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Life insurance for same-sex couples

Protect your family — no matter what the Supreme Court decides.


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A life insurance policy can financially protect your spouse, partner or children if something ever happens to you. Naming your spouse as your policy’s beneficiary can provide the relief that comes with knowing they’re taken care of, even if the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage is ever overturned.

Why should same-sex couples should consider life insurance?

Life insurance can offer financial security for you and your family if illness, injury or death turns your world upside down. It can help your loved ones focus on building their future, rather than worry about how they’ll pay for it.

Your loved ones are provided for in the face of losing your income, helping them to pay bills and maintain the lifestyle you’ve created together. Your policy can also go toward supporting your children or give your spouse the room to grieve.

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What happens to my life insurance policy if Obergefell v. Hodges is overturned?

Naming your loved ones as beneficiaries on your life insurance policy keeps politics from affecting your payout. Otherwise, the money from your insurance policy could go to your estate, making it difficult for your partner or spouse to receive it, especially if you die without a will.

How are life insurance premiums decided for couples?

Underwriting varies by insurer and state, but premiums generally are based on:

  • Gender. According to data provided to us by Quotacy, if you’re a man, you may need to budget for slightly higher premiums.
  • Age. The younger you are, typically the cheaper your policy.
  • Hobbies. If you’re into skydiving, scuba diving or other dangerous hobbies, expect to pay more for a life insurance policy.
  • Occupation. Dangerous occupations, like roofing and logging, can lead to higher premiums.
  • Medical history. Pre-existing conditions and excessive weight can result in higher premiums, as can a history of smoking and other lifestyle choices.

Can insurers charge more because of my sexual orientation?

It depends on where you live. The federal government prevents health insurers from discriminating based on sexual orientation, but life insurance companies are governed by state laws.

Your state may explicitly ban insurers from discrimination. But it doesn’t mean all insurers will discriminate when it comes to sexual orientation. When shopping for life insurance, contact insurers directly to learn about how they handle sexual orientation.

How else can I protect my family’s future?

Estate planning is important for any couple, but particularly for same-sex couples. If Obergefell v. Hodges is overturned in the future, proper estate planning can make sure that your spouse is taken care of.

In addition to life insurance, consider:

  • Writing a will. Even a simple will can include how you’d like your estate divided — and your family taken care of.
  • Assigning powers of attorney. A power of attorney authorizes your partner to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf if you die or are unable to make decisions on your own.
  • Legally adopting nonbiological children. List both parents as the legal parents or guardians to keep your family together if something happens to one of you.

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    Bottom line

    Signing up for a life insurance policy as a same-sex couple isn’t much different from signing up as any other couple, though men can expect to pay more than women on average. Name your spouse as a beneficiary on your policy to ensure that politics don’t intrude on your payout.

    When shopping for a policy, compare life insurers for a quote that fits your budget and needs.

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