What is joint life insurance?

A joint life insurance policy covers two people simultaneously and will pay out a lump sum if either person passes away during the policy term.

You only pay one monthly premium, there’s one contract and the terms of the policy protect both named parties.

With over 40% of all policies being joint[1], it can be an ideal option for:

  • Married couples or couples in a civil partnership
  • Co-habiting couples
  • Long-term partners
  • Business partners

On average, joint life insurance can save you approximately 25% in comparison to two single policies. Although, you could save up to 40% depending on your personal circumstances.

But which is the better option?

At Reassured, we can provide you with all the information you need to decide whether a joint policy is the best option to meet your needs.

Our experts can also help you to compare our best joint life insurance quotes from a panel of top UK insurers, FREE of charge.

Simply get in touch with our award-winning team today to see if we can help you save time and money.

How much joint life insurance do you need?

Enter which costs you would like your policy to cover and calculate how much joint life insurance you may need to help protect your loved ones.

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£137,934 is the estimated mortgage debt per household in the UK.

The purchase of a home is likely to be the largest financial commitment any of us will make in our lifetime. Your life insurance should cover your remaining mortgage balance to allow your loved ones to stay in the family home should anything happen to you.

Source: Moneynerd.co.uk

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The average monthly household budget in the UK is £2,548 (that’s £30,576 per year), which is spent on transport, food & drink, utilities (gas, electricity, water etc), clothing, council tax and leisure activities.

With energy prices hitting a record high and the cost of living rising sharply in the UK, you may wish to factor in utility bills and family living expenses into your cover.

Source: Nimblefins.co.uk

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The average personal debt of UK adults has risen to £34,566 (not including mortgage debt), with credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts being the most common forms of debt.

Factoring in any debts into your life insurance cover means that, if they need to be paid back from your estate after your passing, your loved ones won’t miss out financially.

Source: Money.co.uk

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According to SunLife, the average cost of a funeral in the UK is £3,953 (with the overall cost of dying at £9,200).

Funeral costs have increased by 116% since 2004 and are a significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.

Source: SunLife.co.uk

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When factoring in cover for your children, you may wish to calculate the amount based on how long it is until they reach financial independence.

This could include childcare (£7,000 per year for part-time care), school expenses (£1,519 per school year for uniforms, lunches, stationary etc), as well as an additional sum for further education (this could be a contribution of up to £5,000 per year).

Sources: Daynurseries.co.uk, Primarytimes.co.uk & Savethestudent.org

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2 in 5 adults say they are relying on an inheritance to fund their retirement.

Factoring in an inheritance to your sum assured could allow loved ones to live a more financially comfortable life. Alternatively, you could leave a cash gift to a charity of your choosing.

Source: Moneyage.co.uk

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If you’re lucky enough to have your own savings or are part of the 30% of UK residents who already have a life insurance policy in place, this can provide financial protection for loved ones.

By entering your current cover, savings or death in service amount you can reduce the sum assured you require.

Source: Scottishbusinessnews.net

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Your total cover estimate

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How does a joint life insurance policy work?

If you choose to take out a policy on a joint basis, the basic process is as follows:

Paperwork Application

You’ll both need to fill in one application form which will require information about your health and lifestyle, as well as details of your chosen policy and cover amount.

Cost Money Quotes

Insurers will use this information to determine the level of risk you pose as a collective and your monthly premium will be calculated accordingly. Reassured can compare quotes from different insurers to help you find a suitable price.

Family Protection

Once in place, you’ll both be protected under the same policy for one monthly premium. For ‘first death’ policies, if either party passes away during the policy term, a pay out will be made to the surviving partner.

There are two types of cover to choose from:

  • First death - This is the most common type of joint policy. The pay out will be made to the surviving party upon the first death. Cover will then expire.

Or

  • Second death - Also known as ‘joint survivorship life insurance’. This is when a pay out will only be made if both parties pass away during the policy term.

Please note, joint life insurance only pays out once, meaning once a claim has been made, the policy ends.

What does joint life insurance cover?

Joint life insurance covers you or your partner during the policy term in the event of natural or accidental death.

If a claim is made, the pay out will be issued directly to the surviving partner to help ease financial stress during an already difficult time.

