Just a few years ago, domestic partners and unmarried couples faced many hurdles when trying to obtain life insurance coverage. But thanks to a ruling by the Supreme Court in 2013, it gave same sex marriages and domestic partnerships easier access to insurance coverage – both health and life insurance.
For couples who are in a relationship but not legally married, most realize that life insurance is important to protect each others interests. But the question that often comes up in these situations is, “Can I get a life insurance policy for my domestic partner, boyfriend or girlfriend if we’re not married?”
Can I Get Life Insurance For My Domestic Partner?
The answer to this question lies in the terms of how an insurance company views your relationship and if you or your partner would be impacted financially should one of you die. If you are married, getting a life insurance policy for your spouse is pretty “cut and dry.” If you are not legally married and living with your partner, you still could get a policy for each other if you can show to the insurance company that you have “insurable interest.”
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Simply put, there needs to be a financial relationship or demonstrate there would be an economic loss if your partner were to pass away. If so, then you would be able to get a life insurance policy. It remains up to the insurance company whether they will or will not approve your policy. They are not legally obligated to offer you or your partner a policy. You gotta prove it.
Here are some things an underwriter looks for when you are applying for a domestic partner policy:
- Joint ownership of your home or property
- Joint debt. i.e.: Credit cards, loans or a mortgage.
- Joint savings accounts/investments
- How long you and your partner have been together
- Mutual coverage on each partner
Keep this in mind: Once a policy is issued it remains in effect no matter if you and your partner are no longer together. That is why setting the policy up the right way is just as important as getting it. The proper way to set your policy up is for you to be the owner and your partner would be the beneficiary. As the owner, you have the right to change your beneficiary as you need to.
Life insurance for Registered Domestic Partners
Just because you are living with someone, it doesn’t make for a domestic partnership. You must register with your state as domestic partners. Each state has their own laws regarding domestic partners and signing a state or city registry may not automatically give you any rights. However, whether you are registered with your state or not, you should be able to obtain life insurance coverage if you can show insurable interest.
Definition of Domestic Partners
- You and you partner are engaged in a committed relationship
- Share responsibility for each others common well-being and living expenses
- Share financial responsibilities
- Consider yourselves as life partners
- Are both over 18 years old
- Are not related by blood
- You are not in the relationship solely for the purpose of insurance
Unmarried, Living Together But Not Domestic Partners
In this scenario, you should be able to get a life insurance policy if you can show there could be a financial loss in the event of your partner’s death. For instance, if you are renting an apartment or home together and you are both named on the lease or if you have a mortgage and both are named as co-signers.
Final Thoughts for Domestic Partners and Unmarried Couples
Because your situation is unique and may be challenging for you and your partner to get a life insurance policy, it’s important to work with any independent agent and not a captive agent. It improves your chances of getting approved to have multiple insurance companies to be able to review your situation to get the best price.
As independent agents, we are not controlled by any insurance company. So I would recommend you call us at: 914-633-1717 or contact us.