Dealing with the many issues of a divorce can be traumatic for everyone for the divorcing couple, for their children, and for other family and friends who love both partners. When you’re going through such a painful transition, thinking about insurance is probably not at the top of your list of things to do. But it should be because divorce changes insurance needs. Reassessing your insurance coverage is essential during this time. Your attorney will guide you through the legal complexities, and your Representative from The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company (Western & Southern Life) can help you sort out your insurance needs during the transition of a divorce.
The following list outlines insurance topics to consider during a divorce. Discuss them with your attorney and your Western & Southern Representative.
- Be sure you understand who owns your policies because the owner controls the policies and the right to name beneficiaries.
- Review beneficiaries on all insurance policies and make sure information is current. You’ll want to be sure that your children will be protected.
- Consult your attorney before changing a beneficiary because some states do not allow changes during divorce proceedings.
- If you do not have any life insurance coverage, consider buying it now, especially if minor children are involved. At a minimum, carry term life insurance so that your children will be provided for until they’re able to support themselves.
- If you have life insurance, determine if you will need more, enough to replace your income, pay off debt, and care for your children should you die.
- Make sure you carry health insurance while the divorce is in process, and plan for coverage once the divorce is final. It’s important to avoid any gap in health coverage, especially if anyone has a medical condition that might later be ruled "preexisting" and, therefore, not be covered under a new policy.
- If you have children, determine which parent will carry their health coverage. If both parents work and have coverage, one could be the primary carrier, and the other the secondary carrier. The secondary carrier helps pay for costs not covered by the primary carrier.
Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance
- Review your homeowner’s/renter’s insurance. If you’re staying in your home, change this insurance to your name.
- Tell your auto insurer that you’ve separated/divorced. Ask how it changes the policy and the premium.
- If your kids are on the policy, you’ll want to make certain they remain covered.
- Will you need disability insurance? While Social Security provides some coverage, it is probably not enough to support your family if you become disabled and can’t work. Your insurance representative can help you figure your needs.
Long-Term Care Insurance
- Depending on your stage in life, you may want to include long-term care insurance. Long-term care coverage helps to pay for the costs associated with nursing home care, home health care, and assisted living facilities.
- Even though you carry personal liability insurance on your home, your car, your watercraft, and other recreational vehicles, it may not be enough. An umbrella policy protects your personal assets if a court judgment exceeds the other insurance coverage.
- Going through a divorce is no time to set aside your retirement planning. In fact, it may be more important than ever. If you purchase an annuity during your marriage, it may be classified as marital property during a divorce. Make sure your attorney knows what you have so that your interests are protected.
- As you rebuild your life after divorce, investing in an annuity can help secure future income. Contact your Western & Southern Life Representative to discuss your annuity options.
Products for this Life Stage:*
If you receive financial assets to roll over, mutual funds can help you reinvest them.
More Guidance for Those Involved in a Divorce:
WSLife.com representatives can help connect you with planners familiar with your new needs; short-term savings, disability, and revised retirement planning.
Use our Budget Calculator Tool to map out your independent, post-divorce financial situation.
To get a sense for what your existing investments can do for you, try the Savings Calculator Tool.
Western & Southern Life does not provide tax or legal advice. Please contact your tax or legal advisor regarding your situation.
*Products suggested for this Life Stage are not a specific recommendation or solicitation to purchase. Mutual funds are offered through an affiliate of Western & Southern Life.