A pay out from joint life insurance could be used to help cover essential costs such as:

  • Mortgage payments (average UK mortgage debt is £142,755[2])
  • Rental payments (average UK rent cost is £11,675 a year[3])
  • Outstanding debts in your name (average unsecured debt per household is £11,000, which includes loans and credit cards[4])
  • Household costs (UK families spend on average £27,849 a year on living expenses including transport, food, drink, utilities and council tax[3])
  • Childcare or school costs (average weekly full time nursery is £285.31[5] and it can cost on average £1,519 a year to send one child to school[6])
  • Funeral expenses (average cost of a UK funeral is £3,953 and the total cost of dying is £9,200[7])

As joint life insurance is often taken out by those who share financial obligations, these are the aspects you’ll want to cover to make sure they’re taken care of if the worst were to happen.

For second death policies, the pay out could help to cover an inheritance bill for your children or to help pay for the funeral of the second person who passes away.

What’s the best joint life insurance?

Joint life insurance can offer a financial safety net, in the form of a substantial cash amount, for one partner in case the other were to pass away.

But the best option for you will depend on what you’d like to protect.

Most commonly, term life insurance is taken out on a joint basis.

This includes:

But it’s also possible to secure joint:

Unfortunately, it’s not currently possible to secure joint income protection or joint over 50s plans through Reassured.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about these joint policy types.

Alternatively, contact Reassured to determine the best type of joint life insurance to meet your needs.

Joint term life insurance

Term life insurance is the most common type of policy taken out on a joint basis.

This is because it tends to be the most affordable form of cover and can be ideal for young married couples who’ve just bought a home and/or started a family together (and may be on a budget).

Joint term life insurance offers cover for a specified period of time (the term) and if either party passes away during this time, a pay out will be made.

You can choose between level or decreasing term life insurance depending on the amount of cover you need and your budget.

A level term policy will provide a fixed sum assured, which can help to protect large expenses, such as a mortgage and family living costs.

With a joint decreasing term policy, your sum assured will reduce over time – making it ideal for helping to protect a repayment mortgage. This also tends to be the cheaper policy out of the two.

Joint term life insurance

Policy key features:

  • Provides cover for a specified period of time (up to 40 years)
  • Level or decreasing term options
  • Sum assured up to £1,000,000
  • Free terminal illness cover
  • Affordable premiums from 17p-a-day

Why not contact our award-winning team to compare quotes for joint level term life insurance vs decreasing term life insurance?

Buy joint term life insurance online

If you’re confident that joint term life insurance is the right policy for you and your partner, you can compare quotes and apply online today.

At Reassured, we offer a buy online service that allows you to secure affordable life insurance quickly and easily with just a few clicks.

See our buy life insurance online page for more information and get your free online quotes.

Joint whole of life insurance

A joint whole of life insurance provides lifetime cover and guarantees a pay out to the surviving partner when one partner passes away.

The funds can be used to help cover large debts such as an outstanding mortgage, family living costs and funeral expenses.

Whole of life cover, if taken out as a second death policy, could help to cover an inheritance tax bill for your loved ones.

Inheritance tax is charged at 40% of the part of your estate that’s above the tax-free threshold of £325,000.

With this type of policy, your medical wellbeing will be taken into account to calculate the cost of your monthly premium.

This means if you have less than favourable health, paying inflated premiums over your lifetime could lead to you paying more into the policy than it will pay out.

Joint whole of life insurance

Policy key features:

  • Covers you for the rest of your life
  • Guaranteed lump sum pay out
  • Sum assured up to £1,000,000
  • Affordable premiums from 27p-a-day ±

If joint whole of life insurance seems well suited to meet your needs, contact Reassured to obtain your free quotes.

Joint family income benefit

Joint family income benefit differs from a traditional life insurance policy by providing monthly payments (rather than a lump sum pay out) if one partner passes away during the policy term.

It can help to replace an income, allowing the surviving partner to continue their current lifestyle and cover essential costs for the family.

Receiving a regular payment can help them with long-term family budgeting, instead of having to manage a large pay out.

If a claim is made on the policy, the payments will commence from the date you or your partner passes away until the end of the policy term.

For example, if you have a 30-year policy term with a monthly pay out amount of £2,000 and pass away 10 years into the policy, your surviving partner will receive £2,000 a month for the remaining 20 years of the policy.

