Is Joint Life Insurance the Best Option for Couples?

If you didn’t know already, you can actually get life insurance cover for two people known as joint life insurance. Many couples opt for joint life insurance as it can work out cheaper than buying two single life insurance policies. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at how it works and why it can be the best option for couples.

How does joint life insurance work?

Joint life insurance is a type of life insurance policy that covers two people under a single policy.  Just like most types of life insurance, a joint life policy pays out a cash lump sum when you die. When you take out cover you start paying monthly premium payments to your provider.

Joint life insurance works on either a first death or second death basis.

  • First death pays out after the first death in the couple, the policy then ends. This means the surviving partner would need to take out further cover if required.
  • Second death pays out after the deaths of both policyholders.

Types of joint life insurance

Joint life insurance can be bought as two types of policy – whole of life & term life:

Whole life insurance covers you for the remainder of your life – it has no expiry date. Both the pay-out and premium amount are fixed throughout the policy. 

Whole life insurance can be bought as a standard policy or as linked to an investment fund, whereby your insurer invests the money paid for your premiums to cover the eventual pay-out sum. 

If the investment does better than expected you can receive bonuses, however, if it fails your premiums may be increased to cover the loss.

Term life insurance only covers you for a set period of time (i.e 30 years), if you outlive the policy term, your cover is ended.

There are 3 main types of term life insurance:

  • Level term – Your pay-out amount & premiums remain the same throughout the policy term.
  • Decreasing term – Used to cover large payments like a mortgage. The pay-out amount decreases over time and you pay off the outstanding balance of your mortgage.
  • Increasing term – The pay-out amount increases over time to protect it from inflation, your premiums also increase to account for this.

There is also over 50’s life insurance – this is designed for people aged 50 and over who may struggle to take out a standard life insurance policy. With this type of policy, the pay-out is much lower than that of a standard whole life policy.

How long does a joint life policy last?

How long your joint life policy lasts depends on the type of cover chosen. For example, if you choose a joint whole life policy, the cover lasts for the remainder of your or your partner’s life. 

Whereas with a term life policy, your cover will only last for a set period of time. 

Why should couples get joint life insurance?

One of the main benefits of a joint life policy is that it can work out cheaper and easier to manage than two single policies. Joint policies can be easier to set up as it only involves one application for two people.

If you and your partner share financial responsibility for your household, joint life insurance may be a better option. For example, a joint life policy can be used to cover the outstanding balance for your home’s mortgage. This means if you or your partner dies, the surviving party can use the policy pay-out to clear the remaining mortgage.

The same applies if you have children – the pay-out can be used to support them during the difficult times ahead. The pay-out can help with costs such as:

  • Household bills
  • Daily living expenses
  • Mortgage or rent payments
  • Childcare support
  • Education costs like school fees or university tuition
  • Funeral expenses
  • Inheritance planning

Even if you don’t have children, a joint policy can support your partner in the event of your death. Before taking out a policy, be sure to assess your family’s financial needs.. 

Before you can take out any life insurance policy, you’ll need to get a quote from your provider. This can be through an online life insurance broker or comparison site. A quote is an estimate of what you might expect to pay for premiums once your cover starts.

What happens to joint life policy after divorce?

No matter how much you love your spouse, the reality is that many marriages can break down over time. If you have two single policies a break-up or divorce will have very little impact on your cover. 

However, what happens to your joint policy if you split up depends on your provider. Some insurers may allow you to split the policy, whereas others may not allow you to split the policy at all.

Naturally, this won’t be of any concern when applying for life insurance but it is something to keep in mind for the future.

Ultimately, joint life insurance is a great option for couples but also depends on your circumstances. None of us wants to leave our loved ones with financial burdens, so with that in mind, apply for cover, today!

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.