Q: I helped my boyfriend buy a car by co-signing the note, but now that we’ve broken up I want him off my insurance. How do I unravel all this?
My boyfriend and I had been together for about two years when he hit a patch of unemployment at the same time his car broke down. I agreed to co-sign the note for a new car to help him out (I know, I know--bad idea), but little did I know he was going to break up with me three months later. What do I do now? I want to untangle this mess so he's out of my life completely and so I can move forward without worrying about this car situation any more.
A: I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that you’re in a messy situation. Even if you have your ex-boyfriend removed from your insurance policy, you are legally obligated to ensure that the car remains insured until it is paid off because your name is on the note. This is true even if you do not have possession or control of the vehicle. If your ex is a deadbeat and fails to make insurance premium payments, you may find yourself financially liable if he is in an accident.
The biggest problem here is that insurance policies are designed for individuals, or for individuals and their spouses and immediate family. They are not designed for non-married couples. While some policies will have provisions written into them for dealing with divorce, these provisions do not apply to non-married couples and therefore cannot help you.
My advice to you is that you sit down with your Trusted Choice® insurance agent and review all the facts. That way, your agent can try to find a way to protect you and your property as much as possible. This will work out best if there is a line of communication open with your ex-boyfriend so that all parties can be in agreement and work together toward a resolution. Treat this as a learning experience. I always advise unmarried couples who are co-habitating to sit down with an insurance agent to discuss insurance and how policies and property should be handled, both as a couple and as individuals. Doing so can prevent problems like this from arising if you break up later on down the road.