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How to Purchase Life Insurance on Ex-Husband

Protect the Alimony or Child Support your Ex-Husband Provides with Life InsuranceAs a life insurance agent, one question I often get asked is, “Can I purchase life insurance on my ex-husband?”

In most cases, Yes!

But here are the conditions:

1.  You Must Prove “Insurable Interest”

You have to be able to prove that you would somehow be financially impacted by your ex-husband’s death.  If so, there is a legitimate need for insurance, or “insurable interest“.

By far, the #1 reason a woman takes out life insurance on her ex-husband is to protect her alimony income.

If the ex-husband dies, and your alimony payments stop, there’s a case where you need life insurance.  Say you’re getting paid child support, or have children you’re both helping to put through school or college, his death would mean you have to bear 100% of the financial burden of raising your child/children.  You too have an insurable interest.

2. Yes, He Must Know about the Insurance

Since your ex-husband will be the insured, he will need to answer questions about his health and sign an insurance application.  You can’t take a life insurance policy out on your ex-husband without his knowledge.  It’s impossible.

In fact, he will not only know about it, but he may have to take a medical exam so the insurance company will make an offer.  I’ve run into some trouble here in the past, when the ex-husband doesn’t want to cooperate with answering questions or taking an exam.  If you have children together, you might consider putting the children down as beneficiaries on the policy, and telling him so, to get his cooperation.  If you don’t have children, sometimes a charity or religious organization will work.

Who are the Parties Involved in Purchasing the Policy?

In most cases, you would be the owner, payor, and beneficiary.  Your ex-husband would only be the insured.  Be sure to tell him he would not be liable for any missed payments – ever.  As the owner, you have 100% control over the policy.  You can change the beneficiaries, payment mode or frequency, or even decrease the face value (death benefit).  For whole life or other cash value policies, the owner would also maintain complete control of the cash value, including having access to cash or loans.  Your ex-husband would have no control or access to the policy, and structured like this, would in no way benefit from being the insured on the policy.

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FAQ’S:

Can a Man Purchase Life Insurance on His Ex-Wife?

Yes.  Everything written above applies to both cases.

Can I purchase life insurance on my boyfriend or girlfriend?

Yes, again – as long as there is legitimate insurable interest. I wrote an article on this question, which can be found here.

Getting Started

Interested in a Life Insurance Quote? Simply use the form on the upper right-hand side of this page, or give us a call at 877-443-9467.

*Written by Chris Huntley. Huntley Wealth Insurance and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.
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Chris Huntley
Chris Huntley is the owner of Huntley Wealth Insurance, a San Diego life insurance agency. You can find him on Google + and Facebook. Over the past 8 years, Chris has consulted with over 2000 individuals about their insurance needs. He is a proud husband and father to three adorable girls.
Chris Huntley
Chris Huntley

Can you purchase life insurance on your ex-husband or ex-wife? Sure can! Must meet 2 criteria of having an insurance interest and telling ex-spouse about the life insurance. Alimony is #1 reason for buying life insurance on an ex-spouse.


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{ 57 comments… add one }

  • David Murray October 12, 2011, 12:46 am

    Can an ex-spouse keep a life insurance policy in force on their ex-spouse’s life without their knowledge? I assume they would have to continue to show an insurable interest, correct? If someone tried to file a claim because they kept such a policy in force unbeknownst to the insurance company, could this be considered insurance fraud?

    Thank you for any information you can provide on this matter!

    David Murray

    • Chris November 21, 2011, 11:21 am

      You only have to show insurable interest at time of purchase. If there’s no longer an insurable interest at some point, it’s up to the owner whether or not they want to keep the policy in force.

  • Laurelle January 18, 2012, 4:09 pm

    My ex-husband owes me over $30,000, which I have been unable to collect (he is friends with the district attorney), and he swears he made payments, but I never received them. He now lives in a million dollar house, has alienated my daughter against me, and I am wondering if I can get an insurance policy, and at least recover some of the money he never paid (it was only a measly $100/month). I feel I have lost everything, and have nothing.

    • Chris January 18, 2012, 5:51 pm

      Laurelle,
      I’m very sorry about your situation. That is tough, indeed.
      You could take out a policy on your ex-husband with his knowledge and consent, and provided that we can still prove an insurable interest.

