Marriage of Hall: Can Your Ex Maintain a Life Insurance Policy on You Without Your Agreement?

The Kansas Supreme Court, in Marriage of Hall, was asked to consider whether an ex-wife could maintain a life insurance policy on her ex-husband’s life.  The ex’s proposed plan entailed the ex-wife paying all the premiums on the policy.  The ex-wife’s stated reason for wanting to maintain the policy was that her ex-husband provided most of the support for their minor child, and that she had an insurable interest in her ex-husband because she would need his support to take care of their child.  The ex-husband objected due to the possibility that he could be negatively affected by the insurance because that policy’s existence would limit the amount of insurance he could otherwise obtain.

The court held that the order to maintain the life insurance was unenforceable.  In doing so, the court acknowledged what the ex-husband referred to as “an absolute statutory right to terminate any insurance policy on his life.”  The court indicated that, when the insured requested that the insurer terminate the insurance applicable to his life, there was no longer an insurable interest that the party paying for the insurance had.  Although this was a Kansas case, the court cited Nebraska law which had addressed this matter in a similar Nebraska case in 2008.

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