How to Handle Your Car Insurance After Separation

Car insurance for separated couples can be complicated — let's take a look at how to handle your policy.

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Car insurance for separated couples

It can be a challenge to sort out your finances during a separation — car insurance included. Let’s unravel how to handle car insurance during a separation.

Car insurance during separation
  1. How do you remove your spouse from your car insurance?
  2. Shared vehicles: registration, title, and car insurance
  3. Separation and kids: what’s the cheapest insurance for a single parent?
  4. What comes next: additional resources

Removing a spouse from car insurance

If you and your spouse live together after your separation, the easiest option is to leave your car insurance policy alone. Most likely, you share a policy and a residence, and it makes sense to keep the policy as is.

If your spouse has moved out or you'd like your own insurance policy, next steps will depend on who is the primary named insured (PNI) or policyholder. Only the owner of the policy or PNI will be able to make changes to the policy. If you're the PNI, you can call the insurance company and request your spouse and their vehicle be delisted from the policy.

If you’re not the PNI, you won’t be able to remove a driver while maintaining control of the policy. However, you should be able to remove yourself and potentially your vehicle, freeing yourself to create a new policy at your new address.

Take the following steps to control your car insurance during a separation:

  1. Policyholder should remove the non-policyholder and their vehicle from the policy
  2. Create a new policy with updated vehicle information and new address (if you were the one removed from the policy)

This process can be a bit more confusing if you share vehicles.

Insurance after separation with shared vehicles: registration, title, and insurance

If you and your spouse bought a vehicle together, deciding how to handle car ownership after the separation can be tricky. Once you agree on who will take ownership of the vehicle, the other driver should be removed from the car's registration, title, and insurance.

If your spouse is keeping the vehicle, they will be able to remove you from the title and registration through their state’s DMV. Documentation will vary by state, but should be straightforward.

Remove yourself from the title, registration, and insurance as soon as possible to avoid confusion or shared responsibility for a vehicle that is no longer yours.

Who insures teen drivers after a separation?

Both parents will need to contribute to your kids' car insurance costs. If your child will be using both of your vehicles regularly, they’ll need to be listed as a covered driver on both policies at your new addresses. Car insurance companies need to be aware of each driver on the policy in order to provide accurate pricing. A teen driver presents substantial risk, as they’re statistically more likely to get into an accident and file a claim.

If you’re worried about finding affordable car insurance with a teen driver, we’ve done some of the legwork. Using methodology outlined here, we discovered the cheapest car insurance companies for a teen driver and a single parent are USAA and Nationwide.

CompanyAverage Six-Month Premium with Teen Driver
Liberty Mutual$1,839
State Farm$1,431

The best way to find cheap car insurance is to shop around. Enter your zip code below to see which company can offer you the best coverage at a competitive price.

Shop car insurance and see rates today!

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Additional resources

There are a lot of moving pieces that come with separation and car insurance. If you're still looking for answers and additional ways to save, see our articles below:


Between September and December 2017, The Zebra conducted comprehensive auto insurance pricing analysis using its proprietary quote engine, comprising data from insurance rating platforms and public rate filings. The Zebra examined nearly 53 million rates to unearth trends for specific auto insurance rating factors across all United States zip codes, averaged by state, including Washington, DC.

Analysis used a consistent base profile: a 30-year-old single male driving a 2013 Honda Accord EX with a good driving history and coverage limits of $50,000 bodily injury liability per person/$100,000 bodily injury liability per accident/$50,000 property damage liability per accident with a $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision. For coverage level data, optional coverage (that must be rejected in writing) is included where applicable, including uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection.

National property and casualty losses data comes from the Insurance Information Institute and the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters report.

Vehicle make and model data analysis referenced the most popular vehicles in the U.S. by 2016 year-end sales according to’s automakers’ data.

Rate data may vary throughout our report based on rounding.