  • Gina August 1, 2012, 4:26 pm

    Can an ex-spouse keep an insurance policy on you even if you don’t want them to?

    • Chris Huntley August 13, 2012, 12:54 pm

      Yes. I assume you mean if it was purchased while they were married.

  • Roberto de September 3, 2012, 3:38 pm

    Back in 2000 my espouse was still covered in a life insurance thru my job when she passed was I entitled for the insurance if I was still paying it keep in mind I was divorced already

    • Chris Huntley September 7, 2012, 4:46 pm

      Hello Robert,
      If the policy was still in good standing and you were the beneficiary, you should technically be able to file a claim and may be able to collect pursuant to the company’s normal claim approval process.

      • Roberto de September 10, 2012, 11:32 am

        Thanks , I called the company I used to work with and they said there looking in to it I know the policy was thru Aetna like I said it was back in 2000 will I still be able to collect and if I do will they pay intrest.

        • Chris Huntley September 13, 2012, 11:56 am

          I believe many policies do pay interest on top of the death benefit. Good luck.

        • Lauren November 8, 2013, 6:19 pm

          Hi Robert,
          I am going through the same thing right now and I would just like to know how everything worked out for you?

  • Shannon October 8, 2012, 8:41 pm

    In my final judgement, I did get court okay on obtaining life insurance, at my own expense, on my former spouse. This may be a stupid question, but where do I go to initiate this
    process?

    • Chris Huntley October 22, 2012, 1:13 pm

      Hello Shannon,
      Just give us a call at 877-443-9467 and give us the health details on your ex-spouse. We can give you a quote.

  • Roberto de October 9, 2012, 4:32 pm

    Dear Chris
    Today I got a call from the offices of my former employer regarding the insurance , they got the death certificate already now they want my divorce decry and she ask since when we’ve been divorce , do you know why there asking all those questions.

  • Roberto de October 23, 2012, 1:22 pm

    Today I get another call the lady told me that since we were divorced in 1996 that the life insurance would not be valid that she would have not been coverd through the company’s policy Do you think I should get an attorney or just let it go.

  • Heather November 5, 2012, 9:58 pm

    My ex-spouse and I kept our life insurance policy for eachother after our divorce to help with the expenses of raising our child , should one of us die. My question is, is it better to set up a trust for my child instead of leaving a lump sum of money to my ex, with the hope that he does the ‘right thing’ with the money?

    • Chris Huntley November 6, 2012, 1:36 pm

      I’m no lawyer but that sounds like a good idea to me. Then you could even elect someone you trust to be the trustee of that trust, and your child or child’s new guardian could only access the funds for whatever provisions you allow, such as schooling, transportation, clothing, etc.

  • gloria November 8, 2012, 4:16 pm

    How can a ex wife take out insurance on ex husband an put herself down as wife an sign his name without his permission.They have been divorced since 1993 an she did thid in 2004,is this legal to do or is this fraud,he also had cancer an she new it an she was also remarried at this time to another man.need help with this one

    • Chris Huntley November 14, 2012, 2:05 pm

      Hi Gloria,
      What you’re describing is not possible without fraudulently signing the application in his name. All Life Insurance applications require the signature of the insured.

  • MinCy January 6, 2013, 3:06 am

    My husband’s ex wife is asking to get a policy out, he won’t pay any cent and she will be the beneficiary, this is also part of their divorce agreement, they have no child. Is she with “insurable interest” to qualify for a life insurance? Since he is married now, can my husband say NO to this? What is law about this in California. Please help. I dont want my husband to die sooner. :(

    • Chris Huntley January 11, 2013, 3:48 pm

      Yes, Mincy. She does have an insurable interest. Her income is dependent upon him being alive.

  • Lisa January 9, 2013, 4:13 pm

    Would I have an insurability interest in my soon to be ex husband since I will be getting half his pension, which is about $2000 per month but stops at his death? What type of language would need to be in the divorce decree where he would have to agree to it as long as I paid for the policy? I don’t want my livelihood to be tied to him and have a significant drop in income when he dies.

