Life insurance for gay and lesbian couples

As a couple, it’s likely you’ll embark on many of life’s big milestones together.

From tying the knot, to starting a family - it’s important to ensure you’ve got the right protection in place to help protect your loved ones from struggling financially if one of you were to pass away.

There’s no life insurance product designed specifically for same-sex couples. Instead, you can take out a standard single policy or a joint life insurance policy to protect both lives simultaneously.

But what options are there and how do you choose the right one?

At Reassured we can help you compare quotes from some of the UK's leading insurers to see if we can find a suitable policy that ticks all the boxes.

  • Our award-winning team can source multiple quotes for you to compare
  • You can save up to 25% by taking out a joint policy
  • What's more, our cover starts from just 20p-a-day

Keep reading for a complete guide on securing life insurance for gay couples...

LBGTQ+ friendly life insurance

The Equality Act 2010 was introduced to prevent discrimination in the workplace, as well as in wider society.

It introduced 9 ‘protected characteristics’, which include:

  1. Age
  2. Disability
  3. Gender reassignment
  4. Marriage and civil partnership
  5. Pregnancy and maternity
  6. Race
  7. Religion and belief
  8. Sex
  9. Sexual orientation

This act, therefore, prevents insurers from discriminating against applicants in same-sex relationships.

You can rest assured that insurers aren’t here to judge or discriminate, it’s their duty to find you suitable life cover no matter your circumstances.

Life insurance considerations for same-sex couples

Securing life insurance as a same-sex couple will be no different from securing life insurance as an opposite-sex couple.

You’ll need to consider certain aspects of your life together and assess what it is that you’d like to protect.

If you or your partner passed away, could the surviving partner afford to:

  • Pay off the mortgage
  • Keep up with rental payments
  • Cover family living costs
  • Maintain their current lifestyle
  • Cover funeral costs

A pay out from a life insurance policy could help to take care of some or all of these financial obligations, depending on your current circumstances.


When securing cover as a couple, it’s also important to take into consideration:

  • Your marital status
  • Whether you have children
  • Whether you’ll be growing your family
  • Who you want your beneficiaries to be

It’s likely these factors will have an impact on the type of cover and level of cover you’ll require.

Talking to a life insurance expert, like Reassured, means you can gather all the information you need to make an informed decision about which may be the best option for you.

See below how your marital status may have an affect on your life insurance…

Married couples

In 2013, the same sex marriage law was passed in the UK, making marriage available to all couples[1].

Getting married can lead the way for other life changing events such as buying a home and starting a family.

Therefore, as a married couple, it’s likely you’ll have a number of shared financial commitments, including:

  • A mortgage
  • Rental tenancy
  • Credit cards
  • Living costs
  • Childcare

If one partner were to pass away, could the surviving partner afford to cover these costs singlehandedly?

It’s likely the remaining partner would also be responsible for paying for the funeral, a cost which now stands at £3,953 for just a basic funeral[2].

A life insurance pay out can help to provide the funds for the surviving partner to remain in the family home and continue their current lifestyle with minimal financial disruption.

If you have children, it can also help to replace lost household income to cover rising family living costs.

Couples in a civil partnership

In 2020 the number of civil partnerships in the UK reached their highest levels since 2014, with 1,180 taking place[3].

Being in a civil partnership gives your relationship legal recognition and gives you more rights as a couple than if you were unmarried.

Due to this, it’s likely those in a civil partnership may have similar financial circumstances to married couples.

If you’re in a civil partnership and are looking to take out life insurance, you may want your policy to help cover your:

  • Mortgage/rental payments
  • Any shared large debts
  • Family living expenses/childcare costs
  • Funeral expenses

By protecting these aspects of your life you can help protect your loved ones from facing financial difficulty if the worst were to happen.

Unmarried couples

It’s not just married couples or couples in a civil partnership that may benefit from having a life insurance policy.

Those in unmarried, long-term partnerships may also benefit from having cover in place.

