Getting Divorced or Separated
Going through a divorce is a highly stressful event, and usually laden with emotion. We feel for you. Whether you and your ex-spouse are on speaking terms or not, it helps to have a clear fact sheet that guides you through the rough of settlements and paperwork and provides guidance by giving you a list of things to do. We are here to help when it comes to adjusting your insurance.
Take it step by step, and be gentle with yourself. But be sure to revise your protection plan to your changed needs and to ensure that you have important coverage when you need it.
Unfortunately, this is not always easy. Call your team at Kirby Insurance Agency to help make your transition from joint insurance coverage to individual protection plans as smooth as possible. As you think about this transition, here are some important things for you to consider:
You had a fight, another one. The constant arguments are wearing both of you down. And this last one did it. You agreed that you should separate. Get a divorce.
He moved out, took some of his stuff, but hasn't filed for divorce yet. You haven't filed for divorce yet. But you know this has got to end.
Yet, you're not quite sure how to tackle it all...it seems an awful lot to take care of. For one, separating the bills seems like a good idea...
Unfortunately, a separation (when you and your partner end the relationship, possibly live apart, but have not yet filed for a divorce) makes matters more complicated: As long as both of you are listed as "named insureds" on a policy, we cannot delete one of you from the insurance plan, and we cannot change your insurance without consent from your ex-partner.
In other words, we cannot make changes to your joint insurance plan when only one of you requests the change.
That said, there are certain steps you can and should take when it comes to your insurance plan:
- Once you or your partner move out, you should update your existing Auto Insurance policy to show the new garaging address of each vehicle, as well as how far each car is being driven to work. This is usually the first step before splitting the joint auto policy.
- Whoever moves out should get Renter's or Homeowner's Insurance for their new place. The existing homeowner's policy will only extend limited coverage to a new residence.
Give us a call 410-837-2320. We can help you find the coverage that keeps you adequately protected in this phase of transition. We are here to help! We are here for you.
Your divorce is almost final when you receive your Auto Insurance renewal letter in the mail.
Right. That needs to be taken care of, too. Does it ever end?
Figuring out insurance between you and your ex-spouse is the least of your concerns. Who will list your 15-year old daughter and 17-year old son on their policy? Insurance for teen drivers doesn't come cheap. And you agreed that they'll live for a week with the other parent, then for a week with you. Now that doesn't seem to make things easier...
Once your ex-spouse moves out, you should update the garaging addresses and commuting distance of all vehicles. This is the first step before splitting the joint auto policy.
Then, once the divorce is final, you should get separate car insurance policies. Give us a call. We represent a variety of insurance companies and can find the protection plan that best fits your new needs and budget. That said, if you choose to stay with your current insurance company, you'll be allowed to keep your credits and discounts for being a "Safe Driver" or a "Continuous Customer" even if you have to apply for a new policy.
Unfortunately, once you split the policy, you may no longer be eligible for discounts such as the "multiple car discount" or the "homeowner discount" (if you are now renting an apartment.) But you may be eligible for an account credit if you buy your renter's insurance from the same company that handles your auto insurance.
If you have young drivers in your family, you should ensure that your children are covered on at least one, if not both parents' auto policies, especially if your kids have access to both parents' cars. If they have their "own" car, a car that they drive most frequently, then this car is generally registered and insured in the name of the parent in whose home the child resides most frequently. These issues are not always clear-cut so it is best to review the circumstances with your agent so that your insurance company can be consulted to make sure that the coverage is structured properly based on that specific company's rules. Usually, if a child lives more frequently with one parent, then the child should be covered by the insurance policy of that parent.
Your team at Kirby Insurance Agency can help you build a new insurance plan that best fits your new situation and works for your new needs and your new budget.
Homeowner's or Renter's Insurance
So. This is it. The divorce is final, and you are the one who stays in the home you once shared.
The house is going to feel awfully big and awfully empty. But at least you don't have to move. Not right away, at least. Maybe you can re-decorate...
Before you head out to the furniture store, please think of one small thing: Give us a call so we can adjust your homeowner's or renter's insurance to your name only, and make it work for your new needs. (That may even save you money.)
If you are the spouse who is moving out, please give us a call to set up renter's or homeowner's insurance for your new place.
The last thing you need right now is unnecessary hassle. Allow yourself the peace of mind that you deserve, and get your protection plan in place. We're here to help. And we make it easy for you: We shop multiple companies for you, and find you the plan that best fits your new situation and your new budget.
There is a whole new set of questions that comes with a divorce. Are you paying alimony? Are you receiving alimony? Do you purchase life insurance? Do you change your life insurance beneficiary?
All these - and more! - are part of a divorce settlement. Dealing with the finances in a divorce is not easy, and emotions often make things even foggier.
If you have life insurance in place, you might want to consider keeping it in place, with your ex-spouse as the beneficiary, even after the divorce. If you are paying alimony, your ex-spouse might rely on your payments for cost of living and child support. If you delete him or her as beneficiary, you might leave them, and your children, in serious financial turmoil in case of your death. If you have no financial obligations to your former spouse, you may want to continue your life insurance but name a new beneficiary.
You have the option to declare your children to be the beneficiaries of your life insurance, but be aware that minors under the age of 18 cannot directly receive life insurance benefits. In case of your death, the money would either be managed by a court-ordered trustee, or the insurance company would hold the benefit until the child turns 18. Our best advice to avoid these options would be to contact a family attorney who can establish a trust which can be named as the beneficiary. You can then indicate in the trust which friend or family member will be entrusted to handle the financial issues for your children, and who will serve as guardians. (These can be the same or different people.)
If you are the spouse who receives alimony, you might consider adding a clause to the divorce settlement that the life insurance beneficiary cannot be changed or allowed to lapse without your consent.
Another factor to consider: Keeping your current life insurance in place allows you to lock in your rates and insurability, regardless of possible future health issues. (This is also the reason why you should consider getting life insurance if you don't already have it.)
You have all been part of your ex-spouse's family health insurance plan. Now you're getting divorced. Are the kids still covered? Are YOU still covered?
When you are going through a divorce, you may need to find a new health insurance plan for yourself if you have been previously covered on your spouse's group health insurance policy. In this case, you may want to check to see whether you qualify for COBRA, which allows divorcing spouses to continue their current health insurance plan for up to 36 months following the divorce, at their own expense.
There are advantages and disadvantages to this solution: If you qualify, it can be a relatively quick and hassle-free way to ensure continuous health insurance coverage. On the flip side, you may develop a condition that limits your insurability and keeps you from obtaining your own health insurance plan once your coverage through COBRA ends. It might pay to set up your own health insurance as soon as possible.
If you have children, compare your and your spouses' plan, and enroll your children on the better plan. Keep in mind, however, that coverage may change or even be reduced to emergency care if the policyholder (you or your spouse) and your children live in different states due to rules about preferred provider networks.
A divorce is not easy. Allow us to help you by letting us assist with your new insurance protection plan. We provide you with choices, solutions, and absolute confidentiality when it comes to setting up your new protection plan.
Seek Help from Experts
With so many variables to consider, the best way to make this transition as easy and pain-free as possible is to consult with an expert. Our agents at Kirby Insurance Agency know all the questions to ask -- and all the right answers to give -- to help you make the right decisions.