    • Chris Huntley January 11, 2013, 3:43 pm

      Hi Lisa,
      Yes, you certainly would have an insurable interest. Give us a call at 877-443-9467 for a quote.

  • Amber Tiell January 27, 2013, 10:32 am

    Hello,

    I have been divorced since 2005 and have three young kids with my ex husband. We have shared custody….that being said would I be able to take out a life insurance policy on him? He has one on me that he has continued to pay on from when we were married.

    Thanx
    Amber tiell

    • Chris Huntley February 7, 2013, 3:24 pm

      You definitely have an insurable interest since you would be taking care of the kids 100% of the time if he were to pass away. He must be willing to cooperate though, with letting you take out the policy on him.

  • Jose February 2, 2013, 3:06 pm

    When I got married I got life insurance on my wife in 1999. We were separated in 2001 and divorced in 2006. Can I still keep the insurance policy even thou we are divorced? She is aware the policy excists.

    Thank you

    Jose

    • Chris Huntley February 7, 2013, 3:01 pm

      Yes. You only have to have insurable interest in the insured person at the time of purchase of the policy. Same thing goes for business partners who take out a policy on each other. Even if they close the business, they can keep the policies on each other if they want.

  • Sarah February 4, 2013, 2:46 pm

    My husband’s ex-wife has been trying to take a life insurance policy out on him and he has been turned down twice. I just learned that she has been telling him that the policy would go to their son, but she is claiming that they are still married. She has never changed her last name. Why would she claim they are still married and how would that affect the policy?

    • Chris Huntley February 7, 2013, 2:59 pm

      Maybe she is claiming they are still married because she doesn’t think they will give her the coverage if she says they’re divorced…. just a guess. I would guess that would have no affect on the policy if it gets issued. It does not seem like a material misrepresentation to me, but I’m no lawyer, so maybe you should consult an insurance lawyer. The best thing for her to do is say they are divorced. As long as she still has insurable interest in his life, they will still issue a policy to an ex-wife.

  • donna February 5, 2013, 10:49 am

    I am looking to get life insurance on my x-husband. I get part of his retirement from the military. If he dies that will stop.
    the divorce was a nasty one, and he refuses to have anything to do with signing to take out a policy to cover this income.
    what can I do?

    • Chris Huntley February 7, 2013, 2:49 pm

      Hello Donna,
      You really can’t force him to let you buy life insurance on him unless mandated by the court. Is it too late to work this into your divorce decree? You might offer to reduce your income you get from him in exchange for letting you buy a policy on him.

  • Emma February 7, 2013, 10:56 am

    My ex informed me he took a 500,000$ policy out on me and I have no knowledge of it and did not sign any papers. Is that possible? I am a stay at home parent and the amount he said seems rather high given i have no income. Is there any way to find out if he is telling the truth or bluffing? And if I did not consent is what he did illegal?

    • Chris Huntley February 7, 2013, 2:47 pm

      Hi Emma,
      To my knowledge, you cannot take out a policy on someone without the insured person signing the application, so either he forged it, or he bought it when you were married and you forgot. Sometimes this happens when people pick up some life insurance in the process of buying auto or home insurance, you know?

  • Kim Sterrett February 28, 2013, 7:47 am

    Need life insurance n soon to be ex husband.

    • Chris Huntley March 22, 2013, 3:27 pm

      Hi Kim,
      I’m happy to help.

      Give us a call at 877-443-9467 for a quote.

      Chris

  • Daniel March 14, 2013, 7:42 am

    My mother passed away a month ago. My brother called me and said there is a life insurance policy on her. And that I’m listed as a beneficiary. He’s telling me he’ll take me to court if I don’t sign the check over to him because he made all premium payments and my mother didn’t want me to have any of it. Does he have a leg to stand on in court and am I fighting a losing battle?

    • Chris Huntley March 22, 2013, 3:11 pm

      Sorry Daniel, you’ll have to speak to an attorney about this. I know the insurance company will definitely write the check to you. Obviously at one time, that money, or part of it, was intended for you.

