer deals with cars, addresses, separation, and divorce, and start to research new auto insurance options with your post-divorce information, such as a new ZIP code.


Depending on the state you live in and the terms of your policy, there may be a specified window of time for you to notify your insurer of your divorce. Be sure to check in with your insurance agency.

If one of you has moved out of your previously shared home, you’ll need to update the garaging address for the moved vehicle if it will stay on the same policy, or take out separate policies for each spouse. Talk to your agent about your situation.

Sort Out Vehicle Titles

If vehicles were previously titled in both spouses’ names, the cars are often retitled to be in only one person's name. Contact your insurance agent and your state DMV office to determine the correct process. You may also need to update state registration and title records if you’re changing your last name due to the divorce.

Typically, agents like to separate insurance policies as close to the DMV retitling appointment date as possible, Roth said.

Submit a Signed Removal Request

Finally, you will have your own policy for a car titled in your name. Ensure your new policy is in place before removing yourself from the previous policy. You will usually need to sign a removal request.

Make Sure Your Teen Is Covered

If you have children with your former spouse, there are other factors to consider when separating car insurance policies.

In most situations, all household members with a driver's license must be listed as drivers on the insurance policy, which means if you have a child of driving age, they will need to be listed on both parents' policies. It may be possible to add a teen to only one parent's insurance, even if custody is shared 50-50, but that depends on the policy. The General, for example, requires your child to be on a if they drive your car more than 12 times annually.


Roth notes that the primary address listed on the teen's license generally indicates the policy that will cover the teen, but it’s a good idea to check with your agent.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I stay on my ex-spouse’s car insurance after a divorce?

You may be able to do so until the renewal date, depending on your insurance company. However, you'll want to find out if this is allowed before your divorce is finalized, and make sure your new policy is in place before allowing the previous policy to expire.

How long can a divorced spouse stay on car insurance?

According to Roth, some insurers may allow you to stay on a joint policy until the policy renewal date. Doing so may save you money. However, other insurers will expect couples to get separate policies when their divorce is finalized.

Why did my car insurance go up after a divorce?

Insurance rates for people moving from “married” to “divorced or single” may increase by 0% to 34%, according to research from the Consumer Federation of America. The potential increase makes this a good time to shop around to find the best coverage and rate for your needs.

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The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Progressive. "How Insurance After Divorce Works."

  2. Insurance Information Institute. "Separation or Divorce."

  3. The General Insurance. "Car Insurance After a Divorce."

  4. The General. "Car Insurance After a Divorce."

  5. Insurance Information Institute. "Separation or Divorce."

  6. Consumer Federation of America. "New Research Shows That Most Major Auto Insurers Vary Prices Considerably Depending on Marital Status."

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