1. One cannot remove the other without consent.It is nice when a troubled couple can work amicably with each other. Unfortunately, it is not always the case. People caught in a divorce situation often want to split everything up immediately. Removing your ex-spouse or their vehicle from your insurance policy is not allowed without their consent.
2. Have separate addresses.Having separate living arrangements is usually one of the first steps in the divorce process. Separate addresses is the start of separating liability. If the divorce is not finalized and both live at the same address, liability is still shared. Obtain separate living arrangements before separating car insurance.
3. Separate vehicle titles.Most insurance companies require the person insuring a vehicle to be on the title. A co-owner not living in the same household needs to be listed as an additional insured. To keep things simple, each individual should have a vehicle titled solely to them. It is possible to find insurance companies who do not care about the titling of a vehicle, but most preferred insurance carriers require the named insured to be listed on the title.
4. One person will have to get a new policy.Obviously, someone is going to have to get a new policy. The new policy can be with the same insurance agent or it might be a good time to start shopping for car insurance. It really does not matter who gets the new policy. The first named insured often keeps the current policy. If the home is also insured with the same carrier, it might be easier for the person who keeps the home to also keep the auto policy.
5. Purchase a new policy before being removed from prior policy.This rule ties in with rule number one. New insurance needs to be in place before removing both the vehicle and driver from the pre-existing car insurance policy. It is important both named insured drivers consent to the removal of any driver and vehicle. Removing one without knowledge could force someone drive without insurance unknowingly. Remember you are not allowed to remove a named insured without their consent.
6. Sign a removal request.
To verify the named insured driver has given consent to be removed, most insurance companies require a signed request. Without the signed request, the person keeping the auto policy will continue paying for a policy which lists both drivers. This is where it can get really sticky. If one of the named insured drivers is not cooperating, it can be difficult to separate policies. Usually the uncooperative person will be left on the policy, while the person wanting separate policies can obtain the new policy and sign the removal request form.
Ideally, you do not want to separate car insurance before the divorce is final. Often one or two of the rules above are not taken care of until the divorce is final. If you absolutely have to separate car insurance before the divorce is complete, be sure to follow all the rules above. Part of the reason for waiting to separate the policies is because sometimes couples reconcile. It can be really annoying for insurance agents if they go through the work of separating car insurance policies just to turn around and re-combine them. Wait until you are certain the divorce is inevitable if it is not already finalized.