Can your ex-spouse keep a life insurance policy on you?

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Can your ex-spouse keep a life insurance policy on you?

In the early years of their marriage my daughter and her husband purchased a term life insurance policy naming each other as joint beneficiaries. They subsequently divorced a few years ago. My daughter kept the policy in effect by making regular and prompt premium payments. Then 2 months ago, her ex-husband died after a long bout with cancer. My daughter went through the claims process but the insurer has verbally denied the claim. She wants the denial in writing. Why the denial?

Asked on March 14, 2013 under Insurance Law, Nevada

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

For someone to insure the life of another, they must have what is known as an "insurable interest". That means that they must possess a legal interest in the person who is being insured. For example, a wife would have an insurable interest in her husbad since he would be making a fincial contribution to the household; an ex-wife could insure the life of an ex-husband if he was to have provided child support, spousal maintenance or the like. However, without such a legal obligation, an ex-wife would not have the requisite interest and therefore could not take out a valid policy on their ex-husband.

This may or may npt be the reason that your daughter's claim is being denied. At this point, you really should consult directly with an attorney in your area.


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