How to Discuss Life Insurance with Your Spouse — Without the Drama

Thirty percent of U.S. households have no life insurance. Life insurance for a spouse isn’t a warm, fuzzy subject, and many people avoid talking about it as long as possible for a variety of reasons. Follow our guide for tips on how to discuss life insurance with your spouse. We recommend planning enough time to have a thoughtful discussion without any surprises. Use our comparison tool below to get free life insurance quotes and start talking to your spouse about life insurance today.

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Tim is a licensed life insurance agent with 23 years of experience helping people protect their families and businesses with term life insurance. He writes and creates stuff for QuickQuote and other insurance and financial websites.

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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It’s summer. It’s hot, humid, and it’s a time when even the coolest, calmest of us get cranky as the temperature rises. When something as insignificant as accidentally holding the door open a little too long and letting a fly indoors can cause friction with your partner (it’s happened in our house!), dare you broach the topic of life insurance?

There’s nothing like talking money to make frazzled fuses even shorter, and there’s a good chance your spouse may not have the same level of interest you do in exploring options. Even cost-effective term life policies (which provide coverage for set periods of time) end up on the bottom of the priorities list. You can learn more about cost-effective policies here: Affordable Life Insurance.

And face it; life insurance isn’t a warm, fuzzy subject. Many people avoid talking about it as long as possible for a variety of reasons. In fact, a 2013 study found that 30% of U.S. households have no life insurance.

There are many reasons why people avoid buying life insurance, and whether your partner doesn’t think life insurance is necessary, or they do, but they don’t feel comfortable discussing it, your best bet is to start the discussion in a way that’s non-confrontational. In other words, you need to keep the conversation from turning into a heated debate.


By approaching it with reason, understanding, and patience.

Tips for keeping the Life Insurance Conversation With Your Spouse From Reaching the Boiling Point:

  • Don’t spring the topic on them unannounced.
    Unlike surprising your spouse by booking a reservation at a new restaurant for dinner, life insurance isn’t a topic that’s well-suited for a spontaneous decision. Let your partner know you want to talk about it, and then set aside some time when you’ll both be mentally prepared to discuss it in detail.
  • Make sure you’ll have enough time for a thoughtful discussion.
    When you arrange a time to sit down to talk about life insurance, don’t schedule it when you’ll be time-strapped. Squeezing it in between appointments or other obligations will make it more difficult for you to focus on stating your case – and for your spouse to digest what you’re sharing. Nothing good comes from rushing – ever!
  • Acknowledge their doubts and concerns.
    Whether or not you empathize with the hesitation your spouse feels, you need to acknowledge it. By accepting and showing understanding, you’ll be better able to keep your partner from feeling defensive and shutting you out.
  • Do some homework and appeal to their sense of reason.
    The cost of life insurance makes it a taboo topic for many people. Before sitting down for a serious talk with your spouse, get a term life insurance quote so you can talk dollars and sense.

Eighty-six percent of people who haven’t purchased life insurance said it’s because they think it’s too expensive, but they’ve overestimated its true cost to be double what it actually is. After you have some numbers in hand to get past the hurdle of affordability, the conversation will probably go a lot more smoothly.

Of course, you’ll also want to explain the key benefits you’ll gain from having a life insurance policy to protect your family’s financial well-being. Life insurance will help…

  • Ensure your family will be able to afford funeral expenses.
  • Protect your investment in your home (and business if you have one).
  • Ensure your family will be able to pay expenses and afford to live comfortably while your kids are still in school and college.
  • Make sure your family will be able to keep up with mortgage payments.
  • Give you and your family the overall peace of mind they’ll be able to make ends meet in the event of the unthinkable.

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Make Life Insurance a Hot Topic this Summer.

Although you might be tempted to push the conversation off to a later time, you should know earlier is better to look into term life policies. While they’re more affordable than whole life insurance at any age, you’ll get a better rate the younger you are.

Why wait? There’s no better time to prepare for having that talk with your spouse. Starting now will put you one step closer to giving your family the financial protection they need and deserve.

Statistics Source: LIMRAFacts About Life 2013

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