October 20, 2012 (Press-News.org) If you're heading toward divorce, you likely have a lot on your mind. With all the other things going on in your life, it's possible that you haven't given a lot of thought to how your insurance needs will change as a single person.
But, insurance is important in the wake of divorce. Knowing how to handle your health, life, home and auto insurance policies correctly can not only save you thousands of dollars, it can ensure you don't lack the coverage you need at a critical time.
Health Insurance: Getting Your Own Coverage and the COBRA Safety Net
In discussions pertaining to post divorce insurance, health insurance usually gets most of the attention. Considering the skyrocketing cost of healthcare, this focus is not unwarranted.
Typically, you won't be able to continue to be covered on your ex's health insurance policy after divorce. Your children, however, can and probably should. As for yourself, if you do not already have your own health insurance policy, you will want to find one as soon as possible after the divorce, or more likely prior to the finalization of the divorce, but at least prior to the date your coverage will cease. You may qualify for government-sponsored COBRA coverage for up to 36 months if the divorce is forcing you off of your ex's health insurance plan, but you should be careful about relying on COBRA for too long; if you develop a condition while on COBRA, some insurers may view it as a pre-existing condition and use it to justify higher premiums or to decline coverage.
Life Insurance: More Than Changing Beneficiaries
If you make no change to your life insurance policy after the divorce and your former spouse remains listed as a beneficiary, Florida law automatically makes any life insurance proceeds pass as if your former spouse preceded you in death. Of course, you should still change your beneficiary designation as needed to avoid any confusion. However, there may be more to life insurance in divorce than simply reevaluating your choice of beneficiary.
Often, life insurance policies are used to secure alimony and/or child support payments. This makes it extremely important to ensure that the spouse responsible for paying the premiums will not default, and also raises the issues of duration of coverage (for instance, will the policy be allowed to lapse when child support obligations end?) and amount of death benefit (i.e. is the death benefit sufficient to secure the entire obligation?).
Finally, you may want to change the amount of your life insurance coverage. Financial situations can change dramatically after divorce, and your life insurance policy should take these changes into consideration.
Reduced Rates for Homeowner's Insurance or a Renter's Policy?
If you remained in the family home after the divorce, you may want to shop around for a more cost-effective homeowner's policy. If your former spouse has taken a large proportion of the marital property, you should be able to get lower premiums.
On the other hand, if you are planning to rent after the divorce, you will want to explore a renter's insurance policy. The good news is that renter's insurance typically costs far less than homeowner's insurance, running on average between $15 and $30 a month, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
One Vehicle Policy May Have To Become Two
Simply put, if you formerly had two cars on one auto insurance plan and these vehicles move to two difference residences, you and your former partner will have to get separate auto insurance policies. Of course, your individual rates should be somewhat lower than what you were paying for a dual plan.
Talk To a Florida Family Law Expert for Help With Your Divorce
Your post divorce insurance needs necessarily depend largely on the structure and content of your divorce agreement. You divorce attorney can provide additional insight and advice into the insurance arrangements that would be best for your individual circumstances, and should ensure that certain provisions and obligations pertaining to various types of insurance are included in your marital settlement agreement or final divorce judgment. If you haven't done so already, speak to a Florida divorce attorney, preferably a Board Certified Specialist in the area of Marital and Family Law.
Article provided by Lewert Law Offices, P.A.
Visit us at www.lewertlaw.com
Post Divorce Insurance Plans Are Important For Splitting Couples
If your marriage is ending, you should consider what your insurance coverage needs to look like in single life.
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If your marriage is ending, you should consider what your insurance coverage needs to look like in single life.