Ask the Life Insurance Expert

Can an ex-husband get a life insurance policy on his ex-wife?

Yes, and this makes a lot of sense if the ex-partners have children together. A life insurance policy could be structured so that if the ex-wife died, proceeds from the policy would replace what she would have contributed toward the children's daily care and their college tuition savings.

Insurance experts recommend that both parents have life insurance, even if one parent does not currently earn an income. When a stay-at-home parent dies, the surviving parent must replace all the valuable tasks the stay-at-home parent performed, such as child care during work hours. That alone adds up to thousands of dollars a year and could be a big financial hit if there were no financial safety net through life insurance.

Regardless of whether they're still married, parents should discuss life insurance needs together and make sure their children have the protection they need.

Could an ex-husband secretly take out a policy on his ex-wife?

That's highly unlikely. Most life insurance policies require a medical exam and require the insured person's signature for the release of medical information. Even policies that don't require medical information require the insured's signature on the application. On top of that, the insurance company often follows up with phone calls to verify income and the basis of need for the policy.

So except for cases of outright fraud, in which someone intercepts all the insurance company information and forges the insured's signature, secret life insurance policies are rare.

For more, see Can someone have a secret life insurance policy on you? and the Mother's Day Index: How much is Mom worth this year?


Last updated: Jul. 8, 2011
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