Life Insurance for Unmarried Couples

Marriage may help your eligibility for life insurance, but unmarried couples can still obtain policies. The main requirement of life insurance for unmarried couples is that the pair share financial obligations, such as mortgage or car payments. It is easier to find affordable life insurance for unmarried couples who live together, are engaged, or are in a domestic partnership.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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The Rundown

  • Life insurance for unmarried couples depends on financial dependence
  • Life insurance companies base eligibility on the type of domestic partnership between partners
  • Making your partner a beneficiary on your life insurance policy is an alternate option

A common misconception is that you have to be married to insure your partner. In reality, the best insurance companies offer life insurance coverage to couples based on financial dependability.

Read our guide about life insurance for unmarried couples to help determine your eligibility.

For those interested in life insurance rates for unmarried couples, enter your ZIP code to find the best life insurance quotes in your area.

Why do you need life insurance for unmarried couples?

In the past, couples may have waited until marriage to live together, but more people than ever are living together without being married. Life insurance companies understand this and offer coverage for unmarried couples.

Regardless of marital status, many couples that live together share financial obligations, such as a mortgage, car payments, and other bills. Should one of the pair pass away, it could create financial difficulties for the other person.

Life insurance for unmarried couples allows you to be proactive about your financial situation and prepare for the unexpected in the future.

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What is required to buy life insurance for unmarried couples?

Rather than marital status, a life insurance company for unmarried couples will determine eligibility on insurable interest. This is the financial impact of a partner’s death.

Life insurance companies usually require evidence that the person will suffer financial hardship without the other person, and there are various ways that you can prove insurable interest.

Some examples that can be provided to obtain life insurance for unmarried couples include:

  • Both individuals being named on a lease
  • Jointly owning home or business
  • Debts naming both individuals
  • Having children

If you’re looking to insure your partner, you’ll also need their consent. Life insurance companies require proof of consent before they’ll allow you to purchase a policy.

A potentially easier option is to purchase a term life or whole life insurance policy for yourself and name your partner as the beneficiary.

If you’re concerned about naming a person you’re not married to as your beneficiary, there are alternatives. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are two types of beneficiaries, and the type you choose determines how the benefits of the policy are doled out.

What relationships are eligible for life insurance for unmarried couples?

While you don’t have to be married to obtain life insurance, not every couple will be eligible. Life insurance companies look at a couple’s domestic situation before offering affordable life insurance for unmarried couples.

Life insurance companies place couples into four different categories to determine eligibility:

Life Insurance for Engaged Couples

The easiest way to obtain life insurance without being married is to be engaged. Most life insurance companies consider the marriage completed once a date is set. Acceptance of this type of relationship is virtually guaranteed by all life insurance companies.

Life Insurance for a Registered Domestic Partnership

A registered domestic partnership is a legal agreement between the two people in a relationship. It allows them to take advantage of certain marital benefits without actually getting married. Some of the benefits acquired through this agreement are shared insurance coverage and guardian designations.

This is a good option for unmarried couples because many life insurance companies treat a domestic partnership as a marriage. However, not every state recognizes a registered domestic partnership so you’ll have to determine if the designation is recognized in your state.

Life Insurance for Couples who Live Together but aren’t Domestic Partners

The easiest way to prove insured interest is to be engaged or in a registered domestic partnership. But you can also obtain life insurance coverage without a legal partnership. It just might be a little more difficult.

If a couple lives together but is not married, they’ll have to prove insurable interest. Some common ways of doing this are by sharing a mortgage, car payments, or other bills.

Life insurance for Couples who Don’t Live Together and aren’t Engaged

A couple that doesn’t live together and isn’t engaged will find it difficult to find life insurance for unmarried couples. They have to show that they share financial obligations, which can be difficult when they don’t share bills.

Future plans are not considered credible by life insurance companies so informing them of plans to get married won’t help you obtain coverage.

Life Insurance for Unmarried Couples: The Bottom Line

Life insurance companies determine eligibility on shared financial obligations. Unmarried couples can obtain coverage if they can prove financial hardship without the other person. Examining the specifics of life insurance for unmarried couples will help you determine your eligibility.

To find life insurance quotes for unmarried couples, enter your ZIP code to discover the best life insurance rates in your area.

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