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The loss of someone that you love is devastating all by itself, but to be placed in a situation of financial hardship, because of the loss of that person, is something entirely different.
In some, but not all cases, you can get a life insurance policy on your boyfriend, significant other or unmarried partner in order to cover that loss. Before you can do that, there are a number of qualifications and conditions that must be met.
Learn more about life insurance below and make sure to use our free comparison quote tool above!
What is an insurable interest?
In its simplest form, insurable interest means that it is in your best interest for the person who is being insured to stay alive and that you will suffer a significant loss upon their death, according to the The Free Legal Dictionary.
That does not mean in that it is in your best mental or emotional interest but in a financial interest. Though life insurance regulations vary from state to state, it is very rare to find any alternate definition for what is meant by the insurable interest clause.
Why does the insurable interest clause matter?
Imagine the financial chaos that would occur if a person was able to take out insurance on anyone they liked. If that was the case, then anyone could take out a policy on an elderly individual or someone who has a dangerous occupation and benefit from their death.
This matter, relates a story of 6 men who took out a life insurance policy, before the insurable interest clause was in place, on an old man who looked as though he was going to drop dead at any moment. When he didn’t die as soon as they thought he would, they committed murder in an attempt to collect their benefits.
To profit from the death of another person is not the purpose behind life insurance.
Instead, offsetting a hardship or loss caused by the death of a person is its purpose.
Because of these legal requirements for purchasing life insurance, it will be necessary for you to meet certain relationship and financial requirements that qualify under the definitions of the insurable interest clause before you can purchase life insurance on your boyfriend or significant other.
What types of relationships meet the requirements of the insurable interest clause?
There are eight types of relationships that meet the requirements of the insurable interest clause. In general, those relationships include:
- Spouses or significant others-Generally, with both persons contributing to the income of the pair, the loss of either creates a financial hardship.
- Children-The loss of a child typically brings on hardships due to time off for bereavement and for funeral expenses.
- Elderly parents-Often, there are a lot of expenses for burial and settling estates involved in the death of one’s parents.
- Business partners-The loss of one partner in a business has the potential of bankrupting or causing significant financial loss to the other.
- Key man-Some businesses, which rely heavily on a particular person like a CEO or business manager in order to stay afloat, will insure against the loss of that person in order to avert financial disaster.
- Unmarried partners, fiancé, fiancée or roommates-If you are living with someone or sharing expenses, rent, or a mortgage with that person, then their loss would create a financial hardship for the remaining partner.
- To protect others-If you are to become the guardian over the minor children of a person in the event of their death, then you would be able to protect yourself against the financial hardship that taking on that guardianship would entail.
- Financial Dependent-This could include an ex-spouse who pays your child support, a person who pays your rent or certain, regular expenses, or supplies some other financial assistance to you.
What are the requirements for unmarried partners for life insurance purposes?
Your boyfriend, depending upon the legal status of your relationship, could qualify as either a significant other, as an unmarried partner or could qualify under some other definition. The examples above give some general relationship examples, but let’s examine them in a little bit more detail as those definitions would apply to various types of unmarried partners.
–Registered Domestic Partners
Registered domestic partners are not formally married, but have filed for a formal domestic partnership. Find Law gives some guidance on achieving this status. “Partners who want to register must declare that their relationship constitutes a serious relationship at a courthouse or other designated government office.”
In these cases, the two partners act in a manner similar to a married couple who share the household expenses. Loss of one or the other would definitely cause a financial hardship for the other.
–Unmarried, Living Together, but Not Registered Domestic Partners
This definition would be a step down from the one above in formality, but because you and your partner are living together and sharing household expenses in the same manner as the registered partners, proving that a financial hardship would exist without your partner is fairly easy to do.
–Unmarried, Not Living Together and Not Domestic Partners
This definition makes it extremely difficult to prove any sort of financial hardship at the loss of your boyfriend or significant other. Where the definitions above have an easily defined financial hardship assumed in the sharing of household expenses, proving financial hardship in this instance might only be achieved through the proof of some sort of financial dependence upon that person.
“This can be proven simply by having legal documents that establish joint liability or ownership of various debts, obligations or assets,” says Kevin Mercadante for mcmha.org.
–Engaged to be Married
Couples that are engaged to be married and have set an actual date for their wedding don’t usually have any issues with being able to insure one another. In essence, an engaged couple is treated the same as a married couple with the assumption that expenses for setting up their household are already being shared before they begin to live under the same roof.
In essence, an engaged couple is treated the same as a married couple with the assumption that expenses for setting up their household are already being shared before they begin to live under the same roof.
How do I show a financial hardship due to loss of my boyfriend?
In the cases listed above, the only situation in which there would be an issue with you being able to insure your boyfriend would be in any instance where the two of you do not meet the following criteria of:
- registered domestic partners
- living together in the same household
- engaged to be married
Without meeting those criteria, you will either not be able to show an insurable interest and therefore not be able to purchase a policy on your boyfriend, or you will have to prove that your boyfriend provides some sort of financial assistance to you that would cause financial hardship to you upon his loss.
What alternative for buying life insurance on my boyfriend is there if I cannot prove an insurable interest?
In reality, there really aren’t any alternatives that you can undertake to protect yourself from the loss of your boyfriend if you can’t prove an insurable interest. Though you might endure a great deal of mental and emotional hardship, unless he is supporting you in some significant way, you won’t really incur any financial hardship, which is all that a life insurance policy is truly concerned with.
If you are genuinely concerned that you will have to meet some sort of financial obligations or incur some sort of financial loss, then your only recourse is for your boyfriend to purchase a life insurance policy on himself and name you as the beneficiary.
If it is a serious concern, then arm yourself for possible objections with a list from Tim Maurer’s article in Forbes, which is concerned with the “ridiculous reasons that many people choose not to buy life insurance.”
Be aware that creating fraudulent records in an attempt to show an insurable interest is punishable under federal and/or state law. Forging documents or falsifying information in an attempt to obtain any type of life insurance on any person is a crime.
To get a life insurance policy on your boyfriend may or may not be possible. Unless you can meet the requirements behind the definition of the “insurable interest” clause, you will not be able to get life insurance on your boyfriend.
Within the assumed conditions of some relationships, like being engaged, having a registered domestic partnership or living together and sharing expenses. Apart from those instances, there is little that you can do in order to get a life insurance policy on your boyfriend.
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