Married couples will often have the safety of being married, as typically in the event one partner passes away, the surviving partner will automatically inherit their home and belongings and have access to their bank accounts.

As an unmarried couple, you may not benefit from this extra security so it’s even more important to secure the right financial protection for you and your partner.

Not being married won’t prevent you from taking out life insurance to protect one another and you’ll still be able to name each other as beneficiaries.

A life insurance pay out can provide the funds to help your partner continue their current lifestyle if you were to pass away.

It can help to cover rental payments and bills, as well as pay off any outstanding debts in your name.

If you have bought a home and share a mortgage with your partner, a life insurance pay out could also help to pay this off.

Life changes option (guaranteed insurability)

Some life insurance policies include the guaranteed insurability option (GIO) or the ‘life changes option’.

This is an option that allows you to increase your sum assured (pay out amount) in the event of a change of circumstances, without the need for additional underwriting.

So if you buy a house or start a family in the future, you can change your sum assured to reflect this.

Joint life insurance

Some couples may choose to take out joint life insurance, this is a policy that covers the lives of two people simultaneously.

This can often be a good option for those on a budget who want some form of cover in place, as you can save up to 25% compared with two single policies.

You’ll fill in one application form that will contain details about both applicants and you’ll pay one premium between you.

While joint life insurance can help you to save money on a policy, there are some important elements to be aware of.

If one partner has less favourable health or a pre-existing medical condition, this will be reflected in the premium you both pay (which means the partner in good health could end up paying more than necessary).

Similarly, if one partner is a smoker, this will inflate the premium you both pay.

Therefore, if your budget allows it, it can be more beneficial to take out two separate policies to ensure you’re not left paying over the odds for your cover.

A joint life insurance policy will also only pay out once, usually after the first death.

Once the pay out has been made, the policy will expire and the surviving partner will be left needing to secure a new policy (which can be costly when taking out cover at an older age).

Complications can also arise if you and your partner decide to separate.

If you decide to divorce or end the relationship, not all insurers will allow you to split a joint policy.

This means you’ll need to cancel the existing policy and secure new cover.

Depending on your budget it can be more cost-effective in the long run to secure two separate policies.

This will provide more comprehensive cover as each partner will have their own policy, meaning two pay outs for your loved ones.

Use our award-winning broker service to compare both single and joint policies to see if we can help you find the best option for you.

Best life insurance for gay couples

There are multiple life insurance policies on the market; which one is best for you will be one that covers everything you’d like to protect and fits within your budget.

Most commonly, you’ll have the choice of:

  • Term life insurance
  • Whole of life insurance
  • Over 50s plan
  • Family income benefit

You can also choose to take out a policy out on a joint basis - meaning both lives will be covered under one policy.

Depending on your budget, it may be more suitable to take out two separate policies.

But how do these policy types work and what are they best for protecting?

Term life insurance

Term life insurance will provide you with cover for an agreed period of time (the term), this can be up to 40 years (depending on the insurer).

If you pass away during this time, a pay out will be made to your loved ones.

Typically, you’ll choose between level or decreasing terms.

With level term life insurance, your sum assured remains fixed throughout the term of the policy.

Due to the large pay out, level term life insurance is well suited to help protect an interest-only mortgage or other large debts, covering family living expenses or it can provide an inheritance for your loved ones to spend how they wish.

With decreasing term life insurance, your sum assured will reduce throughout the lifetime of the policy.

For this reason, it’s ideal for helping to protect a repayment mortgage as you can choose to have your sum assured to reduce at the same rate as your remaining mortgage balance.

Term life insurance can be taken out on a joint basis.


Whole of life insurance

Whole of life insurance is a form of life assurance as it provides lifelong cover.

Once a policy has been taken out you’ll be covered for the remainder of your life.

As you’ll be required to continue making premium payments until you pass away, this can be a costly option if you take out a policy at a young age.

