It depends on the writing. The best place to look is your Insurance ID card. Your insurance ID card mimics what is on your car insurance declarations page. The declarations page is the first and most important piece of paper associated with your car insurance policy. It will list the named insureds, drivers, address, policy period, location of premises, policy limits, vehicles, lines of coverage, and coverage limits.
Who Is The Primary Named Insured Driver On The Policy?
Most insurance carriers will list both married parties on the insurance card. For example, named insureds: John Doe and Jane Doe. Some insurance carriers will only list one name regardless of marital situation. If there is only one name on the insurance card, this named person is considered the primary named insured. This distinction is extremely important because only the primary named insured can make adjustments to an existing car insurance policy. For example, adding or removing a vehicle or driver. Meaning, if you are not the primary named insured, you can only make adjustments for yourself and no one else. Your spouse would need to remove themselves. Some insurance carriers may require a new insurance policy because it is too severe of a change to continue on the same policy and to avoid legal issues if a serious claim occurs.
If your insurance policy includes both parties and/or are the primary named insured, you can remove a spouse from your car insurance policy. However, simply calling your insurance carrier to remove your spouse isn’t enough. Once you call your insurance carrier, they will email or mail you a removal request form in which both parties are required to sign. Insurance carriers take this type of request extremely seriously as this form can be the difference-maker for approving or denying coverage on a claim.
Removal Request Form
Insurance carriers will require a removal request form to be signed securely. The most common means is through an encrypted email to track when the document was opened, signed, and location via IP address. The next common option is each party signing the form in front of an insurance representative. If neither of these options is possible, the last commonly used option is having the form notarized. Notary regulations differ from state to state. Some states will require both parties’ sign in front of the notary and capture a thumbprint. Whereas some states only require one party to sign and the notary confirms their identity with a valid state driver’s license or US Passport.
The removal request form is typically associated with a second form to ban your spouse from driving any vehicle on the policy. This second form is typically called “The Excluded Driver” form. Whether or not your spouse lives in the same household, insurance carriers consider a non-named spouse a higher risk because they have a higher likelihood of using your car. To insurance carriers, anyone with access to your car keys needs to be included or excluded from the policy. They cannot fall under a gray zone as they have more access than most people. If an excluded driver is involved in an accident regardless of fault, your insurance carrier will not provide coverage. No if, ands, or buts. And if the excluded driver causes an accident, you will be liable for the other parties’ damages and your own damages.
If you plan on having your spouse still drive any car on your policy, then your spouse will need to obtain their own car insurance policy and exclude you from their policy. This way the insurance carrier will only provide coverage for one driver. However, this can be tricky as many insurance carriers do not want to insure a car with pre-existing coverage.