  • Sandi May 16, 2013, 10:48 pm

    My ex and I have been divorced since 1998 we have one son who is now 18 years old. He has some learning disabilities. My son will live with me for the rest of my life. I want to take a whole life policy out on myself and my ex. Making myself and son the beneficiaries on the exes policy. However, I was told that as long as the policy amount is less than $300K I can get the policy without my exes permission. i.e he would not be required to sign the paperwork. Have you heard of this before? Also the ex lives in another state from myself and my son. Would I have to purchase the policy in the state that the ex resides in. If the ex has to sign I don’t for see and issue but if he refuse, I just take him to court on it.

    • Chris Huntley June 3, 2013, 3:13 pm

      Hi Sandi,
      I’ve never heard of the 300K of coverage without his permission. He’ll have to sign as the insured for any policy you buy. Living in a different state shouldn’t be an issue with most companies. Give me a call if you need help at 877-443-9467 and ask for Chris.

  • Gloria September 21, 2013, 2:55 pm

    Hi there, I’m just wondering if I’m able to purchase a life insurance plan on my husband. We are still married & living together.

    • Kimberly Ely October 3, 2013, 11:40 am

      Hi Gloria – You bet! A spouse has ample ‘insurable interest’ to acquire life insurance on their spouse, as long as the insured party agrees to the coverage and is willing to complete the application and submit to an exam. Other acceptable relationships may include adult children acquiring coverage on their parent, domestic partners acquiring insurance on each other and in some cases, non-related parties with an insurable interest in another party, such as a lendor to a lendee to secure the debt. Please give me a call at 877-443-9467 or drop me a quick email and I would be happy to run you some quotes. Thanks!

  • Maureen October 1, 2013, 8:50 pm

    Good evening… I was just divorced last week after 25 years of marriage. 2 kids both in their 20’s. many years ago I got a small life insurance policy on my then spouse through my employer. I left that job years ago but was able to keep the policy and continued payments. Am I still entitled to keep that policy? Even if divorced and I changed my name back?

    • Kimberly Ely October 3, 2013, 12:19 pm

      Hello Maureen – I am sorry to hear of your divorce – I too was divorced after 25 years of marriage, and can assure you – life can be better than ever after a divorce! Even though you are now divorced, you still have valid insurable interest in your ex-husband. Often a judge will decree that a policy must be made available after the divorce, for the benefit of the ex-spouse and/or the children. As the owner of the policy, you still have rights over it, and can make the name change quite easily. You can call the insurance carrier (I usually just Google them to find the contact phone number) and they will either change the beneficiary name for you over the phone, or, they may send you a change form to complete and sign. Either way, you can easily change the name of the beneficiary if you wish. Good luck!

  • Chloe October 9, 2013, 4:39 am

    My spouse recently passed away. His ex is requesting death certificates; she has always lived in a different state than we have. I am told that she purchased life insurance policies in NY after their legal separation in 1995 without his permission or knowledge. There were no minor children at the time, and no award of maintenance at the time of divorce in 1999. The ex applied for and signed my husbands name on all applications for the insurance. Can she do this? I don’t have the names of the companies but it is more than 1. Is there anything I can do about this? Co-incidently her 2nd spouse of 2 1/2 years passed away this year as well, and she changed his beneficiary from his daughter to herself while he was in a coma in a nursing home.

    • Chris Huntley April 16, 2014, 9:08 am

      oh my gosh. This woman seems like she’s out for blood. Of course, legally you can’t buy coverage on someone without their knowledge. you might speak to an attorney about this.

  • Lauren November 8, 2013, 6:16 pm

    I got a life insurance policy through my job for my husband in 2007. We got a divorce in 2011 and he passed away in 2013 and after all of this time I was still paying my premium. Now I am trying to file a claim with a company and they are saying the claim is not eligible because of our divorce and they would like to reimburse my money from the time of the divorce. I live in FL and have never heard of this before is this something that you have heard of because, I am seeking an insurance lawyer and just wanted to receive other opinions.
    Thanks

    • Chris Huntley November 13, 2013, 12:00 pm

      Hi Lauren,
      I would say you should contact an attorney. As long as you were married when you bought the policy, you had insurable interest at the time, but maybe this isn’t an issue of insurable interest, maybe it has something to do with it being a group policy, and you’re only supposed to be able to buy a policy on your spouse through work. You’ll have to check the policy wording, but definitely review it with an attorney.

