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ActiveQuote Global Reach, Dunleavy Drive Cardiff South Wales CF11 0SN 0800 862 0373

Single vs Joint Life Insurance

  • We compare the whole market
  • Cheaper than buying direct
  • Optional critical illness cover
  • We compare the whole market
  • Cheaper than buying direct
  • Optional critical illness cover

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You’re in a relationship, maybe you’ve got kids and you think now might be the time for you to take out insurance to protect your loved ones.

After all, if you have people who rely on you financially – you need life insurance. With a policy in place, you know the money will be available to them if you die unexpectedly, within a certain time period of your choosing.

But what kind of insurance should you opt for? A single-life insurance policy or a joint one? What’s the difference? Read our guide to the pros and cons of both and then you can decide and let us help you compare prices.

Why do I need any insurance?

If you’re in a couple, and especially if you have children, you should both have cover to protect your family. The choice is between each having your own, separate policies, or having a joint policy that covers you both.

It’s important to remember that you both need to have cover even if only one of you is earning. Life insurance is not just there to replace a breadwinner’s income – it can also pay for childcare and other costs that would arise if the partner who stayed at home were no longer around.

What is single life insurance?

A single life insurance policy covers one person only and pays out the chosen amount of cover if that person dies during the length of the policy. If a couple holds two single policies and one partner dies, then the surviving partner still has their own policy.

What are the advantages of a single life insurance plan?

If you and your partner have different financial needs, earn varying amounts and rely on one another financially to an extent, then two separate policies could be better for you.

While two policies can be more expensive, you are guaranteed two pay-outs instead of just one.

Two single policies are easier to separate in the case of a break-up or divorce.

What are the disadvantages of a single life insurance plan?

Two single policies can sometimes be more expensive than combined cover for the both of you.

What is joint life insurance?

Joint life insurance is designed to cover two people under one policy, so that both partners are insured together. A joint life insurance policy will generally cover two lives on a ‘first death’ basis. This means that the insurer will pay out upon the death of the first person to help their partner remain financially secure. Once the money has been paid out, the joint life insurance policy will end.

Joint life assurance is usually taken out by couples, but joint life insurance policies can cover any pair of people as long as they have a shared financial interest. For example, joint life cover is often bought by:

  • Married couples
  • Civil partners
  • Room mates
  • Live-in partners
  • Examples of a shared financial interest include a mortgage or dependent children.

If one insured person chooses to stop paying the premiums, the joint life insurance policy will end and premiums will not be refunded.

What are the advantages of a joint life insurance plan?

Joint life insurance policies are often cheaper than two single plans.

Joint life cover is ideal for couples who want cover just to pay off their mortgage.

Joint cover offers extra protection over taking out a single life insurance. Even where one person may stay at home to look after the kids, it’s usually worth having some cover for them as if they were to die, childcare costs could be a significant burden.

What are the disadvantages of a joint life insurance plan?

Once the policy has paid out, the remaining person will be left without cover.

We’ve decided to opt for joint insurance cover. How much cover do we need?

Choosing the right level of cover is an important part of buying joint life insurance, because the more money you want paid out the more expensive the plan is likely to be.

Consider the total cost of your mortgage, personal loan and credit card debt, as well as the cost of any living expenses like school fees or money for a funeral. If in doubt of how much joint life cover you need, speak to one of our FCA authorised specialists to discuss your options.

Here are the different types to consider:

Level-term joint life insurance policies: Level-term joint life cover will protect you and your partner until a specific date in the future, or for a set number of years. If one of you dies within this time period, your joint life insurance policy will pay out a lump sum of money to the person left behind

If neither of you die within the time period, the joint life cover will not pay out and you will not receive any money back again. With a level-term policy, the amount of money paid out remains the same throughout.

Decreasing-term joint life assurance quotes: Decreasing-term life insurance will also cover you and your partner until a specific date, and if one of you dies in this period of time the policy will pay out. But unlike level-term cover, the amount of money paid out decreases over time, usually in line with a repayment mortgage.

Critical illness cover: When investing in a joint life insurance quotes, you will be able to add critical illness insurance to the policy. This way, your insurer will pay out either on the first death or on diagnosis of a critical illness. For more information, take a look at our guide on critical illness cover.

Comparing life insurance with ActiveQuote

It is easy to compare joint life insurance quotes online with ActiveQuote to find the right policy at the right price- our comparison engine will search the market so you can get the best joint life insurance to fit your needs and your budget.

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