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Auto and Property Insurance Rights Granted to Civil Union Spouses in Illinois

By Nottage and Ward on August 18, 2011

As the nuances of Illinois’ civil union law come into focus, we continue to discuss the new benefits that civil union couples in the state have been given in our ongoing blog series. This post discusses what rights civil union spouses are given in relation to auto and property insurance.

Do insurers have to give civil union couples the same joint policies and discounts offered to married couples?

Yes. Insurers are required to offer the same contracts and policies to civil union couples as offered to married couples. If rates and/or discounts are offered based upon marital status by an insurer, they are required to treat civil union couples and married couples identically.

How can a civil union spouse be added to a homeowners’ or auto policy?

Civil union spouses will be covered under their spouse’s policy automatically. All homeowners’ and auto insurance policies offer coverage for an insurer’s “spouse” and dependent children. Under the civil union law, the term “spouse” now includes parties in a civil union. As a result, auto and homeowners’ policies provided coverage to civil union spouses when the civil union is in effect. If a couple entered into a civil union in another state before the law was effective, their spouse will be covered by such insurance policies beginning on June 1, 2011.

Will a civil union spouse be covered under a homeowners’ or auto policy if the named insurer dies?

Yes, these policies allow the surviving spouse of the insured to continue to keep the coverage and pay premiums should the named insurer pass away.

Are teenage children of civil union couples able to be added to the parents’ auto insurance policy?

Yes. For teenage drivers, being added to their parents’ policy is generally the easiest and least expensive option. The civil union law guarantees that children of civil union couples be given the same coverage and benefits as children of married couples. A teen driver can either be added to one of their parents’ vehicles, or if they have their own vehicle (and one of their parents’ names is on the title), the vehicle can be added to the auto insurance policy.

To learn more, visit http://www.insurance.illinois.gov or speak with a civil union attorney in Illinois, such as those at Nottage and Ward. To schedule a consultation, call 312-332-2915 today.

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