Life Insurance for Unmarried Couples

Unmarried couples can obtain life insurance policies on each other, but they have to prove shared financial obligations. Discover what's required for life insurance for unmarried couples today.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

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 Laura Walker

UPDATED: Jun 23, 2022

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The Rundown

  • You can always take out an insurance policy on yourself and name anyone you want as the beneficiary
  • The type of domestic relationship between partners determines whether you can take a policy out on your partner
  • Getting engaged or forming a domestic partnership makes it easier for partners to take out life insurance policies on each other

When you’re in a long-term relationship, you may want to have a life insurance policy on your significant other in case something should happen to them. When you’re married, this process is quick and simple. However, life insurance for unmarried couples can be a little trickier.

Anyone, married or single, can always take out a life insurance policy on themselves and name whomever they wish as the beneficiary. However, if you’re wondering if you can take out a life insurance policy on your boyfriend or girlfriend, the answer isn’t so simple. Here are the important things to know about getting life insurance for unmarried couples.

Requirements for Life Insurance for Unmarried Couples

Marital status is one of the first things insurance companies look at when determining whether you can take out a life insurance policy on your partner. That’s because one of the primary things insurance companies consider is the financial impact of a death.

If you need life insurance, the purpose is to ease any financial hardship for the surviving partner if the other one were to die. If there are no shared financial responsibilities, then an insurance company could decide there would be no financial hardship. 

Most insurance companies require proof of this financial burden for you to get life insurance on your significant other. Examples of this proof may be:

  • Having children together
  • Shared debts
  • A jointly owned home
  • Both partners’ names on a lease

Essentially, you need to be able to show the insurance company that your partner’s death would transfer a significant financial obligation to you. This is also known as “insurable interest.”

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What types of relationships qualify for life insurance for unmarried couples?

There are a few different types of relationships, and insurance companies will consider this when it comes to insurability. Here’s how each type may affect your ability to get life insurance.  

Life Insurance for Engaged Couples

The quickest and easiest way to get life insurance on a partner is to get engaged. Even though you’re not married yet, as long as a date is set, most insurance companies will treat it as if you are already married. Getting life insurance at the right time will be beneficial for married couples.

Life Insurance for Domestic Partnerships

Marriage and engagement aren’t the only legal relationship designations. In most states, it’s also possible to register a domestic partnership. Because a domestic partnership is recognized as a legal designation, insurance companies will typically treat this type of relationship the same as a marriage.

Not all states recognize domestic partnerships, though. So you’ll have to check with your state to determine whether this is an option. 

Life Insurance for Couples Who Live Together

Getting life insurance on your partner before marriage is much easier if you’re in a legally recognized relationship. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get it without a legal designation.

You’ll need to prove that you share financial obligations with your partner, such that the death of your partner would cause financial hardship for you. The easiest way to do this for those who are not married or in a domestic partnership is by living together. If you can provide an insurance company with a shared mortgage or rental lease, you stand a good chance of qualifying for a policy.

Life Insurance for Unmarried Couples That Live Separately

The most challenging type of relationship when it comes to getting a life insurance policy on a partner is one in which you don’t live together. Unmarried couples who are not in a domestic partnership and maintain separate residences will find it difficult to get a policy.

However, there is still a chance if you can prove shared financial obligations. This could be in the form of a co-owned vehicle, shared debt, or other significant financial commitments for which both parties are legally responsible.  

Getting Joint Life Insurance for Unmarried Couples

While marriage makes it easy to get life insurance policies on one another, you can still get coverage without ever saying “I do.” While not as simple as marriage, any legally recognized relationship status will make the process relatively painless. Getting engaged or registering as a domestic partnership are the next best things to marriage in the eyes of insurance companies. Getting married also provides the opportunity for family life insurance.

If you don’t want to get engaged and cannot register as a domestic partnership in your state, then moving in together with both names on either the mortgage or lease will significantly improve your chances of getting life insurance on your partner.

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