A white heterosexual couple with brown hair happily discussing life insurance with a white man in a black suit and tie.

Talking About Life Insurance

Updated June 2, 2019 . AmFam Team

Couples might find it difficult to discuss life insurance with one another. Here are a few ways to make the conversation easier.

It’s easy to put off having a conversation about life insurance, especially when you’re younger and don’t think you need it. While partners might find it difficult to talk about life insurance with each other, there are a few things you can do to make it easier.

Starting the Conversation About Purchasing Life Insurance

You probably don’t want to think about what’s going to happen to your loved ones when you’re gone. It’s not an easy thing to tackle. So how do you begin to discuss buying life insurance with someone who doesn’t want to think about death?

Start by talking about your goals. Where do you want to end up in life? What kind of home do you want to have? If you want kids or already have them, how will you pay for their education? Even if you’ve already had these discussions a million times, it’s a good place to start to get to the next step.

Get specific. Take stock of what you already have. This includes things like your house, your cars, student loans and other assets and debts. How much is it all worth? How much does it cost to maintain? If one of you were gone, would the other be able to afford it all? This will get your partner — and you — thinking about how to protect the things you care about and your loved ones’ financial stability.

Make a plan. Once you’ve gotten through the heaviness of financial responsibility, bring up life insurance as a way to help protect each other financially when one of you passes on. What amount of coverage do you need to cover your expenses? How much can you afford in premium payments? Make a commitment to one another to get a few insurance quotes and discuss your options.

Do We Both Need Life Insurance?

Generally, it’s best for both of you to have your own policies so the surviving partner is financially protected in the event one of you passes away. Learn more about the different types of life insurance available and find the right one for you.

What About Employer-Provided Life Insurance?

While your employer might offer you a life insurance policy as part of your employee benefits package, it may not be enough to cover your expenses or what your income provides to your partner. It’s also important to consider the possibility that you might quit or be let go from that job, which means you may be without life insurance, if your policy is not portable (most are not).

What If We’re Not Married?

That’s okay! You don’t need to be married to list each other as beneficiaries on your individual life insurance policies. If you share bills, groceries, living space and other expenses, it’s a good idea to have life insurance to use as temporary replacement income for the surviving partner. And if anything happens to your relationship, you can change your beneficiaries at a later date.

Get Started With Life Insurance

If you’re ready to start your life insurance search, contact an American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) to get a quote. They’ll help you find the right kind of policy for you and how much life insurance coverage you need to help financially protect the ones you love.

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