Have you recently undergone a divorce? If so, you have a lot to think about. You have to consider things such as:
- Who will take the kids to school activities
- Who will budget clothing or school supplies for children
- How much time will be spent with both parents
Sometimes in the course of this process, it is easy to lose track of some of the most important but often forgotten details. One of these details is car insurance.
Car insurance is something you cannot afford to forget when it comes to taking care of the best interests of your kids.
Even if you are not the custodial parent, it doesn’t hurt to write this down as something that needs to be dealt with. Auto insurance coverage for your children is simply too important to forget.
Some degree of cooperation must be set between the two parents to make sure this important financial aspect is taken care of in the middle of a divorce procedure. Both parents must consider all important aspects of child care and put away their personal feelings so that they are always doing what is to the child or children’s best interests.
If your child is involved in any car accident, whether it is a fender-bender or a serious accident, the parent who is driving them could be responsible for paying all expenses out-of-pocket if they are not sufficiently covered by insurance. Auto insurance coverage must be discussed in a divorce proceeding so that it will not be neglected by either parent.
If you have recently divorced and need affordable auto insurance for your family, start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code above!
Dealing with a Divorce
There are many issues that you have to deal with in a divorce. Financial, emotional, and logistical issues often come up during a divorce proceeding. Decisions must be made regarding property rights, who the house will go to, and who the children will live with.
These decisions are often tough and riddled with emotion. Often it is not both adults who want the divorce so the one who is left alone may feel isolated or rejected and they may carry these feelings into the divorce proceedings.
Despite this, it is important for both individual parents to use intellectual and practical thinking to do what is best for the child. If it is a contested divorce, there may be a custody battle in court to decide who the child will stay with.
If it is contested, a judge will have the final say in this, especially in the three following areas:
– Who has primary custody?
Once it is decided who the child or children will reside with, visitation rights must be worked out for the non-custodial parent to decide when they will be with the other parent.
It is important to determine as quickly as possible who will be primarily responsible for custody so that you will know who has the primary financial responsibility.
– Child Support and Alimony
Another issue that often comes into play in a divorce settlement is whether child support and alimony will be paid by the non-custodial parent. State laws in the state of residence can determine who pays for child support and alimony.
In most states, however, child support is a requirement in any divorce where minor children are involved.
Alimony–money paid to the former spouse after a divorce–is ordered by a judge only in cases when the judge rules there was sufficient cause to show mistreated, disloyalty, or abuse, in which case punitive damages may be awarded to the spouse.
– Determining Assets
It is important to identify assets of both parents in a divorce proceeding so that each parent will know what their responsibility should be. In general, the father pays child support at an amount determined by a judge and based on his income and other assets and factors.
Once this amount is determined, budgets should be worked out to decide who will pay for what regarding the child’s expenses.
Child Insurance as Passengers
Regarding auto insurance, you should consider which parent’s insurance the child or children will be placed with. In most cases, it is best to put the auto insurance for children on the parent’s insurance with primary custody.
The children being on the custodial parent’s coverage plan will ensure that the child is covered since they will likely be in that parent’s car the most. (Remember that the insurance follows the car, not the driver.)
However, it should be considered that sometimes the child will be riding with the other parent.
The non-custodial parent should also make sure that they have enough insurance to cover all passengers in the event of an accident, including any children, step-children, and others riding in their car at all times.
In some cases, being fully covered may involve slightly increasing the amount of coverage that the non-custodial parent carries for passenger liability. But it may not be necessary to increase the amount of property damage liability or other types of coverage.
When Children are Drivers
If you have children who are 16 or older and who are drivers of either parent’s vehicle, you have a different situation. Instead of worrying about covering passengers, now you must think about what would happen if the teenage driver had an accident with either car.
Often the teenage child of divorced parents may frequently drive both cars.
You never know what situations may come up where the teenager may need to drive the other parent’s car so in these cases, it is usually best for both parents to name them on their insurance.
