Should I take out single or joint life insurance?

Single policies are simpler, as if you and your partner decide to separate, you can both continue with your individual life insurance policies. If you hold a joint policy with your partner and split up, it’s unlikely that the insurer can separate the policy into two separate policies.

Frequently asked questions

A single life insurance policy is designed to cover one person only and pays out if that person dies during the policy duration.

If a couple buys two single life policies, the policies will be completely independent of each other. The two policies can be with different life insurance companies, for different terms, and be for different amounts.

A joint life insurance policy covers two lives, and most of them will pay out on a 'first death' basis. This means the chosen amount of cover is paid out if the first person dies, at any time during the policy duration, after which the policy would end.

A joint life insurance policy tends to be cheaper than two single policies designed to provide the same amount of cover over the same period of time. However, a joint life policy pays out only once, leaving the surviving partner without cover under that policy, whereas single life insurance policies can offer more protection because each partner has individual cover. It’s worth comparing both options to see which gives you the protection you require at a cost you can afford.

No, you don’t need to be married to take out joint life insurance.

Typically, joint policies work on a ‘first death’ basis. So the plan will only pay out once when the first policy holder dies. As a result, the remaining partner will no longer be covered after the payout.

A single life insurance policy is designed to cover one person only and pays out if that person dies during the policy duration.

If a couple buys two single life policies, the policies will be completely independent of each other. The two policies can be with different life insurance companies, for different terms, and be for different amounts.

A joint life insurance policy covers two lives, and most of them will pay out on a 'first death' basis. This means the chosen amount of cover is paid out if the first person dies, at any time during the policy duration, after which the policy would end.

A joint life insurance policy tends to be cheaper than two single policies designed to provide the same amount of cover over the same period of time. However, a joint life policy pays out only once, leaving the surviving partner without cover under that policy, whereas single life insurance policies can offer more protection because each partner has individual cover. It’s worth comparing both options to see which gives you the protection you require at a cost you can afford.

No, you don’t need to be married to take out joint life insurance.

Typically, joint policies work on a ‘first death’ basis. So the plan will only pay out once when the first policy holder dies. As a result, the remaining partner will no longer be covered after the payout.

More on single or joint life insurance for a couple