Do You Have Enough Insurance Now That You’re Divorced?
- Your divorce may affect your insurance coverage
- Health insurance
- Home insurance
- Car insurance
- Life insurance
- Long-term disability insurance
- Getting coverage
Divorce brings changes, and those changes can prompt new vulnerabilities. Nobody ever expects an emergency, but insurance provides a critical safety net when emergencies happen.
Your divorce may affect your insurance coverage
When you get divorced, your insurance may need to be adjusted to provide you with maximum protection.
- Your health: You may have been on your spouse’s group health insurance policy at work. With your divorce, you will lose that health coverage unless you buy COBRA coverage or make other arrangements.
- Your home: You may move to a new home or apartment, or you may keep your marital home after your ex moves out. Your insurance policy needs to reflect these changes.
- Your car: If both names are on the insurance policy, but you no longer live in the same household, one of you may not be covered in an accident. It’s important to check these details if you’re getting divorced and make the necessary adjustments before an emergency happens.
Making changes to your existing insurance policies or purchasing new insurance coverage for yourself, your family, and your home ensures that you are fully protected after your divorce in case of an emergency.
Let’s take a deeper look at changes you may need to make to your health insurance, home insurance, car insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance policies.
Health insurance coverage
While your kids may still be covered under your ex-spouse’s health insurance policy, chances are you won’t be receiving those health benefits after your divorce.
Healthcare coverage is essential. If you’re employed, you’ll want to explore your eligibility for a group policy with them. If an employer’s health insurance plan is not available to you, you’ll want to consider other options:
- Getting temporary health insurance through COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) until you can get your own coverage
- Buying a personal health insurance policy through a private insurer or the Affordable Care Act marketplace
- Checking to see if you qualify for government healthcare options like Medicare or Medicaid
Your homeowner’s insurance company should be notified any time there’s been a change in ownership, occupancy, or personal property.
If you, your ex, or both of you have moved out of your marital home, you’ll need to notify your insurer of these changes. If one of you has kept the marital home, the person remaining should remove the other’s name from the policy and make any necessary changes to the personal property coverage.
For those who rent, it’s important to make similar changes to an existing renter’s insurance policy or get new renter’s coverage to protect personal belongings and insure against theft, bodily injury, and damage.
When you’re married, your car insurance covers you, your spouse, and any children living at the same residence. Premiums are the responsibility of both you and your spouse. After divorce, however, your vehicles will need to be retitled in separate names, and each individual will need to get separate coverage on their respective vehicles. If anyone else drives in the family, they will need to be assigned to one of the new policies.
If you have a life insurance policy in your name, you can change your life insurance beneficiary from your ex after your divorce. But it may make sense to keep your former spouse as beneficiary if you share minor children. Why? If you and your ex share a life insurance policy naming each other as beneficiaries, you may want to keep it to protect your minor children. You’ll need to work out an agreement as to who will be responsible for premium payments or how you will split them. If you don’t share minor children, the easiest solution may be to cancel the joint policy and obtain individual policies.
Be aware that if you have been ordered to pay alimony or child support, the court may have required you to maintain life insurance on yourself that would continue to provide support for your ex or children in the event of your death.
Long-term disability insurance
Disability insurance can either be long-term or short-term in duration. Short-term disability offers you a portion of your weekly earnings if you are temporarily unable to work because of a disability claim. Long-term disability insurance offers income loss benefits if you suffer a longer duration or permanent disability and cannot work. The duration of long-term care depends on the terms of the policy.
Notably, if you have been ordered to pay spousal or child support, you will still be responsible for those payments even if you are unemployed or unable to work. Having disability insurance can help you address these responsibilities even if an injury or disability keeps you from working.
Getting the coverage you need
Reviewing your insurance needs in anticipation of divorce or immediately after can help you make sure you have the coverage you need in case of an emergency. But insurance coverage is only one of the many issues you'll need to tackle before, during, and after your divorce.
Getting the help of an experienced divorce coach may make sense if you find you’re feeling overwhelmed by the divorce process. A divorce coach is not a lawyer but someone who is specifically trained to guide individuals through all aspects of divorce and help them make informed decisions along the way.
At Hello Divorce, we offer affordable online divorce coaching services so you have a knowledgeable advocate in your corner during your divorce. Have questions about divorce coaching or other aspects of divorce? We may be able to help. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation.