Can I purchase term life insurance on my husband without his consent or knowledge?

UPDATED: Aug 14, 2011

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Can I purchase term life insurance on my husband without his consent or knowledge?

We are recently separated (not legally) and now live in different states. We have been married 28 years and he left without providing any financial support whatsoever. I was thinking of purchasing some life insurance to have something to show for those 28 years of marriage. I’m wondering if I can purchase life insurance on him now, without his knowledge, while we’re still legally married? And, in the event we divorce, would I be able to continue the insurance on him when I am no longer a spouse? Do I lose that “insurable interest” status once divorced?

Asked on August 14, 2011 Oregon


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You hit the nail right on the head.  The ol' insurable interest issue.  You with out a doubt have an insurable interest now and while you are still married.  But there is no insurable interest once you are divorced, and how the insurance company and each state deals with it depends on the law the state has adopted on the subject.  Some states require that you re-designate the beneficiary after you are divorced in order for the policy to be paid out to the spouse listed (or ex spouse).  With your paying the premiums the insurance company may not even hold the policy as valid after you are divorced and instead refund the premiums to you rather than pay out the proceeds.  You are going to have to disclose the policy at some point in time during the divorce action and it may be a good way for you gain some leverage.  Please seek legal help. Good luck.

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