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Should Both Partners Have Life Insurance?

Updated November 26, 2019 . AmFam Team

Individual life insurance policies are something both partners in a relationship should consider having. Learn more about why both partners need their own life insurance from American Family.

You and your partner are a team. Together, you manage your household, your purchases and your long-term finances. Life insurance is a no-brainer for you. But do both of you really need your own life insurance policies?

While it might seem like a money-saving option for only one of you to have life insurance, or for both of you to rely on your employer for life insurance, it’s best for both of you to have your own policies. You never know what will happen, and it’s always smart to be prepared for the unexpected. And if one of you is a stay-at-home parent, they won’t have the benefit of employer-provided life insurance, so you’ll want to seek out a policy that fits your family’s needs.

Reasons Both Parents Should Have Life Insurance

If you pass away before your partner, you’d potentially be leaving your partner and other family with financial obligations like a mortgage, car loans or college tuition bills. If both of you have your own life insurance policies, you can mitigate those expenses while still having another policy for your loved ones to benefit from when your partner eventually passes away, too. Here are a few good reasons for both partners to have their own life insurance policies:
  • It can help your partner pay bills after you’ve passed away.
  • Your partner won’t need to dip into savings to maintain their standard of living.
  • Your policy can provide funds for your kids’ college education.

Because there typically aren’t restrictions on what a life insurance policy’s death benefit can pay for, you and your partner can discuss what the money would be best suited for before either of you pass away. Your needs as a family may change over time, so have the conversation often to reassess if your current life insurance is meeting your needs.

What Type of Life Insurance Should I Get?

There are a few major types of life insurance to consider when shopping around. Deciding which one is right for you depends on your age, your assets and your lifestyle. Talk to your insurance agent to figure out what type of life insurance you and your partner should purchase. In the meantime, here are some options to get familiar with.

Term Life Insurance

Often purchased by younger people, term life insurance is a type of life insurance that lasts for a specific length of time or “term.” It’s generally more affordable, has compared  to whole life insurance and may require fewer health qualifications than other types of insurance. Some term life insurance policies can also be converted into whole life policies, allowing you to adapt your life insurance policy to your needs as you age.

Whole or Permanent Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is exactly what it sounds like: life insurance that can last your whole life. This is great for couples who want a bit more stability when it comes to their life insurance and are interested in building what’s called “cash value” in their policies. Whole life insurance is typically more expensive than term life insurance, but because it won’t terminate after a set amount of time, your policy will stay active as long as you pay your premiums.

Universal Life Insurance

A Universal life insurance policy is a good option for people who want to manage their life insurance policies more closely. Universal — life insurance earns cash value like a whole life policy and can be a great option for couples at any stage of their lives. You can typically increase or reduce the amount of coverage and premium amount, depending on the terms and conditions of your policy.

Life insurance is a proactive way to secure your loved ones’ financial futures and provide for them after you’re gone. Connect with your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) to discuss life insurance options for you and your partner and build a plan to help protect what matters most to you.

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