Even if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have reached an acceptable agreement on most or all divorce-related matters, ending your marriage may take months or longer. Even worse, you may have a collision with an uninsured or underinsured motorist before your divorce becomes final.
If you do not have UM/UIM coverage, you may believe you are on the hook for the injuries and other damages the uninsured or underinsured motorist causes. That may not be the case, however, especially if your current husband or wife has UM/UIM insurance.
Coverage often extends to family members
Because your husband or wife is the policyholder, UM/UIM coverage undoubtedly applies to him or her. Nevertheless, because you are still in a legally valid marriage, the coverage also likely extends to you. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may be able to file a claim with your spouse’s insurance provider. This is probably true even if you waived your own coverage.
Coverage does not last forever
It may be in your legal and financial interests to purchase your own UM/UIM coverage. After all, if your collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver happens even moments after your divorce becomes final, your ex-spouse’s coverage may no longer protect you. Who pays for coverage before and after your marriage ends may be something you want to address in your divorce settlement, of course.
You probably feel like you have a great deal to accomplish before you sign your divorce papers. Ultimately, if you have not yet purchased independent UM/UIM insurance, it may be advisable to investigate whether you can seek compensation under the terms of your spouse’s plan.