Divorcing couples sometimes have a lot on their plate as they approach the task of separating their shared life into the lives of two independent people. There are assets and liabilities to divide, child custody to decide, and numerous paperwork to remove from at least one person’s name.

And although some laws and rules for divorcing couples can vary from one state to the next, residents in Georgia and others parts of the country should remember to address jointly held car insurance, because when you divorce, you’re required to put the policy under only one of your names.

Additionally, and within 30 days of finalizing your divorce, you should alert the company to any changes to your policy, including a new address. The location of your primary residence can have an effect on the cost of your policy, since different areas have different crime rates.

Unfortunately, getting a divorce can make your policy rate increase. Most insurance companies offer discounts to married couples ranging from five to 15 percent, which you will lose after a divorce. And if you went from owning multiple cars to only having one, you will lose your multi-car discount and/or multi-policy discount, which can be worth up to 25 percent off the value of the policy.

You should also understand that insurance policies generally cover only one household, so the one policy that a couple formerly maintained for the multiple cars they drove will no longer be valid once they live in separate residences.

Failing to respect and honor these requirements could result in you losing your policy or having your insurance company fail to cover an accident should you file a claim without reporting the divorce.

Source: Fox, “Divorcing? Break the news to your car insurer, too,” Penny Gusner, April 3, 2012