Director, Media Relations, Insurance Information Institute
According to industry estimates, only 42 percent of LGBTQ+ adults have life insurance. Changing laws and trends toward expanding rights for LGBTQ+ families are encouraging, but there is still a need to make sure the surviving partners, loved ones, and children of prospective life insurance policyholders are protected in the event of their death.
Wills can be contested and wishes ignored. However, a life insurance policy secures financial protections for a policyholder’s chosen beneficiaries which cannot be taken away.
Things to know about getting insurance
Most life insurance policies use similar application questions, which may require a medical examination to get a complete understanding of your health and family history as well as lifestyle choices, such as smoking or hobbies. Skydiving and hang-gliding can be exhilarating, but they carry risks a life insurer assesses when pricing a new policy.
Being nonbinary or transgender in no way disqualifies a prospective policyholder from getting life insurance. Regardless of an applicant’s gender identity, every insurer assesses its applicants’ risk a bit differently. One insurer might offer a standard rate while another might provide a preferred rate even though both insurers base their decision on the same information. If you secure a preferred rate, you pay less for life insurance coverage. Just remember insurance is regulated at the state level and every state has different rules around gender identity.
Other things to think about
Life insurance is only one form of financial protection offered by insurers. If you share a household with either a spouse or domestic partner, you should review your home and auto insurance policies to take advantage of discounts on coverage and bundling. Most companies offer multi-car driving discounts to married couples and domestic partners in long-term relationships. If you share a car with an unmarried partner, consider listing each other as secondary drivers on individual policies to eliminate any uncertainty on claims reporting in the event of an auto accident. Bundling refers to instances in which you have more than one insurance policy with the same insurer.
Make sure any home you purchase with a partner includes both names listed on the deed, mortgage, and homeowner’s policy. If you are unmarried and living with a partner who is the homeowner, consider listing an “additional insured” on your policy to cover the non-homeowner’s personal belongings such as furniture and household appliances. That may provide savings over purchasing a separate renters policy.
Get all the information
When shopping for insurance, you should always ask a lot questions and get several quotes for premiums. The industry is highly competitive, so ask your friends about their experiences with various agents and companies. You may choose to use a gay insurance agent or find an insurance company that advertises as gay-friendly who may have a better understanding of your specific needs. Then decide what’s right for you. Just like the LGBTQ+ community, there is a lot of diversity in insurance.
The basic function of insurance is the transfer of risk. When you reduce financial uncertainty, you can better manage threats against financial loss. By reviewing and updating insurance policies on a routine basis, you can take pride in knowing you are better prepared to protect the people who financially depend on you and to recover from the unexpected.