My Ex-Wife Has Custody Of Our Teenagers. Do I Need To Add Them To My Insurance Policy, Even Though They Are On Her Policy?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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If your wife has sole custody, she will carry the teen on her policy.

If your ex-wife has primary custody, she is more than likely insuring the teens on her personal automobile policy. In that case there is no need for you to add them to your policy. They will still be covered under your auto policy if they use your car even though listed as a driver under your ex-wife’s policy. Should they have an accident in your car, it will be your insurance company covering the loss because insurance follows the car, not the driver. Since the teens do not live with you, and they have other insurance, your rates will not be affected. However, the rates on your ex-wife’s policy could be affected because they are being rated on her policy.

In the event of joint custody, things are more complicated. Requirements vary from state to state and insurance company to insurance company. You should try to get this resolved in the divorce or custody proceedings, and your best bet is to talk to an insurance agent or two and discuss the specifics of how frequently the teen will be using each vehicle.

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