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You and your partner rely on and support one another. As you’re building and maintaining a life together, you also grow to rely on one another financially.

So, what happens if you’re suddenly not there anymore?

If your significant other relies on your income, they are going to struggle if it’s no longer available.

Term life insurance can help ensure your loved one is safe from financial disaster if you die unexpectedly. We will guide you both through the process of getting term life insurance so your loved one will not feel financial struggle in the wake of unexpected loss.

Life Insurance for Married Couples

Married couples, especially if you have children, have the greatest need for life insurance.

You have made a lifelong commitment to this person through sickness and health. If you die unexpectedly, will they struggle to get by without your income?

Mortgage payment, credit card debt, funeral expenses, these are all things that a term life insurance policy could help pay for if something happened to one of you. If you have children, everyday expenses (such as daycare) and even college could be taken care of as well.

» Compare: Term life insurance quotes

Stay-at-Home Spouses

Even if you are not providing a primary source of income, you should have a life insurance policy.

If a stay-at-home parent were to suddenly die, imagine everything the surviving spouse would need to take care of.

Would the surviving parent have enough money to cover taking off work to be there for your children and figure out who is going to do everything the stay-at-home parent did? This includes, but is not limited to, providing clothing and meals, daycare, and transporting your children to and from school and other activities.

Owning Life Insurance on Each Other

You can purchase and be the owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy on your spouse. In fact, it’s very common for spouses to buy life insurance on one another.

You are not, however, able to purchase a policy on them without their knowledge. Your spouse will need to participate in the application process.

» Learn more: When Should Someone Else Own My Life Insurance?

Naming Your Spouse Your Beneficiary

Instead of buying life insurance on one another, couples may opt to buy their own policies and simply name their spouse as the beneficiary.

If you make your spouse your primary beneficiary, be sure to include secondary beneficiaries as well.

In the event that the both of you pass away at the same time (e.g. a car accident) or your spouse passes before you, there should be contingent beneficiaries next in line. Keep in mind with most policies you can change your beneficiaries at any time. Reviewing your policies regularly is a good idea.

As a couple, you may wonder if buying two policies from the same insurance carrier is easiest. It’s not, nor is it likely the cheapest method.

Insurance companies follow different sets of underwriting guidelines. And every individual applying for life insurance has a different health and lifestyle background. So, while Insurance Company ABC may be the best option for one of the spouses, it may not be the best choice for the other.

Comparison shopping is the best way to find the best policy. But you don’t need to do it yourself. Let Quotacy do it for you.

See what you’d pay for life insurance

Comparison shop prices on custom coverage amounts from the nation’s top carriers with Quotacy.

Life Insurance Unmarried Couples

You don’t need to be married to buy life insurance on your significant other.

You can own each other’s life insurance policy as long as you can prove there is an insurable interest. In other words, you have to prove the other person would have financial hardship if you died.

Owning a business together, living together and both being listed on the lease, or having a child are examples of insurable interest; proving that your significant other would be financially impacted if you died.

» Learn more: Can I Buy Life Insurance on My Significant Other?

Life Insurance for Same-Sex Couples

Gay and lesbian couples in committed relationships share the same concerns as straight couples: What will happen to my loved ones if I die unexpectedly?

You do not want your partner to struggle financially if you die and if you have any children you don’t want their standard of living to change.

As of 2015, with the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, all states in the U.S. are required to recognize same-sex marriage. This act makes buying life insurance much easier for gay couples.

Gay or straight, the insurance company will underwrite you the same as any other applicant. And you’ll have to prove insurable interest, just as other couples do.

How much life insurance do couples need?

When you buy term life insurance, you choose the face amount (how much your beneficiary receives if you die during the term) and the term length (how long the coverage is in place for).

Most financial planners recommend that you buy enough life insurance to cover 10-15 times your income. However, this amount isn’t right for everyone.

If you have children, how many you have, their ages, and whether or not you plan on contributing to their college education affects how much life insurance you need.

The size of your mortgage, or if you have cabins or vacation homes, also affects how much life insurance you need.

The amount of shared debt, and debt that your partner would end up being responsible for upon your death, affects how much life insurance you need.

If you don’t know where to start, check out our free life insurance needs calculator. Learn your suggested coverage amount by simply answering few questions about your life and finances.

Term life insurance lasts a specific period of time. The term you choose is how long you have coverage for. Term lengths range from 10-40 years.

It’s recommended that you buy a long enough term that provides protection until you’re in or near retirement. Once in retirement, hopefully, your debts have diminished and your partner could rely on savings if you die.

The younger you are, the more affordable life insurance is. The average cost of a policy for a 30-year-old is only about $160 a year, or about $13 a month. Don’t wait to buy life insurance.

No matter what type of relationship you’re in, whether you have been together for 20 years or you just got married last week, life insurance should be top on your financial planning list. You are there for each other now and you want to support each other in the future, even if one of you is gone.

Quotacy can help you get the best coverage for your individual situation. Start planning now by taking 30 seconds to get a term life insurance quote. This is the one thing you may wish you didn’t put off until tomorrow.

About the writer

Headshot of Natasha Cornelius, a life insurance writer, for Quotacy, Inc.

Natasha Cornelius, CLU

Senior Editor and Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Natasha Cornelius, CLU, is a writer, editor, and life insurance researcher for Quotacy.com where her goal is to make life insurance more transparent and easier to understand. She has been in the life insurance industry since 2010 and has been writing about life insurance since 2014. Natasha earned her Chartered Life Underwriter designation in 2022. She is also co-host of Quotacy’s YouTube series. Connect with her on LinkedIn.