As with joint term life insurance, joint family income benefit can be an affordable option for young couples or those on a budget.

Joint family income benefit

Policy key features:

  • Provides cover for a specified period of time
  • Monthly tax-free payments up to £5,000 per month
  • Term length up to 40 years
  • Helps with family budgeting
  • Affordable monthly premiums from 20p-a-day ¤
  • Available through Reassured

How much is joint life insurance?

At Reassured, it’s possible secure £150,000 of joint term life insurance from just 17p-a-day.

However, the exact cost of your life insurance will depend on your personal circumstances and the terms of the policy you choose.

During the application process, insurers will require certain information about you and your partner, including your:

  • Age
  • Health & lifestyle
  • Smoking status
  • Medical history
  • Weight/BMI

This information, along with the details of your policy will allow insurers to assess the risk of insuring you both and your premium will be calculated accordingly.

Joint life insurance quotes will vary between insurers, which is why it’s important to compare multiple quotes before taking out a policy.

As the UK’s largest life insurance broker * , Reassured can help you with this task, saving you time and money.

Joint life insurance price comparison

The tables below help to provide a comparison of joint life insurance quotes from some of the UK’s leading insurers.

The amounts shown are example monthly premiums based on two non-smokers in good health, taking out a joint policy at the same age.


Policy type: Joint level term life insurance

Term: 20 years

Cover amount: £150,000

Age Aviva Legal & General AIG logo LV=
20£6.02£7.12£8.37N/A
25£7.84£8.29£10.96£9.51
30£10.14£11.20£11.79£11.17
35£13.66£15.96£15.01£15.03
40£19.70£23.64£21.19£21.46
45£30.26£36.02£32.94£32.80
50£50.32£56.72£50.57£55.34

Policy type: Joint decreasing term life insurance

Term: 20 years

Cover amount: £150,000

Age Aviva Legal & General AIG logo LV=
20£3.50£4.99£5.82N/A
25£4.32£5.29£5.77N/A
30£4.32£6.10£6.43£8.13
35£5.92£7.51£6.53£9.55
40£8.86£9.98£9.11£12.73
45£13.32£14.67£14.89£18.15
50£22.26£22.50£20.46£25.60

Policy type: Joint whole of life insurance

Term: N/A

Cover amount: £100,000

Age Zurich logo AIG logo
20£68.70£90.76
25£75.46£94.57
30£84.16£110.69
35£95.62£128.28
40£112.92£150.65
45£132.98£169.65
50£145.58£183.79


As you can see, the cost of joint life insurance accelerates as you get older, so to get the cheapest rates it’s a good idea to secure cover sooner rather than later.

Contact Reassured for your free, personalised joint life insurance quotes.

Is joint life insurance cheaper than single life insurance?

Typically, yes. The main benefit of arranging joint life insurance is that it could cost up to 40% less than two single policies.

This is because there’s only one premium to pay between both parties and only one pay out is made if either person passes away.

The table below shows the price comparison of joint life insurance vs two single life insurance policies.

The amounts shown are example monthly premiums based on two non-smokers in good health, taking out a joint policy at the same age.


Policy type: Joint level term life insurance

Term: 20 years

Cover amount: £150,000

AgeJoint policyTwo single policies% Saving
20£6.02£7.1416%
25£7.84£8.629%
30£10.14£10.725%
35£13.66£15.4812%
40£19.70£21.549%
45£30.26£32.527%
50£50.32£53.08

5%


As you can see from the table above, one joint policy tends to be cheaper than having two single policies.

However, as your joint premium is calculated using information about both parties, if one partner is seen to be more high-risk (for example, they smoke and/or have a pre-existing medical condition) the lower risk partner could end up paying more than is necessary.

The table below shows the price comparison between a completely non-smoker joint policy vs a joint policy where one party is a smoker.


Policy type: Joint level term life insurance

Term: 20 years

Cover amount: £100,000

AgeCompletely non-smoker1 x Smoker% Difference
20£6.02£7.70-21%
25£7.84£9.84-20%
30£10.14£14.01-27%
35£13.66£20.04-32%
40£19.70£30.79-36%
45£30.26£50.28-40%
50£50.32£86.65-42%


In this instance, it could be beneficial to obtain quotes for both single and joint cover to determine the most cost-effective option.

