Who Insures the Kids on Car Insurance After a Divorce?

Teenage girl learning to drive
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If you’re going through a divorce and have kids of driving age, you’re probably not spending a lot of time thinking about car insurance. Divorce can bring up a lot of different emotions and problems -- and one of the items which need to be tended to quickly is how to insure your driving kids. Making sure the kids are insured properly on car insurance is very important.

Insurance Rules:

Does insurance cover the car or the driver?

It really depends. Liability insurance typically covers the person and not the vehicle, while comprehensive and collision coverage follows the car. But it is all dependent on the type of insurance policy that you have, so you should talk to your insurance agent.

Custody Rules:

Typically, the parent with primary custody lists the kids on their car insurance policy. If joint custody is the case, it lies with the parent who has the kids most or during the majority of the school year. Most importantly, the young drivers should be listed somewhere on one of the parents’ car insurance policies.

The parent not listing the kids should still talk to his insurance agent. Many times the insurance agent will request a copy of the ex's car insurance declaration page showing the kids listed as drivers. Without providing proof of coverage elsewhere, the kids will need to be listed as drivers on the other parent’s policy or listed as excluded drivers, meaning they will not be covered if they drive the vehicle.

Can Kids Drive Any Vehicle?

Once listed on a parent's policy, the kids should be able to drive any insured vehicle. Just as someone who is able to borrow an insured vehicle from a friend, the same rule applies to kids.

Own the Vehicle But Do Not Have Primary Custody:

If the vehicle your child is driving is owned by you, but the child lives primarily with your ex, the situation really needs to be discussed with your insurance agent.

Most likely, the child will need to be listed as a driver on your car insurance policy. Another possibility is to title the vehicle over to the young driver and purchase a car insurance policy in his or her name.

Who Pays?

Who lists the kids on their policy and who pays might be two separate people. Presumably, it will be determined during your separation and discussed in your divorce agreement. Both parents are going to need to take responsibility for verifying a policy is in place and paid on time.

Insuring kids on car insurance after divorce can get complicated, mostly because so many different circumstances can arise. Get expert advice from an insurance agent who handles your insurance carrier directly. Different insurance carriers can have different rules from one another when it comes to insuring kids. Being able to work with your ex will definitely make the process easier.