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Can You Get Life Insurance On An Ex Spouse? We Have The Answers

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can you get life insurance on an ex spouse

Can You Get Life Insurance On An Ex Spouse

Can You Get Life Insurance On An Ex Spouse? This is one of those questions that reminds me of a creepy late night movie with unrecognizable actors. 

So before we get started – this is not as dark of a topic as it may seem. 

…and let’s be clear, there are VERY legitimate reasons why someone would buy a policy on their ex. 

The simple answer to this question is YES, with the consent of your ex. But there is more to this than meets the eye. 

Let’s explore this topic now! 

Who Am I & Why I Started This Blog 

I think it’s very important to introduce myself before we go any further. My name is James Heidebrecht and I’m the founder of Policy Architects. We are a small boutique life insurance agency.

The reason I started this blog was to get user friendly information out to people like me. When I was looking for my first life insurance policy it was difficult to wade through all the noise.

As a 55 year old man, I know just how confusing it can all be. With such a crowded playing field it’s tough for those of us who want to deal with a real person, not technology to find CLEAR answers. 

My whole goal is to get information to consumers BEFORE they speak to an agent. Being prepared saves you time, money and headaches down the line.

So with no further delay – let’s get on with the show.

Can You Get Life Insurance On An Ex Spouse?

First of WHY Would You Even Want To?

Can You Get Life Insurance On An Ex Spouse? If this is something you are Googling my guess is you are divorced with shared custody of a child. This is the situation for almost all the clients I work with that have gone through this process. 

Divorce is not as simple as we are led to believe. In fact, when you share time with a child it can all get pretty complicated. 

Everyone’s situation is different. For example, let’s say my client is a stay at home mom. She is 40 years old and gets child support  AND alimony. Her ex-husband’s contribution to her household is substantial and without her monthly check, she could not maintain her lifestyle or home. 

So what happens if her ex suddenly dies? 

“…Dealing with life insurance is an important part of the divorce process. This is especially true for divorcing couples with children. Keeping life insurance in order protects the financial interests of both parties and their dependent children. This process involves making necessary beneficiary changes, accounting for the cash value in whole or universal life policies, protecting child support and alimony income, and, most importantly, ensuring that any children involved are financially protected, no matter what.”

How Life Insurance Works in a Divorce, Investopedia 


I’ll tell you what. She would go bankrupt. That’s where a good life insurance policy comes in handy. There are a couple of ways of doing this:  

  1. Take a policy out on your ex. with you as the owner and beneficiary and he or her as the insured. They will have to either consent to a medical exam for a traditional policy OR sign for a no medical exam policy. You can also be the payor on the policy depending on your agreement. 
  2. Your ex can take out his or her own policy and make you their irrevocable beneficiary. When you take out your own policy, you are both owner and the insured. 

This is one of the most important things to pound out when you get a divorce. Even if you are not receiving financial help through alimony OR child support – time is money. 

Your ex is likely helping out a lot more than you even know. What happens when your child becomes your sole responsibility? All of the splitting of expenses goes by the wayside. 

My best advice? Get real about your individual contributions and make a plan for coverage. 

Remember You Must Have An Insurable Interest 

If you are looking to take out a life insurance policy on your ex spouse you must have an insurable interest. 

Financial obligations connected to shared custody falls clearly into this category. 

Another situation that falls into this category is a business partnership. I know people who started a business together when they were married only to separate personally but maintain their business connections. 

Coverage would be helpful here especially if you want to keep your business going.

I am sure there may be other situations – but you cannot take out a policy if there is no financial interest in your ex. This is to dissuade the aforementioned creepy scenarios from unfolding. 

What Sort of Life Insurance Coverage Should You Select In This Situation 

The type of life insurance you choose is a very important part of the equation. Remember term coverage is temporary coverage for a period of time when you are most vulnerable. 

There is no guarantee that your beneficiary will receive a payout. As a result the premiums are far more affordable. 

For a divorce scenario I would recommend term coverage because the need is temporary. When your child grows up and leaves home the need for coverage ends. 

For a business scenario this may be different. As the business evolves the need for coverage may decrease BUT if your partner/ex plays a key role a permanent policy may be a better bet. 

Remember permanent life insurance provides you with coverage until the day you die. So there is a guaranteed payout. 

This is why it’s so important to speak to an independent life insurance agent as we know the ins and outs of all the products and will help you select the best bet for your budget. 

Be Sure to Get Adequate Coverage & Remember NOT All Companies Are Created Equal 

A lot of clients aren’t honest about their needs. A financial analysis really helps clients get real. 

Remember TIME is money. While you may think that $250K will cover it, it probably won’t These sort of large figures throw people off because it’s more cash than most of us will ever see at one point in our lives. 

The thing is this the money will be spread over a period of time (think years) and there is no safety net once it’s gone.

Another big consideration is selecting the RIGHT insurer for your particular medical situation. Carriers niche down and some are much more lenient than others when it comes to specific health issues. This is why you need an agent that keeps up with the most current underwriting changes from company to company. 

Why You Need to Call Policy Architects Today 

Can You Get Life Insurance On An Ex-Spouse? You sure can, as long as there is a financial need AND they consent. 

Whether you get traditionally underwritten (with a medical exam) insurance or no medical coverage – the person you are looking to insure needs to sign on (literally). Taking out a policy without their knowledge is illegal. 

That said if you’re divorced or separated – but are still financially reliant in some way on your ex –  life insurance is a terrific tool to make sure their death doesn’t negatively impact your bottom line. 

If you want more information about life insurance and an ex give us a call today. We work with the best life insurance companies in Canada and can help you sift through your options. Save some serious time, money and hassle by giving us a ring today. 


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