This will allow each partner to pay a fair amount for their cover.

For a more in-depth joint vs two single policies comparison contact Reassured to obtain your free quotes.

Is it better to get joint or single life insurance?

The option that’s best for you will ultimately depend on your needs and available budget.

For couples on a budget, joint life insurance can be an ideal way to secure some cover to help protect their family in the worst case scenario.

On the other hand, if your budget allows, having two separate policies can provide more comprehensive cover by providing two potential pay outs, rather than just one.

Joint life insurance2 x single policies
Both lives covered under one policyTwo lives covered under two separate policies
Could save up to 40% on monthly premiumsYou’ll need to pay two separate premiums
Will provide one pay out if either party passes away during the policy termCan provide two potential pay outs, offering more comprehensive cover
Surviving partner will need to secure a new policy at an older age if they still require financial protection, meaning higher premiumsGreater sum assured can be secured to help cover the income and financial commitments of each person
It can be difficult to split the policy if the two named parties separateTwo separate policies won’t be greatly affected by a divorce or break-up (you’ll simply want to change your beneficiary if you named your ex-partner as yours)


If it’s within your budget it can be possible to secure more than one life insurance policy.

For example this could be a joint policy with your partner to protect only your shared assets and your own personal policy to protect other aspects of your life.

Can critical illness cover be added to a joint life insurance policy?

Yes, critical illness cover can be added to a joint term life insurance for an additional cost.

This means, if you’re diagnosed with a serious (but not life-threatening) illness, you can make a claim and receive an early pay out.

This pay out can then be used to help cover any necessary medical fees, adaptions to your home or pay for carers.

As with a joint life insurance policy, if one party makes a claim the pay out will be made and cover will expire.

The table below shows a price comparison between the cost of a joint life insurance policy without critical illness cover vs a joint life insurance policy with critical illness cover.

These example monthly premiums are based on two non-smokers in good health, taking out a policy at the same age.


Policy type: Joint level term life insurance

Term: 20 years

Cover amount: £100,000

AgeJoint policy without critical illness coverJoint policy with critical illness cover
20£6.34£27.41
25£7.16£34.05
30£8.79£48.56
35£10.70£68.59
40£14.59£96.47
45£21.31£141.36
50£34.97£223.30


At Reassured we can compare joint life insurance with and without critical illness cover to help you find the right option.

Can a joint life insurance policy be written in trust?

Yes, a joint life insurance policy can be written in trust - this can be particularly beneficial if you take out a second death joint policy.

Writing your life insurance in trust passes the rights of your policy over to a trustee, similar to the executor of a Will.

This detaches the policy proceeds from your estate and brings with it three main benefits:

  1. Avoids/reduces inheritance tax (IHT) (40% over £325,000)
  2. Bypasses the probate process (for a faster pay out)
  3. Provides you with the opportunity to detail how you wish the proceeds to be divided

When writing joint life insurance in trust, it’s commonplace for both parties to detail each other as the main beneficiary.

This allows both policyholders to agree on how the proceeds should be spent (for example, to cover the remaining mortgage balance).

At Reassured, we offer a free trust writing service on the majority of the policies we arrange, ensuring peace of mind that the process has been completed accurately.

Compare joint life insurance quotes

Comparing quotes is the best way to find the cheapest life insurance quotes, whether that be for joint life insurance or single cover.

At Reassured, we can compare life insurance prices from a range of top UK insurers, helping you secure the best deal we can offer.

If you’re unsure whether a joint or single policy is right for you and your loved ones, our experts can provide all the information you need to make a fully informed decision.

Our award-winning broker service has helped more than 2,000,000 families secure affordable financial protection.

Why not let us help you save time and money today, by getting in touch?

Best joint life insurance FAQs

How is joint life insurance paid out?

Joint life insurance will pay out to the surviving partner if one partner passes away during the policy term.

Joint life insurance will only pay out once, usually upon the first death.

At this point, the policy will expire and the surviving partner will need to secure new cover.

On occasions, joint cover may be arranged on a survivorship (or second death) basis. This means the pay out will be made upon the second death, as opposed to first.

In both instances, if the policy term ends before either party passes away, no pay out is made and the policy expires.

