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We understand that you have loved ones you want to protect. If there are people who depend on you, life insurance can help if you die unexpectedly.

But what if you are unemployed? Can you still get a life insurance policy?

There are some factors the life insurance company will take into consideration if you want to apply for life insurance and are not working.

How long have you been unemployed?

If you are in a bout of short-term unemployment, such as a lay-off, there is a good chance you can still be approved for life insurance. If you have a history of steady employment and plan on working again soon, many companies would approve your application.

If you have a good skill-set and have made a decent income in the not-too-distant past, there is a good chance your application would be approved since the chances of you getting a job are good.

If you worked in an industry that typically has jobs-a-plenty, insurance companies will view your application more favorably. If you worked in an industry that is on a decline, such as a dial-up Internet installer, you might have a little more trouble getting insurance.

» Compare: Term life insurance quotes

If you stopped working to be a stay-at-home parent, this is a different situation. While you are technically “unemployed,” you still work. The duties of a stay-at-home parent total many jobs in one.

Typically, life insurance companies will allow a stay-at-home parent to have coverage equal to that of the working spouse. If the working spouse makes a substantial amount of money and has a substantial amount of life insurance coverage, insurance companies may cut the coverage for the stay-at-home parent in half. Needless to say, having life insurance coverage on both parents is vital.

What assets do you have?

Along with figuring out how your health plays into the company’s risk to insure you, they also have to consider your financial situation. You pay to keep your coverage active, but the insurance company pays costs too. The insurance company pays administration costs, marketing costs, costs of death claims, and the costs of your medical exam and testing.

These costs take years to recover. Policy lapses due to a policyholder not being able to pay are not something they look forward to. So before offering coverage to someone who is unemployed, insurance companies will want to know with some degree of certainty that you have the ability to steadily pay premiums.

If you are unemployed, but have other means of income or are a good penny-pincher and have a decent savings, the insurance company may approve your application if they feel you have the means to pay the premiums.

If you have been unemployed for some time and it’s uncertain where the money for premiums will come from, then your life insurance application most likely will be postponed or declined altogether.

See what you’d pay for life insurance

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

Buying Life Insurance While Unemployed

There are two types of life insurance: permanent life insurance and term life insurance. Term life insurance is the most affordable type of life insurance coverage and much easier to get approval for if you are unemployed.

To increase your chances of getting life insurance, consider the following:

  • Work with experience – Quotacy has experience working with many life insurance carriers so we can shop your case with multiple insurers and find which company is more favorable to your situation.
  • Be able to show you are capable – Having a copy of your resume ready to send to the insurer, and perhaps even having a list of jobs you are applying for may help your case. The key is to demonstrate that your unemployment status is short-term.
  • Show your financial strength – Having evidence that you are financially stable, and have a track record of it, may sway a company to see your application more favorably. Proof of this can include saving and/or investment accounts, having little to no debt, and having good credit.
  • Apply for a lower amount – If you are unemployed, but apply for a $1,000,000 policy, the insurance company is going to be a little leery of this. The more coverage, the higher the premiums and the insurer is going to be concerned that you won’t be able to keep up with the payments. Applying for a lower amount will be much easier to get approval for.

Getting a term life insurance quote with Quotacy is free and your personal information isn’t required until you are ready to apply. We want to make buying life insurance easier and will help you get the coverage right for you.

» Calculate: Life insurance needs calculator

Watch the Buy Life Insurance if Unemployed Video

About the writer

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

Natasha Cornelius, CLU

Senior Editor and 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.