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Divorce and Insurance Policies

Divorce can have a devastating financial toll on families, including figuring out the costs of insurance going forward, and which parties will benefit from prior policies that have been paid into for the length of the marriage. Not having insurance can be very disruptive for a family, especially those who may have specific health care needs for either the parents or children. All types of insurance should be re-evaluated during a divorce, such as health, life, home and car insurance policies.

Health insurance

After serving a divorce petition, the parties are restricted from cancelling any insurance policies covering the parties or their children. This lasts until there is a final agreement to remove certain family members from the insurance, or otherwise continue providing insurance under certain provisions. This is a common problem for parties because many unemployed spouses rely on their employed spouse’s insurance to cover them and the children. With the help of an experienced attorney, the parties can negotiate to either keep insurance as is, or continue covering at least the children under the employed spouse’s benefits. It’s important to let your attorney know of any specific medical needs you or your children may have that make health insurance a particular necessary for your family.

Life insurance

Life insurance is usually a more hotly debated issue since large amounts of money are contributed to these policies each year. Most commonly, a spouse is listed as the beneficiary by name, and not by the description of “current spouse.” That is why it’s necessary to contact your life insurance plan after a divorce and remove your ex-spouse as the beneficiary, and add another beneficiary if necessary (such as a new spouse.) A final divorce judgment from the court is not sufficient to remove your ex-spouse from the policy. This must be done by contacting your insurance provider directly.

Home and car insurance

Many home insurance companies provide discounted rates to married couples, so it’s important to make sure you notify your provider of your change in marital status to be clear as to what you owe for your rates and premiums. It’s also important to verify that you are still covered under home or car insurance policies (or in the alternative, obtain your own coverage) especially if something were to happen to a car or home while your name is still on the title or deed. Make sure to notify your insurance companies of any changes in ownership of your house or car so that it is clear who is liable for any incidents that may arise, and who is going to be protected for that liability.