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Can I buy life insurance for my brother (or sister)?

Can I buy life insurance on my brother (or sister)?

Despite all the differences we as American’s face in today’s society, one irrefutable truth is that at the end of the day, we all want what’s best for our own family and loved ones.

And sometimes this…
Desire to do what’s best means that we have to assume the responsibility of another family member by ensuring they have the financial protection in place that only a life insurance policy can provide.

Especially if…
The family member in question has a significant insurance need but is either unwilling or unable to purchase the amount of life insurance it would take to guarantee that you and your loved ones would be financially protected if they were to die prematurely.

Which is often…
The situation when one sibling finds themselves in a situation where they would certainly suffer financially if their brother or sister were to pass away. This is why we wanted to take a moment and discuss the most common questions we ask individuals looking to purchase a life insurance policy on a sibling so that you, the reader, will have a better idea about what options may be available to you.

Questions such as:

  • Can a sibling buy a life insurance policy on another sibling?
  • What is “insurable interest”? And how is it established?
  • What does it mean to have one’s “consent,” and how is it determined?
  • What “kinds” of life insurance policies can a sibling purchase on another sibling?
  • What steps can I take to ensure I purchase the “right” life insurance policy for my needs?

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Can a sibling buy a life insurance policy on another sibling?

Yes, in some situations it may be possible for one sibling to purchase a life insurance policy on another sibling. So, if you’re looking  to purchase life insurance policy on your brother or sister, there is a reasonable chance that you may be able to do so.


Just because you have a brother or sister doesn’t mean that you’re going to “automatically” be able to purchase a life insurance policy on him or here. You’re first going to need to demonstrate that you have an “insurable interest” on your brother or sister’s life before you are able to “justify” buying a life insurance policy on them.

What is “insurable interest”? And how is it established?

Insurable interest is a term used to describe a situation where one person would suffer from a “financial loss” if another person were to pass away prematurely.

Now in situations where…

An individual may be financially dependent on another person, such as in the case of a husband or or wife (or ex-husand, or ex-wife),  establishing an “insurable interest” isn’t all that difficult (in most cases).

This is why in cases like these, most of the best life insurance companies  aren’t going to spend too much time determining whether an “insurable interest” exists, particularly if the applicant applying for insurance isn’t applying for an outrageous amount.


In cases where one sibling is looking to purchase a life insurance policy on another sibling, most life insurance companies are going to want to know “why”?  Particluarly if there is on obvious financial connection between the two or if one is looking to purchase a large life insurance policy on the other.

This is why it’s important…

To choose to work with a life insurance agent that is familiar with the idea of “insurable interest” becuase the truth is, siblings will often incur a significant finanical loss upon the death of a brother or sister even if they aren’t dependent upon them financially.

For example…

Surviving siblings may be held responsible to cover any burial costs for the family if the deceased doesn’t have any savings upon their death.  But this is just one of many costs that the surviving siblings may face.

What if the sibling in questions has…

  • Dependent children that will now need to be cared for?
  • Is currently a caregiver for elderly parents which will now need to be cared for?

Or is a important component of a family business who will now need to be replaced by somone outside of the family?

“Who knows?”

Becuase the truth is there could be 1000’s of reasons why one sibling needs and/or wants to purchase a life insurance policy on one of their siblings, the key however will be to demonstrate what this need is justified.  Something that a highly qualified agent here at IBUSA will be able to do for you.

But, just because…

You can prove a “need” doesn’t mean you’ll be able to purchase a life insurance policy automatically.  The next step after you’ve proven you have an INSURABLE INTEREST will be to prove that you have the consent of your brother or sister as well.

What does it mean to have one’s “consent,” and how is it determined?

OK, now that we established that an individual has an “insurable interest” on another, we now need to demonstrate that the individual that we want to purchase a life insurance policy on is “OK” with you doing so.

This is what…

Insurance companies will refer to as “consent”.   Now, establishing consent can take on many forms depending on the “type” of insurance an individual is applying for and the company they are choosing to apply with.

In most cases…

When an individual wants to purchase a traditional life insurance policy on their brother or sister, a medical exam will be required during the application process. Because of this, “consent” will usually be obtained during the exam both implicitly by your sibling taking the exam and explicitly by having the proposed insured sign the application.

Where things can become…

A bit more “tricky” is when an individual is applying for a no medical exam life insurance policy or a final expense insurance policy where a medical exam is not likely going to be necessary.

In cases like these, what you’re going to find is that each life insurance company is going to have their own rules and regulations about establishing “consent” an may require the proposed insured to either:

  • Provide their consent over the phone on a recorded line.
  • Become the owner of the policy (at least in the beginning).

Or maybe provide original payment for the policy to get it started. Once inforce, you would then be able to change who the payor would be later on (in many cases).

Factors like these…

Will often be used to determine “which” life insurance company is going to be the best for you. After all, it’s not all that uncommon for a sibling to be willing to allow his or her brother or sister to purchase a life insurance policy on them, however this “willingness” can often diminish if the process becomes too “burdensome” for them.

