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Insurable Interest

15 January, 2016 - 09:34

The two types of life insurance mentioned in Types of Insurance for the Individual , term and whole-life policies, are important both to individuals and to businesses (insurance for key employees). As with property insurance, whoever takes out a life insurance policy on a person’s life must have an insurable interest. Everyone has an insurable interest in his own life and may name whomever he pleases as beneficiary; the beneficiary need not have an insurable interest. But the requirement of insurable interest restricts those who may take out insurance on someone else’s life. A spouse or children have an insurable interest in a spouse or parent. Likewise, a parent has an insurable interest in any minor child. That means that a wife, for example, may take out a life insurance policy on her husband without his consent. But she could not take out a policy on a friend or neighbor. As long as the insurable interest existed when the policy was taken out, the owner may recover when the insured dies, even if the insurable interest no longer exists. Thus a divorced wife who was married when the policy was obtained may collect when her ex-husband dies as long as she maintained the payments. Likewise, an employer has an insurable interest in his key employees and partners; such insurance policies help to pay off claims of a partner’s estate and thus prevent liquidation of the business.