  • Eileen Stephens December 16, 2013, 6:16 pm

    Hello, I got life insurance on my ex husband when we was married. I still have that policy and still paying on it even though we are now divorce. He has also move to another state is the policy still good, even if he dont live in that state of the policy, or will the insurance company have to refund me money?

    • Chris Huntley April 16, 2014, 8:57 am

      It’s OK for you to keep that policy on him, and no, moving states shouldn’t affect a payout.

  • kelly May 16, 2014, 8:08 pm

    hi chris,
    my xhusband had a life insurance on himself and myself where he works as a police officer in georgia.we got back together and only lived together for about 6 more years until i finally left and remarried in 2011.we had been together 20 years.he just passed away from responding to a fight call and had a massive heart attack.he still had me as his beneficiary.we have always had joint custody of our two kids 16 and 19 with living residency with him so we didnt have to remove them from their school district.his family has a strong dislike for me and before he could get cold they were on phonee at police dept.an everywhere else finding out about money.they have been constantly with chief of police about what im getting and so on.i am finally able to be with my kids in peace after years of physical abuse that they had to see.can they change and forge papers a long with the chief of police an insurance company.i have my kids to think of and all i want is to be able to give them a good life.but can they take this from me cause he talked to me an my kids all the time about this and was very adiment he wanted me to have this.im afraid….can they fight me in ga.

    • Chris Huntley June 12, 2014, 10:46 am

      Hi Kelly,
      You should seek legal counsel about this. If you’re the beneficiary,they shouldn’t be able to mess with your death benefit, and it’s too late for them to forge any papers and change the beneficiary to themselves. I think you should be ok but definitely consult with an attorney about this, as I’m just an insurance agent and can’t comment on this any further.

  • Barbie O'Reilly May 17, 2014, 3:20 pm

    My husbands ex wife has never cancelled the life insurance policy she obtained when they were married back in 1982 So we are being told anyway. My husband cancelled her policy he had, My husband had a lot of medical and is rated as
    “Uninsurable” due to his AFIB, kidneys and liver cancer. I can’t even insure him myself, she keep tell their 30yr old she will make a killing when he dies. Can she keep this policy and claim it God for bid when he passes?

    • Chris Huntley June 12, 2014, 10:43 am

      Per my understanding of life insurance, she isn’t doing anything wrong. At the time she took the policy out, there was an insurable interest. After a policy goes in force, there’s no requirement the insurable interest to remain in tact.

  • jon May 18, 2014, 5:24 am

    hi, my wife filed for divorce in October 1010 and was final in the middle of January 2011..we had been a gold member of AAA for almost 20 years.. in April of 2011 a letter came by mail from the AAA stating that the AAA membership had been dropped but the 1 million dollar life insurance on me remained effective. my wife was the primary AAA membership holder. I had no idea she had taken out this life insurance policy on me. I believe she had taken it out right before she filed for divorce.. at that time I had and still have a life threating disease. I signed nothing and never had any kind of medical exam.. And to make matters worse she withdrew and closed out the bank accounts that we had established for our three grand children.. What legal course of action can I take regarding the life insurance policy…

    • Chris Huntley June 12, 2014, 10:41 am

      Hey Jon,
      Yeah, I think you could get a lawyer for that. I have no idea what could be done though.

  • Lucille Nowakowski October 8, 2014, 1:24 am

    Hi Chris, I was divorced in 2011, my ex husband was ordered to pay child support and also take a life policy insurance naming me the beneficiary, however, he has refused to pay a dime for child support and getting the life insurance policy. I had to raised my kids and provided for them all this yrs. My son and daughter are 17 yo and 19 yo.Hi’s only 49 yo but has some medical problems, can i enforced the court order in regards to the life insurance policy?

    Thank you

    Lucille

    • Chris Huntley October 21, 2014, 7:14 pm

      Hi Lucille,
      Unfortunately, this question falls more under the legal domain. I would suggest you begin with the attorney from your divorce proceedings and/or your local child support enforcement office. I wish you the best of luck with this.

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