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Joint vs single life insurance policies

You might be wondering whether a joint or single life insurance policy will suit your needs. Each cover type brings different benefits, so make sure you’ve got the information to hand that will help you make a decision that works for you and your family.

Joint life policies

This type of insurance involves one policy that insures two lives. The money is paid out on the first successful claim, and after it has paid out once the policy ends. Joint policies are often taken out by couples who have shared financial obligations, such as a mortgage.

What should you consider with this type of cover?

  • One pay out - this type of policy is suitable when the lump sum is only required once, for example when repaying a mortgage.
  • Identical needs - it’s also suitable if you both have the same insurance needs
  • Potential savings - a joint life policy can often be cheaper than two separate single policies
  • The future - if a relationship breaks down, some insurance providers will divide a joint policy into two single policies, but not all of them will.
  • Where both partners die at the same time, funds will be paid to representatives of the youngest partner.
  • Where a surviving partner dies soon after the other the pay-out will automatically go to the representatives of the person who died last.
  • A Survivor Trust can help you direct exactly who benefits from your life insurance if there is a successful claim and pay-out.

Single life policies

This type of policy covers, as the name suggests, just one person - you. After it pays out once the policy ends.

What should you consider with this type of cover?

  • Income - if you and your partner have different incomes and require different levels of insurance, single policies can be ideal
  • Claims process - if a claim is made on your policy, it won’t impact on your partner’s. The policies are entirely separate, and your partner’s cover will continue.
  • Paying out - if both of you were to pass away, the lump sum will be paid out on each policy.
  • Employee benefits packages – if one of you has a ‘death in service’ benefit from your employer, you may not need as much cover, so separate policies allow you to tailor the amount required to each partner.

Deciding which type of cover suits you and your family’s needs should be made according to your personal circumstances, so be sure to consider the facts before choosing a joint or single life insurance product.