Do I need joint life insurance for a mortgage?

No, you’re not legally required to secure life insurance when taking out a mortgage.

If you’ve purchased a house with your partner, and have a joint mortgage, you may wish to take out a joint life insurance policy to help protect this shared asset.

If one partner were to pass away, the funds from the policy could be used to help the surviving partner pay off the remainder of the mortgage and remain in the family home.

When taking out joint mortgage life insurance (either a level or decreasing term policy) you can choose to have your policy term align with your mortgage term.

In the case of decreasing term life insurance, you can even have your sum assured reduce inline with your remaining mortgage balance.

Is joint life insurance for married couples?

Joint life insurance is commonly taken out by married couples and those in civil partnerships to help protect their shared assets and financial responsibilities. This could be:

  • A mortgage
  • Family living costs
  • Debts or loans
  • Childcare or school fees

The funds from a joint life insurance policy can help to ensure there’s minimal financial disruption for the surviving partner at an already stressful time.

By securing a joint life insurance policy married couples could save up to 40% compared to two single policies.

Contact Reassured to find out our best joint life insurance quotes for you and your other half.

Can unmarried couples get joint life insurance?

Yes. It’s not essential to be married to arrange joint life insurance.

However, joint life insurance is popular among married couples, or those in long-term committed relationships, as a way of helping to protect shared assets/responsibilities.

This is because the surviving partner will receive the proceeds from the policy in the event that one partner passes away.

Therefore, arranging joint life insurance is usually carried about between those who are financially dependent on one another.

What happens to joint life insurance after a break-up?

If the two named parties separate, there are three possible outcomes for a joint policy:

  1. Both parties must agree for one to take over the policy
  2. The joint policy gets cancelled and both parties secure new single policies
  3. The joint policy is split into two single policies

Only a small number of insurers provide the option to split a life insurance policy or to remove one party making it into a single policy.

You can check if your policy comes with a ‘separation benefit’ which will be specified in your policy terms document.

If you choose to cancel your policy, it’s important to consider that your monthly premiums won’t be refunded.

However, taking out a new policy will allow you to secure the right amount of cover to suit your new circumstances after the separation.

For more information read our full joint life insurance after divorce guide »

When does joint life insurance not pay out?

A joint life insurance policy won’t pay out in the following circumstances:

  • If the policy term comes to an end and neither party has passed away
  • If the policy was taken out on a second death basis and the surviving partner outlives the policy term
  • If one partner passes away within the first 12 or 24 months of the policy and the manner of death was suicide, then most policies will not pay out in this instance
  • If non-disclosure is found this will invalidate the policy. Non-disclosure refers to not being completely truthful on your life insurance application

Can I take out joint life insurance with my business partner?

Yes, taking out joint life insurance with a business partner offers protection for the business to remain functioning should the worst happen to either party.

If the worst were to happen, the pay out could be used to help pay off business loans, invest in a new partnership or simply to maintain the running costs of the business.

You may wish to secure a separate single policy to protect your own personal financial obligations such as family living costs and/or a mortgage.

Can you get joint over 50 life insurance?

No, unfortunately it’s not possible to get an over 50s life insurance policy on a joint basis.

However, taking out two separate over 50s policies could be a good option if you both suffer with poor health, and you’re aged between 50 - 85.

Over 50s life insurance guarantees acceptance if you’re within this age bracket and a pay out is guaranteed when you pass away.

Premiums could be more affordable than joint whole of life insurance as the pay out is lower (up to £20,000 depending on your personal circumstances and budget).

Premiums are based on your age, smoking status and the amount of cover you take out, rather than any health factors.

If you think this cover could suit your needs, contact Reassured to compare over 50 life insurance quotes.

Sources:

[1] https://www.moneyexpert.com/life-insurance/divorce/

[2] https://www.finder.com/uk/life-insurance-statistics

[3] https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/average-uk-household-budget

[4] https://www.money.co.uk/press/uk-personal-debt-rose-a-third-in-2022

[5] https://www.daynurseries.co.uk/advice/childcare-costs-how-much-do-you-pay-in-the-uk

[6] https://www.primarytimes.co.uk/news/2016/07/how-much-the-true-cost-of-sending-your-child-to-school

[7] https://www.sunlife.co.uk/funeral-costs/

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