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Joint life insurance makes sure you or your partner will be financially protected if one of you dies or is diagnosed with a critical illness. The payout from a joint life insurance policy can be used for anything from replacing lost income to covering childcare costs.

The thought of losing your partner or leaving them behind can be very painful. However, it is important to have financial support in place so that you are prepared in case the unthinkable happens.

nowsure’s affordable life insurance policies are here to provide you and your partner with the peace of mind you need.

We provide personalised support to help find the right policy for you. Our team of experts are on hand to help you every step of the way, considering all of your individual needs..

Get your free quote today and look forward to a stress-free future.


What is joint life insurance?

Joint life insurance covers two people under one policy. If either person passes away when the policy is active, a lump sum would be paid out to the surviving policyholder.

Some people may think that joint life insurance is only for married couples or those in a long-term relationship. This is not true. A joint policy can cover any two people who support each other financially in some way.

A joint life insurance policy may be a cheaper option than taking out two single policies for:

  • Married couples
  • Long-term partners
  • Business partners

However, joint policies only pay out once. This means that the person left does not have any more life cover once the policy has paid out.

How does joint life insurance work?

If you are considering getting joint life insurance there are two options for you to consider.

  • First death policies: The money is paid after one policyholder dies.
  • Second death policies: The money is paid after both policyholders have died.

If the worst happens and both policyholders die at the same time (for example, in a car accident), any dependents will receive a lump sum of money from your joint policy.


Why choose nowsure for your joint life insurance policy?

Why choose nowsure for your joint life insurance policy?

Life can be complicated, but finding an insurance policy that best suits your needs does not have to be.

At nowsure, we provide hassle-free insurance quotes. We use clear, everyday language to help you make an informed decision. Our goal is to help you feel confident with your life insurance decision so that you can enjoy life without worrying.

Request a free callback today to find out more about our affordable term life insurance policies and how they can benefit you and your family.

What information will we need?

When you apply for couple life insurance, both you and your partner will need to answer a few questions about your lifestyle and medical history.

It is important that you answer these questions honestly, even if you feel embarrassed or worried about your answers. Our team will never be judgemental, and we are here to support you in any way you need.

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What are the different types of joint life insurance?

Just like single-life policies, there are three main types of joint life policies for you to choose from.

  • Level term life insurance: A cash sum will be paid out if you die before the policy term ends
  • Decreasing term life insurance: The payout decreases over time, often in line with the decreasing balance of your mortgage repayment over time
  • Whole of life insurance: The policy will last until you die and will pay out no matter when you pass away

At nowsure, we specialise in term life insurance policies. Term life insurance policies usually have lower monthly premiums for you to pay than whole-of-life insurance policies,  making them a popular option. Premiums for whole-of-life insurance tend to be more expensive because there is a guaranteed payout when you die.

Many couples choose term life policies because it means their children will be financially protected whilst they are still dependent. As the children get older and become more self-sufficient, life cover may no longer be necessary.

Get in touch today and we will help you decide on the best option for you.

Pros and cons of joint life insurance

Like all types of life insurance, there are pros and cons to taking out joint cover. Whether it is the right choice for you and your partner  depends entirely on your personal circumstances.

Pros of a joint life insurance policy

There are many advantages of taking out a joint life policy:

  • Cost: In most cases, a joint policy works out to be cheaper than taking out two separate policies. This is because you will only pay the insurer one set of monthly premiums rather than two.
  • Equal payout: The payout that you receive will be the same no matter who dies first. This is the case even if one of you earns less money.
  • Quicker payout: The arrangements for who will receive the payout when one of you dies are already made. This means the surviving partner should get the money sooner than they would if you both had single life policies instead.
  • Not just for married couples: A joint policy can be set up by any two people who support each other financially. This includes unmarried couples and can even be a good option for business partners.
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Cons of a joint life insurance policy

When deciding if joint life insurance is right for you, it is also useful to consider these potential drawbacks. 

  • One single payout: A joint policy will only pay out once, while separate policies will pay out individually.
  • Cannot be split: If your relationship ends, the policy cannot be divided. This means that any premiums you have paid would be lost.
  • Might not be cheaper: If one of you is in poorer health, is a lot older, or has a high-risk job, the price of a joint policy could be more expensive. In this case, two separate policies might turn out to be cheaper.

Your questions answered

How much life insurance cover do we need?

