What if Your Spouse Doesn’t Have – and Doesn’t Want – Life Insurance?


If your spouse doesn’t have life insurance, do you simply respect their wishes and go about your life? On some level, that may sound like a fair response.

But whether a person wants life insurance or not, not having it is downright irresponsible.

Even if your spouse doesn’t have life insurance, and doesn’t want it, you have an obligation to yourself, and to other members of your household, to make sure that every person in the home is adequately covered.

Everyone in the Family Needs to Have Life Insurance

Since death will bring about a battery of expenses, including final expenses, uncovered medical costs, and even unpaid debts, virtually everyone needs to have life insurance. Even that spouse who claims they don’t need it!

Even children in the family should have life insurance policies. They can also have final expenses and uncovered medical costs.

But there’s also the possibility of open student loan debts later in life. If you have cosigned any of those loans, and your child dies, the loans can become due and payable. You will have to pay the debt out of your own resources.

But a life insurance policy on your child could make those debts go away immediately.

And so it is with the spouse who doesn’t have or want life insurance. There will be expenses following that person’s death that will make life insurance an absolute necessity.

Possible Objections to Having Life Insurance

People often forgo life insurance because they “don’t believe in it,” which is something of a catchall explanation for several factors:

Cost. Life insurance is sometimes seen as an additional expense, and one that is not absolutely necessary. That’s not an unusual line of thinking, since life insurance is an expense that has no immediate benefit.

But in truth, it’s the ultimate disaster insurance, and that’s why it’s absolutely necessary.

Fear of death. Some people equate buying life insurance with death. They might reason that just the fact that you are purchasing a life insurance policy is inviting your own death.

Nothing could be further from the truth – it’s coverage for an event that we know is going to happen at some point.

Buying a life insurance policy does not in any way make that day come sooner. But it does make your family better prepared when it does.

A bad experience. He or she may have had a bad experience, in which an insurance company failed to pay a claim on an auto or health insurance policy.

That actually does happen from time to time with those policies, but it is extremely rare in the case of life insurance.

A casual attitude toward finances in general. Some people simply aren’t as concerned about finances as we would like them to be.

If they are casual in their approach toward finances in life, they may have little regard for them in facing the prospect of their own death.

Extensive longevity in the family tree. If a person comes from a long line of people who live into their 90s, the spouse may be convinced that life insurance doesn’t apply to them.

However there’s always the possibility of accidental death, or the onset of some other non-genetic causes of death.

Why Your Spouse Needs Life Insurance Even if They Have No Income

A non-working spouse may object to having life insurance due to the fact that he or she has no income that needs to be replaced.

But a non-working spouse actually has a tremendous need for life insurance that goes beyond replacing income.

We’ve already discussed that virtually everyone has final expenses, unpaid medical costs, and even certain debts. But the nonworking spouse is usually only “non-working” in regard to work outside the household.

Within the home, the domestic spouse is likely performing a large number of jobs that would cost serious money to replace.

For example this can include house cleaning, maintaining family finances, laundry, caring for pets, grocery shopping, and handling the many outside complications that life brings.

If there are children, those responsibilities are even greater. Now you’re looking at direct child care, helping kids with school work, and ferrying them from Point A to Point B.

All of those responsibilities will cost many thousands of dollars each year to replace in the event of the death of the non-working spouse.

In this way, a non-working spouse actually needs a life insurance policy that may be comparable to that of the primary wage earner.

You May Have to Buy and Maintain a Policy on Your Spouse

If your spouse is absolutely opposed the idea of having life insurance on his or her own life, you may need to buy and maintain a policy for them.

This is a perfectly acceptable arrangement, even though not everyone knows about it.

As long as you have an insurable interest in a person, you are fully and legally able to take out a life insurance policy on that person. This certainly includes a spouse.

Even though the policy is on your spouse’s life, and not on yours, you can still take the policy and be the owner. You can make the premium payments, and be the beneficiary of the policy.

Go With an Inexpensive Term Life Insurance Policy

You can purchase a life insurance policy for your spouse much the same way that you would do for yourself.

The most affordable way to do that is with an inexpensive term life insurance policy.

You can purchase a policy with a death benefit of several hundred thousand dollars, often for just a few hundred dollars per year.