I started Insurance Blog by Chris™ because I have a passion for insurance. Here at the blog, our job is to educate and inform people about the best insurance for them. Since then, we have grown into national brands with a large team of researchers helping people understand all forms of insurance.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insu...

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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Apr 19, 2022

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It’s one of the most frequently asked questions: “Can I buy life insurance as an unmarried couple?”

We understand.

There’s definitely some grey area to work through, such as your living arrangements, plans for marriage (or lack thereof), and income dependency.

Luckily, we’ve dealt with hundreds of life insurance cases for unmarried partners, boyfriends/girlfriends, and fiancés.

We understand that just because you haven’t taken a trip down the aisle, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about your financial future.

So whether you’re roommates, soulmates, promised to wed, or happily unmarried for life, we’ve got you covered in this article!

Life Insurance for Unmarried Couples: Insurable Interest Explained

young unmarried couple discussing life insurance with an agent

The most important factor to consider when you are applying for a life insurance policy on your partner and you’re unmarried is proving that you have an “insurable interest”.

Underwriters require a beneficiary to show they will sustain financial hardship as a result of the death. So what does that mean to you?

Here’s the most basic example I can think of for an insurable interest: A husband takes out a life insurance policy on his wife or vice versa. Both parties are working and depend on one another’s income to run the household, thus an insurable interest has been proven without a shadow of a doubt.

RELATED: 5 Critical Tips You Must Know Before Buying Life Insurance

Clearly, there is a financial need for life insurance coverage, and therefore each has an insurable interest in taking out a policy on the other.

In other words, the financial loss is the test that determines whether or not you can take out a life insurance policy on your partner if you are unmarried.

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Unmarried Couples Classifications – So What’s the Deal?

I always tell my clients that knowledge is the name of game when it comes to life insurance. You really need to find an independent agent who knows their stuff. It will save you a bundle in the long run.

A rookie may or may not realize that life insurance companies categorize unmarried couples! Yep! There are 4 different classifications to be exact!

So if you are looking for life insurance for unmarried couples, I’ve got all the information you need to pinpoint exactly where you stand.

…’cause not all unmarried couples are created equally!  Let’s jump on in:

1. Registered Domestic Partners

In most cases, registered domestic partners can take out life insurance on one another. That’s because it’s likely the partners depend on each other to pay rent and/or mortgage obligations, utilities and so on.

To be clear, I am referring to “registered” domestic partnerships in this section.

Beware! You don’t have registered domestic partner status if you’re simply cohabitating. To obtain this classification you need to register an agreement which is a legal document.

Domestic partnerships are typically drafted with the assistance of a lawyer as it’s a fairly complicated process. Not all states offer a domestic partnership registry. I highly recommend consulting a professional to discuss the ins and outs as we are not specialists in this department.

In the United States, domestic partnership is a city-, county-, state-, or employer-recognized status that may be available to same-sex couples and, sometimes, opposite-sex couples. Although similar to marriage, a domestic partnership does not confer any of the myriad rights and responsibilities of marriage afforded to married couples by the federal government.

Domestic Partnership in the United States, Wikipedia

RELATED: Check Sample Life Insurance Rates by Age (No Personal Info Required)

2. Couples That Live Together, But Are Not Domestic Partners

If you live with someone but aren’t registered as domestic partners, it’s possible to take out life insurance on your other half.

Once again, I will reiterate that you need to prove an insurable interest exists should your partner pass away.

For example, let’s say you both enter into a lease agreement for your primary residence.

You’re now co-signers so the survivor will be responsible for lease payments upon the death of the other partner.

This situation clearly illustrates the existence of insurable interest as the surviving partner will sustain a financial loss.

Business interests and/or financial partnerships also qualify. If you and your partner have co-signed leases, loans and/or big ticket items clearly the death of one or the other will cause financial hardship.

In conclusion, the key to obtaining life insurance for unmarried couples is to prove you have an insurable interest and will sustain a financial loss in the event of death.

Life insurance is also commonly used to buy out partners or shareholders in a buy/sell agreement if there’s an unexpected death of an owner. Or if a partner personally guaranteed leases or loans for the business….

Life Insurance What to Consider as a Business Owner, Entrepreneur 

3. Couples That Don’t Live Together & Aren’t Engaged

On the surface, a couple that is involved, but not living together or engaged appears to be casually dating.

It’s not the sort of situation that usually meets the standards for insurable interest.

I’ve had clients come in to tell me that they’re planning to ask their partner to marry them at a later date, but this holds little sway with life insurance companies.

That being said, it is possible that an unmarried couple that is not living together could enter into a car loan or some other financial arrangement that will qualify as insurable interest, but it’s not something I’ve personally encountered.

4. Engaged to be Married

I’ve never had a problem getting people life insurance when they’re engaged to be married.

Life insurance companies generally treat you as though you’re married during your engagement period as long as you’ve set the date.

We have assisted many forward-thinking clients after they pop the question. Hey, life insurance for unmarried couples is an important topic. Don’t leave yourself unprotected of you don’t have to!

Why People Come to Us for Life Insurance for Unmarried Couples

We have been helping couples source their financial safety net for over a decade. With access to dozens of life insurance companies – we can find coverage for even the most complicated situations.

Are you looking for life insurance for unmarried couples?

Give us a call today at 877-996-9383 because we can help!

…and be sure to always use an independent life insurance agent!

We aren’t tied to particular life insurance companies so we are able to give you the most complete advice when it comes to your life insurance needs.

Remember, not all life insurance companies will approach your application the same. They all have different standards for underwriting and we know the ins and outs better than anyone else out there.