Wednesday, 16 January 2013 17:00

Homeowner's Insurance

Will Divorce Affect My Homeowner’s Insurance?

            Mary and David recently separated and David is living in an apartment.  Mary wonders if she can change the joint home owner’s insurance policy to her name only.   Since the home owner’s policy is in both parties names, it cannot be changed without David’s consent.   Prior to the divorce David might have limited coverage under the home owner’s policy for the items he took to his new residence, but he needs to consider renter’s insurance. Mary is considering changing the locks and the alarm code for the marital home.  Before she does this, she should consult with her attorney to discuss the pros and cons of taking this action.

             One year later Mary and David divorce.   As part of their settlement agreement, Mary kept the house and David remains in the apartment that is nearby so he can be close to their three children.  The couple agreed that David would take ½ of the artwork and antiques, as well as one of the computers.   David also took his jewelry, including a Rolex watch and diamond cuff links.  Mary and David wonder what they need to do with regard to the homeowner’s insurance policy.

            Mary needs to contact the insurance company and determine whether she is listed on the policy.  If not, she needs to obtain insurance in her name.   If the policy is in both their names, she needs to advise the insurance company that David is no longer an owner of the home.  Mary needs to review her personal property limits too.  Since David kept many of their joint assets, Mary may be able to save money by reducing her personal property coverage.  Changing the locks and updating or adding a security system may make her eligible for a discount.  Also, if Mary refinances the home she needs to provide the mortgage lender with any updated insurance information

            Now that David is living in an apartment, he may believe there is no need for home owner’s insurance.  However, David needs to obtain renter’s insurance.   Since David kept ½ of the artwork and antiques and owns other valuable personal property, he will need to make sure his personal property is insured. 


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Geraldine Welikson Hess, Esq
Hess Family Law
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Rockville, Maryland 20850

Geraldine Welikson Hess, Esq
Hess Family Law
344 Maple Ave West,
Suite 355
Vienna, Virginia 22180

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