Life insurance is one of life’s necessary evils. You have to pay for it to protect your loved ones, yet it’s not something you want to pay for or even think about since it deals with death. Most married couples understand the importance of protecting their spouse and family, but what if you’re in a committed relationship but not married?
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Can you get life insurance on your boyfriend or girlfriend if there’s no official marriage license? We explore the topic in detail below.
Table of Content
- Can Unmarried Couples get Life Insurance?
- Do Both Parties Qualify for Life Insurance?
- Are you Engaged?
- Reasons Unmarried Couples get Turned Down for Life Insurance
- Can I Buy Life Insurance for my Boyfriend (or Girlfriend) without Him/Her Knowing?
- Can Unmarried Couples Name their Significant Other as the Beneficiary?
- The Types of Life Insurance you can Buy on your Boyfriend or Girlfriend
- Should you get Life Insurance on your Boyfriend or Girlfriend?
Can Unmarried Couples get Life Insurance?
The short answer is ‘yes,’ unmarried couples can get life insurance. When you ask yourself if you can get life insurance on your boyfriend or girlfriend, the answer is a bit more complicated, though.
You must meet some important criteria to be eligible to buy life insurance on one another.
Is there Insurable Interest?
This is the largest component of the situation. You must show there is some type of financial dependency that would leave your boyfriend or girlfriend financially suffering if you died. In other words, you must prove there is a financial interest, and the other party would suffer should you die.
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There are multiple reasons you may have a financial interest in one another, but here are some common reasons:
- You own a house together. If you both contribute to the mortgage, the other partner will suffer a financial loss if you die. The mortgage would be his/her responsibility, which life insurance proceeds could cover.
- You own a car together. A car isn’t as expensive as a home, but it’s still a financial obligation. If you’re both on loan, the other party would be responsible for the loan, which life insurance proceeds could cover.
- You have a child together. If you are both the parents of the child, there is a financial dependency on one another that life insurance proceeds could help cover should one of you die.
Do Both Parties Qualify for Life Insurance?
Like medical insurance, life insurance is a risk for insurance companies. Most policies require a medical exam and evaluation of your lifestyle, finances, and family history to determine the legibility for life insurance.
There are options for no-exam life insurance, but the premiums are much higher, and the coverage limits are lower. These guaranteed life insurance policies are usually reserved for final expenses, such as a funeral, cremation or final medical expenses, rather than leaving behind a legacy for loved ones.
The younger and healthier you are when you get life insurance, the less it costs. Life insurance companies look at things like:
- Overall health – Height, weight, blood pressure, pulse, and various screening tests for things like diabetes, heart disease, or other risk factors.
- Age – The older you are, the closer you are to death than a younger person. This increases your premiums but doesn’t necessarily make you ineligible.
- Lifestyle – If you have a risky lifestyle, like jumping out of planes, rock climbing, or driving a race car, you may have a more challenging time finding insurance. They also ask questions (and test for) things like smoking, drinking, and drugs.
Are you Engaged?
Being engaged is almost as good as being married in the eyes of a life insurance company. If you’re engaged to be married (and can prove it), you may not have to jump through as many hoops to get life insurance.
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Most life insurance companies will ask for a wedding date. If it’s not within reason, they may question your dependency on one another. But if it’s relatively soon and you own a house together or have other living arrangements together, you increase your chances of buying life insurance on one another.
Reasons Unmarried Couples get Turned Down for Life Insurance
Just because unmarried couples can get life insurance on one another doesn’t mean they always will. Partners can be denied life insurance for many reasons, including:
It’s a new relationship
You must show there is an established relationship between you and your significant other. If you just started dating, it won’t show financial dependence on one another. Owning a house together, living together with both parties on a lease, or owning any other assets together will help prove your need for life insurance on one another.
You don’t live together
Like we said above, you must show dependency on one another. If you each have separate homes, you aren’t financially dependent on one another and may have a harder time proving you need insurance on each other.
Nothing else binds you together
If there’s nothing mutually exclusive between the two of you, it’s hard to prove you depend on one another financially. Without this proof, most life insurance companies would turn you down.
Can I Buy Life Insurance for my Boyfriend (or Girlfriend) without Him/Her Knowing?
While you can buy life insurance for your boyfriend or girlfriend, there is one major stipulation – you can’t do it without them knowing.
The insured (your boyfriend or girlfriend) must agree to it and sign the application to get the insurance. You must prove the person you are insuring is of sound mind to make financial decisions and agrees to the policy.
The insured must also give the insurance company permission to look at his/her health, driving, and maybe even credit records. All information about the insured’s life must also come from the insured to prove that he/she is on board with the process.
You’ll have much more luck naming your boyfriend/girlfriend as beneficiary if you aren’t married, though.
Can Unmarried Couples Name their Significant Other as the Beneficiary?
Life insurance companies don’t tell you who you can and cannot have as your beneficiary on life insurance. If you insure yourself and want to name your boyfriend or girlfriend as the life insurance beneficiary, you are more than welcome to do so.
Since the policy is on you and not them, you don’t need their consent, but it’s nice to let them know they are the beneficiary should anything happen to you.
If you break up, though, make sure you change your beneficiary right away. If their name is still on the policy, that is who will receive your payout when you die. It’s a good idea to revisit your policies annually to make sure nothing has changed.
The Types of Life Insurance you can Buy on your Boyfriend or Girlfriend
Before you buy life insurance on your boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s essential to understand the options available.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance is suitable for a specified period or term. You can buy it for 10, 20, or 30 years in most cases. Young couples often purchase term life insurance to cover their mortgage should one party pass away. They also buy it to cover the cost of raising children until they are 18-years old or to cover any other temporary expenses they won’t have forever.
Term life insurance is the most affordable option and is also the easiest to qualify for since it doesn’t last forever.
Permanent Life Insurance
- The policies last for the insured’s entire life as long as premiums are paid
- The policies build up a cash value that you can use during retirement to pay for college, buy a house, or other important reasons
- The premiums are much higher than term life insurance
- You can use the cash value of the policy to cover the premiums when you reach a certain value
Does my wife have to be my beneficiary?
Your wife does not have to be your beneficiary. You are in charge of who you name as beneficiaries, and it can be anyone you want. It’s best to revisit your policies often to make sure you didn’t make a rash decision one day when you were upset with your wife when you actually want her to have your life insurance proceeds.
Can I cancel a life insurance policy someone has on me?
No one can take life insurance out on you if you aren’t aware, which means you can’t cancel the life insurance you agreed to let them take out on you. When someone takes out a policy on you, they are the owner, and you are the insured. If you are the owner and the insured, you are free to do what you want with the policy.
Are you automatically a beneficiary on your boyfriend’s policy if you are pregnant?
No, you are never automatically a beneficiary on someone’s policy, no matter what your life situation is at the time. Your boyfriend must name you as a beneficiary officially in the policy to get the proceeds.
Should you get Life Insurance on your Boyfriend or Girlfriend?
You can get life insurance on your boyfriend or girlfriend, but it’s best to wait until you’re in a serious/committed relationship. If you move in together, have a baby together or even at engaged, that’s enough of a reason to insure one another.
Until that point, though, focus on insuring yourself, naming the beneficiaries who would suffer financially because of your death or who would be responsible for covering your final expenses, and changing the policy if/when you are in a committed relationship.