What Is Spouse Optional Term Life Insurance?

Spouse optional term life insurance is a type of voluntary life insurance that provides a cash benefit to a spousal beneficiary upon the insured’s death. It is a financial protection plan that employees can purchase through their employer, and the employee pays monthly for this plan. In exchange, there will be money given to their spouse if they die.

Types of Voluntary Life Insurance

Employer-sponsored voluntary life insurance can be divided into two types: voluntary whole life and voluntary term life (group term life insurance).

  • Voluntary whole life insurance covers the entire life of the insured.
  • Voluntary term life insurance provides protection for a set number of years ranging from 10 years to 40 years.

Voluntary term life insurance does not include building cash value or variable investing, making it less expensive than whole life equivalents. Premiums remain constant throughout the policy period but may rise after it expires.

Benefits of Voluntary Life Insurance

Voluntary life insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for the policyholder and their family. It also allows the policyholder to customize their coverage, including additional benefits such as accidental death and dismemberment. The amount of voluntary life insurance should be based on the policyholder’s needs, such as income replacement, debts, and other expenses. A good rule of thumb is to get a policy that is 10–12 times your annual salary.

If the employer offers it as a benefit, it is cheaper than going out and buying individual life insurance. However, the coverage does not follow the employee if they leave the company. Many insurers provide voluntary life insurance plans with additional benefits and riders, such as the option to purchase additional coverage or portability in case of termination or a layoff.


Voluntary spouse life insurance is an affordable way to get coverage and give you and your loved ones peace of mind knowing that you are covered. Compare the different policies available to find one that meets your needs and consider whether you want a term or permanent policy. Contact a licensed financial professional or insurer to learn more about voluntary life insurance benefits and how it can help protect your loved ones if something happens to you.

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