This is why…

It’s often essential to try to keep the process as simple as possible for the proposed insured without sacrificing the payor/beneficiary’s rights throughout the entire process. This brings us to the last topic that we wanted to take a moment and discuss, which is…

What steps should one follow to ensure they find the “best” life insurance policy for their needs?

Up until now, we’ve pretty much focused on whether or not a sibling can purchase a life insurance policy on their brother or sister.

What we haven’t spent much time talking about is once it’s been determined that one individual can buy a life insurance policy on a sibling what should the “payor” of this new policy watch out for so that their best interests are protected?

After all…

Assuming that you do have an insurable interest on your sibling, what that means is that if they were to pass away prematurely, you would suffer from some financial loss.

This means that if you’re going to go through all the trouble in securing a life insurance policy on them for the sole purpose of avoiding such a loss, you really ought to make sure that this new life insurance policy that your purchasing will do precisely that!


Whenever possible, you’re going to want to make sure that you become the owner of the life insurance policy and/or you become an irrevocable beneficiary of the policy that you are paying for so that you can be sure that nothing about the policy can change without your permission.

The good news is…

That we here at IBUSA have plenty of experience helping folks purchase life insurance policies and understand many of the unique challenges buying life insurance on someone else can pose.

So, when you’re ready, just give us a call so that we can help you find exactly what you’re looking for!

16 comments… add one
  • Doris D. October 23, 2020, 3:47 am

    I am interested in a life insurance policy for my brother.

    • IBUSA October 23, 2020, 4:22 am


      We’d love to help you find a life insurance policy for your brother, just give us a call when you have a chance.



  • Tanya S. December 31, 2020, 6:03 pm

    I’m inquiring about my older sister she is59 years old and very irresponsible,when I tried to talk to her about it she asked can we withdraw from it and all I said to her was we need insurance on you.So my question is does she have to know JBL

    • IBUSA December 31, 2020, 6:14 pm


      Your sister would need to allow you to purchase a life insurance policy on her. In cases like these, what we usually like to do is get all parties on the phone with one another so that we can have everyone understand what the “purpose” of the life insurance policy is.
      Is it to help cover the cost of a burial? Or perhaps the insurance policy is to help you provide for any children she may have that you would become responsible for.
      Regardless of why most individuals will become more “accepting” of having a policy purchased on them once they realize that the policy isn’t designed to make their loved one’s rich.

      It’s simply designed to help them cover any costs they would incur should they die prematurely.

      To learn more about what options may be available to you and your sister, feel free to give us a call.



  • Penny R-C January 1, 2021, 3:50 pm

    Looking to purchase life insurance for my sister.

    • IBUSA January 1, 2021, 5:03 pm

      Sounds good, just give us a call and we’ll see what we can do for you!



  • David D. March 30, 2021, 9:19 am

    This insurance is for my older brother.

    • IBUSA March 30, 2021, 9:22 am


      We see that you have requested a quote for your brother. One of our agents will be reaching out to you shortly.



  • Deborah T. November 14, 2021, 9:33 am

    My sister has brain cancer, she had insurance but her husband let the policy lapse . Can I purchase ins. , for her without his consent?
    I know in my heart she is willing but , is this at all possible?

    • IBUSA November 14, 2021, 10:32 am


      In most situtations, acquiring your sisters husbands consent in order to purchase a life insurance policy on her should not be necessary. This is because the policy will simply be a contract between her and the insurance company, not him.

      Where his conscent may be a factor is if he has power of attorney over your sisters finaical affairs because she is currently incapable of making sound financial decisions on her own due to her current medical condition.

      To learn more about what options may be available to you, we would encourage you to give us a call so that we can learn more about your situation and let you know what may or may not be possible.



  • Wayne M. November 24, 2021, 12:22 pm

    I have a 53 year old irresponsible older brother that I would like to get a life insurance policy for. I do not want to be burdened with the financial costs during his time of death. He also has 2 dependent children that need to be cared for when he’s gone.

    • IBUSA November 27, 2021, 11:16 am


      An agent should have already reached out to you via email. If not please feel free to call us so that we can review what options may be available to you.



  • April S December 2, 2021, 8:11 pm

    I’m interested in getting life insurance on my older sister. She is on SSI and I’m her representative. I want to be able to take care of any final expenses she may have.

    • IBUSA December 3, 2021, 12:28 pm


      Will will have an agent reach out to you via email right away.



  • Stephen J. S. February 2, 2022, 12:32 pm

    I just found out that my baby sister 53 yrs old is sickly and suffering in the hospital by our auntie and might not make it. I am the only surviving family member at this time and she is on SSI. My concern is that she will need to be funeralized and burred properly. Am i able to take out policy on her right now before its too late.

    • IBUSA February 4, 2022, 8:01 am


      You would likely be able to purchase a guaranteed issue life insurance policy for your sister. However, these types of policies would contain a graded death benefit clause requiring the insured to live a minimum of two years (sometimes three) after the policy has begun before providing any coverage to the insured for natural causes of death.

      This means that if you were to purchase such a policy for your sister and she passed away due to an illness, the insurance policy would not provide you with the death benefit. In most cases, you would receive any premiums you or your family paid, but not the purchased insurance amount. Feel free to contact us directly should you wish to proceed with an application for coverage or if you have any additional questions.



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