Single or Joint Life Insurance Policy?


Finding the right life insurance policy can be hard as there are so many different factors to consider, questions such as;

Should I go for a whole of life policy or term life assurance?

Do I need critical illness cover?

How much cover do I need?

With all these key decisions to make one question can often be overlooked, ‘Should we get single or joint life insurance policies?’ This is one of the most important questions couples should ask themselves when taking out life insurance. Making the wrong decision could leave you in a precarious position in the future and could also mean you miss out on the best cover available now.

Why Single Over Joint

As couples a lot of the insurance we pay for tends to be taken out on a joint basis, I’m thinking of things like car and home insurance. Due to this our natural inclination might be to look for a joint life insurance policy. There is however one huge difference between life insurance and other forms of insurance, the majority of life insurance policies only pay out once!

On a joint life insurance policy this is known as ‘first death’ which means that the policy will pay out for whichever person named on the policy passes away first. When the pay out has been made the policy will then terminate leaving the other partner with no life cover. This could cause a big problem for the remaining partner because the older you get, the more expensive life cover becomes.

Taking out two single life insurance policies instead of one joint policy will allow you to keep your own life cover in place in the sad event of the death of a loved one.

Critical illness cover

The same principle applies when taking out critical illness cover on your life insurance policy. Joint life insurance policies will often only pay out once for critical illness, though some do give you the option to buy back the critical illness cover if required. Having two separate life insurance policies will allow you to claim twice on the critical element should both you and your partner develop a critical illness during your lifetimes.

Extra Cover for Your Children

If you do take out critical illness cover your policy might also include cover for your children if they were to develop a critical illness. Having two separate life insurance policies which both include critical illness cover for your children will in effect double the amount of cover you have in place should your child fall critically ill.


You might think that the extra benefits of having two separate life insurance policies would bump up the cost of the cover but that isn’t always the case. The last time I renewed my life insurance the cost of having two separate policies was very similar to that of a joint policy. You might even find that it works out cheaper depending on what rates life insurance companies are offering at the time.

2 Responses to Single or Joint Life Insurance Policy?

  1. Life insurance is so cheap too, you might as well have two separate policies. As long as you start them when you are younger, otherwise you might be paying a LOT of money for life insurance!

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