Insurance Offers Lifeline to Domestic Violence Victims

For immediate release
New York Press Office: Loretta Worters, 917-208-8842, lorettaw@iii.org

 

NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 2021—Domestic violence victims are in a better position to leave an abusive relationship if they make changes to their insurance policies and gain a fuller understanding of their financial situation, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).

The Triple-I’s announcement coincides with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s (NCADV) release today of its 2020 “Remember My Name” poster. It includes the names of domestic violence victims killed in 2020. The NCADV, in conjunction with Ms. Magazine, started the Remember My Name project in 1994 to create a national registry of names to increase public awareness of domestic violence deaths.

"Home is often times a dangerous place for survivors of domestic violence, and COVID-19 exacerbates the circumstances, due to the abusers' ability to further control," said Ruth Glenn, president and CEO, NCADV. "One of the most powerful methods of keeping a survivor trapped in an abusive relationship is not being able to support themselves financially. That’s why insurance and financial education are so important. Education can save a life.”

Before leaving an abusive relationship, victims should make these changes to their insurance policies, the Triple-I recommends.

·    Auto Insurance– If you take a car with you when leaving an abuser, purchase a separate auto insurance policy. Make sure your name is removed from any joint auto policies. Victims buying a new car should secure a new auto insurance policy before the car is registered.

·    Homeowners and Renters Insurance –​ When a victim moves out of a residence shared previously with an abuser, it is likely the victim will be renting, or even buying, a place to live and will need to purchase a new renters or homeowners insurance policy. This will protect the victim in the event their belongings are either stolen or damaged by an insured disaster, such as a fire, snowstorm, or a windstorm. Installing a security device will also provide the victim with peace of mind and a potential premium discount on their policy, too.

·    Life Insurance –​ If a victim owns a life insurance policy or participates in a group life insurance policy through their employer, they should change the policy beneficiary’s name if it currently lists their abuser.

The pandemic’s repercussions—layoffs, loss of income, living with an abuser due to remote working arrangements—has kept hidden some instances of domestic violence which may hamper a victim from leaving an abuser, according to the NCADV.

The NCADV reports 20,000 calls are placed nationwide to domestic violence hotlines each day. In addition, 85 percent of women who leave an abusive relationship return because of their economic dependence on their abusers, the organization estimates.


The Triple-I has a full library of educational videos on its YouTube Channel. Information about Triple-I mobile apps can be found here.

Back to top