Do You Still Need Life Insurance if You're Divorced?

By Insurance.com Posted : 03/07/2007

Anytime a major life change such as divorce occurs, it's time to sit down and review your insurance coverage. You might think that because you're single now, you need less life insurance or even no life insurance at all. But this isn't necessarily true.

Let Insurance.com help you find affordable life insurance now.

If you don't have children, and no one else is relying on you for support, divorce will probably reduce your need for life insurance. After all, the main purpose of life insurance is to protect loved ones that are relying on your income. But in some cases, divorce will increase your need for life insurance. This could happen if you:

Have children who are relying on you for support (whether or not you are the custodial parent)

  • Have increased financial obligations
  • Lose coverage you previously had
  • Want to ensure that child support or alimony will continue to be paid

The terms of your divorce settlement may also affect your need for life insurance. For example, if you are responsible for paying child support or alimony, you may be required to buy life insurance with your ex-spouse as beneficiary or maintain life insurance coverage you already have.

An insurance agent or a financial planner can help you evaluate your coverage needs and options.

Beneficiary Designations
If your ex-spouse is the named beneficiary of your life insurance policy, he or she will be entitled to receive the proceeds when you die. To avoid this, update your beneficiary designations. Your insurance agent can help you with the necessary paperwork. If you don't have an agent, you can always call the insurance company and ask to speak to someone in the policyholder service department for more information. But don't name a minor child. Insurers generally won't make settlements directly to minors, and the probate court handling your estate may require that a trust be set up, and a guardian appointed, to manage the proceeds.

Tips on buying life insurance

  • You may have the opportunity to purchase group life insurance through your employer, trade groups, or professional associations
  • If you're concerned about the cost of premiums, consider low-cost term life insurance
  • Find an experienced insurance agent or financial planner to help you evaluate your situation and the products available
  • Check insurance company ratings, such as A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's, for an insurance company's financial stability
  • Be sure to shop around for the best rates
  • Periodically review your life insurance needs to make sure that you have the proper amount of coverage

Please note that this description/explanation is intended only as a guideline.

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