Therefore, whole of life insurance tends to be well suited to those who are later on in life and still in good health.

The pay out can be used to guarantee your loved ones an inheritance and ensure they have the funds to help pay for your funeral.


Over 50s plan

An over 50s plan offers guaranteed acceptance to UK residents aged 50 – 85.

You won’t be required to provide any medical information, so this is an ideal option for those in this age bracket who have previously struggled to secure cover due to poor health.

To compensate for this unknown risk, your sum assured will be capped (typically at around £20,000).

Insurers may also add a waiting period to the terms and conditions of your policy.

A ‘waiting period’ refers to the first 12 - 24 months of your policy where if you pass away due to natural causes, no pay out will be issued.

However, any premiums paid into the policy will be refunded.

Unfortunately, an over 50s policy can’t be taken out on a joint basis.

Reassured can compare all of these policies, helping to you save time and money - simply get in touch for your free quotes.


Family income benefit

Family income benefit is an alternative form of life insurance.

Instead of receiving a lump sum pay out, your loved ones will receive monthly (tax-free) income payments.

You’ll be covered for an agreed period of time and if you pass away during the time, the payments will commence.

Budgeting a large sum of money can bring added stress to a grieving family.

This is where family income benefit can be extremely beneficial as your loved ones will easily be able to budget their payments.

Family income benefit can be taken out on a joint basis.

Life Insurance Calculator

Calculate how much life insurance you may need by filling in the costs you’d like your policy to cover.

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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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Critical illness cover for gay couples

To add an extra safety net to your policy you can also choose to include critical illness cover (CIC) for an additional cost.

Critical illness cover will allow you to make an early claim on your policy if you’re diagnosed with a life-changing illness (listed within the policy).

The pay out you receive can be used to help replace lost income you might experience due to not being able to work, which can help you keep up with your financial obligations.

Terminal illness cover

All term policies purchased through Reassured come with terminal illness cover as standard.

This is an extra layer of protection that will allow you to make an early claim on your policy if you were to be diagnosed with a terminal illness and predicted to pass away within 12 months.

You can then use the pay out to help cover any private medical treatments, get your financial affairs in order or you can simply use it to make the most your remaining time with your loved ones.

Writing your policy in trust

Writing your policy in trust allows your beneficiary to benefit as much as possible from your pay out.

It does this by detaching your policy from your estate.

Which means that:

  • You avoid or minimise 40% inheritance tax
  • You can avoid the lengthy probate process
  • You have more control over who receives what and when

It works by placing someone you trust in charge of your policy after you’ve passed away.

They’ll then be responsible for distributing your pay out as per your wishes.

For example, if you have young children, you may not want them to inherit the money until a certain age (perhaps when they turn 18).

If you were to pass away, your trustee would be in charge of looking after the pay out until your child becomes of age.

Not only are our team on hand to answer any questions, but we can also help you write your life insurance in trust on the majority of the policies we sell, at no extra cost.

Naming your beneficiaries

If you’re taking out life insurance to financially protect your partner, it’s likely you’ll name them as your beneficiary.

This way they’ll be the one to financially benefit from your policy after you’ve passed away.

Similarly, if both partners are taking out cover to protect each other, you’ll need to name each other as beneficiaries.

It’s possible to name more than one person as your beneficiary, so if you have children (both biological or adoptive) you can name your partner and your children.

Compare quotes to save money

Whether you’re in a civil partnership, married or unmarried, life insurance can help to protect what matters the most to you and your partner.

Comparing quotes is essential to finding a great price for a policy that meets your needs.

Why not let Reassured help you find the best offerings from some of the UK's leading providers?

Our award-winning broker service is FCA-regulated and we don’t charge a fee for our quotes.

The best part is, our life cover starts from just 20p-a-day.

Simply get in touch to protect your partner.

Sources:

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/same-sex-marriage-becomes-law

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

[3] https://www.statista.com/statistics/281552/number-of-civil-partnerships-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/

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