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Should Both You and Your Spouse Have Life Insurance?

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There are many different ways to approach the life insurance question for married couples, and ultimately it all comes down to protecting the financial value each of you contributes to the marriage, and to protect each other from financial hardship.


A lot of your decision may come down to how much each of you earns, and whether or not one or both of you has some sort of permanent life insurance.

Do spouses need the same amount of life insurance?

Whether or not you and your spouse should get the same amount of life insurance is up to you, but ideally each of you has a life insurance policy that will help cover any shared financial obligations. For example, both you and your spouse likely share an obligation to pay off a mortgage. If one of you passes away, how much would the other need financially to be able to stay on track to pay it off? Many people are forced to sell their current home in that circumstance, but life insurance coverage can help protect against that.


The answers  to how much life insurance you need will likely vary from couple to couple as everyone’s financial situation is different.

When unequal life insurance coverage could make sense for you and your spouse


If one spouse earns more than the other, the higher earner would likely pay more for a policy to cover their income. This may still be worthwhile if you have children and one of you is the primary earner who supports your family, you would want to take out at least one policy to cover that income, and perhaps a smaller policy for the other parent’s income.


When you get coverage, it’s a good idea to research the different types of life insurance coverages; to make sure you get the right type of coverage for your unique situation.

When equal life insurance coverage could make sense for you and your spouse


Some couples prefer that each spouse takes out a life insurance policy that  provides the same coverage. This approach usually works best for couples who have similar incomes and shared financial obligations.

The bottom line


Whether you have equal or unequal coverage as your spouse, you want each of your life insurance policies to at least cover your obligations and the financial value that you provide to the family. There are many different ways you and your spouse can go about finding adequate coverage for your family. Be sure to think about the big picture and explore all the ways life insurance can help you fulfill your future financial goals while also securing your present lifestyle.

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