7 songs that are (almost) certainly about life insurance

At first glance, it may seem like these rockstars were singing about love. But if you listen closely you’ll realize they were actually thinking about life insurance.

Headshot of Policygenius editor Nupur Gambhir


Nupur Gambhir

Nupur Gambhir

Senior Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Nupur Gambhir is a licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert and a former senior editor at Policygenius. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service Cake.

Published March 9, 2021 | 6 min read

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There are a few general themes musicians are inspired by: love, heartbreak, their hometown, and how much money they have. But sometimes, extra inspiration hits and they sing about one of the most essential resources in your financial toolkit — life insurance.

While you might not learn the ins and outs of insurance from a song, some valuable lessons can be gleaned from the greats.

2 Chainz - Wait For You To Die


2 Chainz’s resume boasts a very diverse skill set. He is a rapper, basketball player, cookbook author, and apparently, he’s very comfortable giving financial advice.

In "Wait For You To Die" he raps about the repercussions of failing to make end-of-life preparations. Most notably, the consequences of not purchasing a life insurance policy to pay for funeral costs — which forces loved ones to shoulder the expenses.

2 Chainz is right to be concerned. Funerals cost between $7,000-$10,000 and end up becoming an unaffordable expense for many. Without a payment plan for these astronomical expenses, family members often have to resort to digging into their savings, out of desperation. ​

“You gotta get a GoFundMe account,” 2 Chainz raps in one of his final verses, addressing the financial reality of many Americans who cannot afford final expenses for their loved ones and have been left without any support.

​A life insurance payout can cover these exorbitant costs and other end-of-life expenses, such as medical bills. But coverage is only effective if you get a life insurance policy that has a sufficient death benefit amount and term length.

Ella Fitzgerald - I’ve Got Five Dollars

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You don’t even have to read between the lines here: Fitzgerald wants her beneficiaries to know she has an estate plan in place, including a life insurance policy.

By having the difficult conversation about your final wishes with your loved ones, your beneficiaries won’t be left wondering if they’re listed on a policy after you pass away. Without proper planning, some beneficiaries may not be aware that they’re eligible to receive life insurance money at all. ​

But when laying out your final wishes, it’s important to be as detailed as possible. Unfortunately, Ella doesn't disclose who her insurer is or how to file a claim. This information would have made it a lot easier for her beneficiaries to access the life insurance payout.

Etta James - Somebody to Love

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Many of us grew up learning about R&B and the blues from the great Etta James, but it turns out she had some solid life advice to bestow upon us as well. Her song, "Somebody to Love", concocts the recipe to a meaningful life: For starters, finding someone to love, but supplementing that with a sense of humor, good barbeque, and buying life insurance. ​

What she didn’t mention is that simply getting life insurance isn’t enough. If you don’t get a policy that matches the financial needs of your family, you’re still risking their financial health. Getting enough life insurance coverage is an important part of creating a robust financial strategy — your coverage should last as long as your longest debt and should be greater than the sum of all of your financial obligations.

Jimmy Reed - Take Out Some Insurance

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There are two universal human experiences:

1. Falling in love

2. Applying for life insurance

Jimmy Reed was clearly going through both at the same time when he wrote "Take Out Some Insurance". In his 1959 love song, he asks his betrothed to take out a policy on him in case he dies of heartache.

It’s sound financial advice — one in four deaths in the U.S. is due to heart disease. And an unexpected death can cause a great financial strain for loved ones left behind. A life insurance payout can alleviate that financial burden by being used for everyday bills and expenses, a mortgage, college tuition, and even the cost of your funeral or cremation.

Falling in love means planning for the future, and a life insurance policy is one of the best gifts you can give your loved ones in the event of your untimely death.

We might be biased, but that’s amore.

Taylor Swift (feat. Haim) - no body, no crime

Taylor Swift (feat. Haim) - no body, no crime (2)

In one of Swift’s darker songs, she seeks revenge against the cheating husband of Este, a friend who mysteriously disappears.

“Good thing my daddy made me get a boating license when I was fifteen. And I've cleaned enough houses to know how to cover up a scene,” Swift sings, all but verifying what she has done. While Swift is an award-winning songwriter and we’re not, we still have some notes: ​

The suspicious nature of the husband’s disappearance will probably impact the life insurance payout. Swift implied that she gets away with the murder, which, according to every true crime show, leaves the husband’s mistress as the primary suspect. If that’s the case, she won’t get any life insurance money — anyone suspected of murdering the policyholder isn’t going to get the death benefit due to the slayer rule.

The Mountain Goats - Insurance Fraud #2

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We learned two lessons at The Mountain Goats set at Lollapalooza: We are too old to be going to Lollapalooza and life insurance fraud is a really bad idea. Insurance Fraud #2 from their fifth album, "The Coroner’s Gambit", tells the tale of a loved one faking their death, which is considered a type of claims fraud. ​

Faking a death to get the life insurance payout can have severe consequences. If you knowingly file a fraudulent life insurance claim, you can face prosecution and prison time. You should be as honest as possible when applying for life insurance and when filing a death benefit claim.

Any indication of intentional dishonesty can lead the life insurance company to void the policy, meaning there will be no life insurance payout. ​

“I won’t be cashing in your policy ‘til I find out what it is you’re trying to do to me,” lead vocalist Darnielle sings in the final chords of the song. He’s right to refrain from filing the life insurance claim.

Bonus track: Drake - I’m Upset

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Usually, Drake is all in his feelings, but his reaction after postponing his life insurance application is completely warranted. The cost of life insurance increases 4.5-9% every year you age, and he didn’t realize that he’d be paying costlier premiums by putting off getting life insurance coverage.

When you’re younger and in better health, life insurance is a lot cheaper. You can save hundreds of thousands of dollars by getting coverage as soon as possible. And if you’re putting off getting coverage because you're concerned about the coronavirus outbreak, you can forgo the in-person medical exam with no-medical exam life insurance.

Do you know that YOLO actually stands for Your Optimal Life insurance Options? Policygenius will work with you for free to get the best deals for your age and health profile.​