In most cases, getting life insurance involves more than one person: the person who will be insured and the beneficiary who would get the death benefit if the insured person dies. And typically, both those people are aware when a life insurance policy is put in place.

If you’re a parent or grandparent looking to purchase life insurance for your children or grandchildren, you may be able to take a policy without them knowing, because the child’s parents or guardian can give consent on their behalf. But for adults, the process of applying for life insurance will require not only the consent of the insured person but also his or her participation. Additionally, you must be able to prove that you have an insurable interest in the other person’s life.

Though applying for life insurance varies somewhat from company to company, the steps in the process make it difficult to take out insurance on someone without them knowing.

GIVING CONSENT

When you’re getting life insurance, the person whose life will be insured is required to sign the application and give consent. Forging a signature on an application form is punishable under the law. So the answer is no, you can’t get life insurance on someone without telling them, they must consent to it.

FILLING OUT THE APPLICATION FORM

In order to purchase life insurance on someone, you’ll need to fill out a standard application form. This typically involves answering personal questions about the person’s height, weight and lifestyle habits as well as their personal and family medical history. You will also likely need to provide certain sensitive identification information such as a Social Security Number. Depending on your relationship with the person you want to insure, you may or may not know this information without having to ask.

RELATED CONTENT: Our Life Insurance Guide can help you learn more about life insurance and how it can benefit your financial plan.

TAKING THE MEDICAL EXAM

Most life insurance companies require some form of health examination before they will agree to issue a life insurance policy on someone.

Why? Because an individual’s premiums are based on their health, wellness and age. Someone who is young and healthy will pay less in monthly premiums than someone who is older and has developed certain medical conditions. Additionally, a life insurance company may deem someone to be uninsurable if they have certain chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer.

Most companies will require a medical examination, which typically includes:

  • Checking the person’s vitals, including their blood pressure and pulse
  • Measuring the individual’s height, weight and body mass index (BMI)
  • Collecting blood and or urine samples to test for certain illnesses or conditions

BROACHING THE CONVERSATION

Life insurance is an important part of protecting your family and loved ones. If you think you should open a life insurance policy on someone, you may find they feel the same way. But you won’t know until you ask.

Yes, discussing life insurance means talking about having to use it one day — but it can bring you some peace of mind to know you and your loved ones have a measure of security built into your financial plan.

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