Can You Get Life Insurance on Yourself and Your Spouse?

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Can You Get Life Insurance on Your Spouse?

When considering financial planning, securing life insurance for your spouse is an essential step in ensuring the financial stability of your family after one partner’s death. It’s possible and quite common to obtain life insurance for your spouse. There are several methods to do this, including purchasing individual life insurance policies, using spousal riders, opting for second-to-die insurance, and naming each other as beneficiaries.

Can You Get Life Insurance On Your Spouse?

Purchasing Individual Life Insurance Policies

The most straightforward method is to purchase individual life insurance policies. You can buy a policy that covers your spouse, where you would typically be the policy owner and the premium payer, while your spouse is the insured person. In this arrangement, you will need the consent of your spouse and their participation in the application process, which will likely include a health examination and detailed medical history.

Using Spousal Riders

Another option is adding a spousal rider to your existing life insurance policy. A spousal rider is an addition to your life insurance policy that provides coverage for your spouse in addition to the coverage you receive under your own policy. This is usually a cost-effective way of insuring both partners under a single policy. However, the coverage amount for the spousal rider typically cannot exceed the main policy’s coverage and often ends when the spouse reaches a certain age, such as 65.

Opting for Second-to-Die Insurance

Second-to-die insurance, also known as survivorship insurance, covers two people on the same policy and pays out the death benefit after both have passed away. This type of insurance is particularly useful for estate planning purposes, as it can help cover estate taxes or other remaining financial obligations. It’s less commonly used for immediate financial needs upon the death of the first spouse but can be an excellent tool for long-term financial planning and wealth transfer.

Second To Die Insurance

Naming Each Other as Beneficiaries

When holding individual policies, you and your spouse can name each other as beneficiaries. This setup ensures that if one spouse passes away, the other will receive the death benefit, providing financial support when it’s most needed. It’s crucial to keep beneficiary designations up to date to reflect any life changes such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of children.

Things to Consider

  • Consent is Key: You must have your spouse’s consent to purchase life insurance on their life. This is not only a legal requirement but also part of the underwriting process.
  • Evaluate Needs: Consider the amount of coverage needed based on your financial situation, debts, future obligations, and any financial goals you might have, such as funding a child’s education or supporting a surviving spouse in retirement.
  • Policy Ownership: Being the policy owner, you will be responsible for paying premiums and you will have control over the policy, including the ability to change beneficiaries.


Obtaining life insurance for your spouse is a critical component of comprehensive family financial planning. It ensures that in the event of either spouse’s death, the survivor can maintain their lifestyle and meet financial commitments without undue hardship. Whether through individual policies, spousal riders, or second-to-die insurance, the right choice depends on your specific financial goals and needs.

For personalized advice or a quote tailored to your unique circumstances, do not hesitate to contact us. Our experts are here to provide you with free advice and help you make the best decision for your family’s financial security.

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Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Shawn Plummer is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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