Understanding Duplicate Coverage
One misunderstanding of many people involving insurance is the idea of duplicate coverage. It helps to have a definition of what duplicate coverage means.
Duplicate coverage means that, if you have an accident in your car, you cannot have two companies pay out on the same claim.
But in the case of a teenager who is driving one car at a time, the policy that is covering the particular car will pay. So there is no chance of duplicate coverage or two companies having to decide who pays since the insurance covers the car in which the accident occurs.
The important thing is to make sure that your teenager is covered who is driving either car which will probably require both parents taking out insurance on their current policy for the teenage driver.
Declaration of Coverage
Another option when dealing with teenage drivers is to talk to your insurance company and see if you can provide them with a “declaration of coverage” from the other parent’s insurance. In some cases, your insurance company will work with the other company in the event of an accident so that your child is listed as a covered driver.
The important thing is to make sure that the child driver is covered on at least one policy and that the information is given to the other parent so that they will know there is insurance in place that can be used in the event of an accident.
How much insurance is enough?
When it comes to determining the amount of insurance coverage for children, you will want to consider the amount of time they are either driving or are passengers in the car. Most of the time, the custodial parent will have the child with them the most while the non-custodial parent will only have the child in their car on weekends or other times as designated by the custodial agreement.
Of course, the priority is to make sure the basic coverage is included such as liability for bodily injury and property damage.
Also be sure you are following the state mandates on required coverages in your respective state. If one parent lives in another state, it is important to remember that different laws will apply in the other state regarding maximum coverage amounts.
It is the responsibility of the parent within their respective states to know the law.
Secondly, you should think about the level of risk that you take on regarding how often the child is with you in your car. Other factors you should keep in mind include:
- Mileage driven with the child in your vehicle – The miles driven with the child with either parent should be taken into account when it comes to deciding on how much insurance to carry. If you drive several miles with the child each day, you may want to increase coverage since the risk is now greater than if you only drove them once in awhile when you were still married.
- Frequency – The frequency at which you drive children to and from school activities, ballgames, and other events may determine how much insurance you need. The risk is always greater when you increase the frequency of it.
- Number of children involved – The amount of insurance you carry on your children should also be decided based on the number of children you have in your car. Your liability increases based on the number of passengers, and you should include your children in this calculation.
- Health coverage amounts – If you are considering medical coverage with your car insurance, you may want first to check to see how much health insurance you have for your child. Medical coverage is not the same thing as health insurance coverage, but there could be some duplicate coverages between these two types of insurance. Compare the fine print of between the two policies to decide this.
Get Advice from an Expert
The best thing you can do when going through a divorce is to get some advice from an expert.
When it comes to auto insurance, there is no better expert than an insurance representative. Though they are there to tell you the benefits of a particular company’s policies, they are also sworn to have a degree of transparency regarding what their insurance plans cover and whether it is the best choice for you and your family.
Comparing and contrasting different plans and policies is the best thing you can do to decide which policy is best if you are looking for a solution for your children after or during a divorce.
Do not let the importance of making sure your kids are insured get by you in the confusion of a divorce proceeding.
The transition period in a divorce can cause both parents to neglect some of the most important issues surrounding the financial situation, but insurance should not be one of the things that are forgotten in the process.
Shop and Compare For the Best Deal
The best thing you can do first is to shop and compare for the best deals on car insurance. You can get a free quote online with a competent and professional insurance agent who will explain the benefits of various policies considering your unique circumstances.
If you tell them that you are in the middle of a divorce, they may even be able to offer some options for car insurance that will fit your situation so that you won’t have to worry whether your children are covered or not.
When shopping for car insurance, consider your situation, the amount of risk and insurance you need, your budget, and other factors. Then compare policies to make sure you have the best deal.
Try our FREE online quote tool and start comparing auto insurance rates today! Enter your ZIP code below to begin!