There are many factors to consider when deciding how much life insurance cover you might need:

  • Review your current financial commitments: Make sure that the policy you choose is sufficient to cover your financial responsibilities. This may include paying for bills, mortgages, and any debts you may have.
  • Think ahead: Think about how your income needs could change in the future. This could include anything from daily living expenses to utilities and weekly shopping.
  • Consider your long-term goals: Whether it is planning for your children’s futures or living comfortably in retirement, you should consider the extra money that you may need.

You can use nowsure’s life insurance calculator to work out roughly how much cover you will need based on your average monthly outgoings.

How long does a joint life insurance policy last?

Unless it is a whole of life policy, an insurance policy is set for a fixed amount of time. This is typically between 5 and 30 years.

How long you would like a term life insurance policy to last is entirely up to you. For example, you may wish to be covered until your children are financially independent, or until your mortgage is paid off.

Read our term life insurance guide if you want to find out more.

Can a joint life insurance policy be put in trust?

Yes, a joint life insurance policy can be put in trust. This will make the payout exempt from inheritance tax.

However, married couples and civil partners typically do not have to pay inheritance tax on assets that they leave to each other anyway. Therefore, putting a joint life insurance policy into trust is a more helpful option for unmarried couples.

What happens if a couple with a joint policy divorces or separates?

Most joint life insurance policies cannot be divided if you and your partner split up. If this happens, you will probably need to cancel the existing policy and each take out new policies. 

Applying for a new policy at a later stage in your life could mean that you must pay monthly premiums. However, it would also give you both the chance to review your needs and see if a new policy would better reflect your change in circumstances (for example, if you have fewer expenses or a smaller mortgage).

Commonly Asked Questions

Put simply, life insurance works by paying a premium each month to your provider, which you’ll have to keep up for the duration of your policy. On your death, the people named in your policy (called your beneficiaries) will receive a tax-free lump sum or regular payments. How much this is depends on the level of cover you have chosen. And, of course, it’s also on the proviso that you die within the specified term of your policy.

It’s always advisable to compare life insurance quotes before taking out a policy. You and your family’s individual circumstances will determine how much cover you need and what you’ll have to pay in premiums. Other factors that may impact your life cover quote include your age and medical history.

Generally speaking, your life cover should start as soon as your application has been approved. This means that your loved ones will receive a pay-out whether you die in the first, fifth, 15th or 25th year of your insurance, as long as the policy has not run its term.

In some instances, however, the terms and conditions of the policy state that a waiting period is in place, so always read the details carefully before signing. This can happen in the case of a death by suicide, for example, where an exclusion period of 12-24 months from the start of the policy may apply.

Compare multiple life insurance quotes to get a good idea of how much cover will cost you. It can start from as little as £5/month – possibly less than what you’re paying for your monthly Netflix subscription – but will vary depending on how much you want the policy to pay out, how long you want it to last, and other factors such as your age, medical history and lifestyle, including whether you smoke.

Don’t be tempted to lie about your circumstances to get a cheaper policy – any inaccuracies may invalidate a future claim. And remember that the best (by which we mean the cheapest) time to take out a policy is when you’re young and healthy, so don’t put it off either.

Life insurance is often an affordable way to make sure your family stays afloat financially when you pass away. But its benefit is only truly maximised if it covers everything you want it to. Comparing life insurance on price level alone could mean your loved ones lose out for the sake of a just few pence more in your pocket each month. 

A smarter way to compare life cover is to be clear in your mind exactly what type of policy you’re after, how long you need it for and how much you want it to pay out. Once you’ve found several that meet your criteria, however, choosing the cheapest life insurance from the selection can make perfect sense. Always make sure you can afford the monthly premiums before you commit.

The most common policies are known as term life insurance. These cover you for a fixed amount of time and usually fall into two categories – decreasing term life insurance and level term life insurance.

Let’s start with decreasing term, which lets you choose how long you want the policy to run for. You’ll pay a monthly premium until that date, after which the policy ends and you’ll no longer be covered. The amount paid out decreases over time (hence the name), but you usually use this type of insurance to cover a mortgage, which also goes down with time too.

A level term policy, meanwhile, promises a lump sum for loved ones that always stays the same, whether you die in the first year of the policy, or the penultimate one. As a result it’s usually a bit more expensive than decreasing term insurance.

While the policies described above will cover you for a fixed amount of time, whole of life insurance has no ‘expiry date’. Your partner or children will receive a pay out whenever you die, and consequently this cover is a costlier option. It is often used to ensure a funeral can be paid for, or as part of inheritance tax planning.

Life insurance can cover your remaining mortgage, the rent, monthly bills, or loans and credit cards so there’s no immediate financial pressure on your loved ones if you die.

But it can also cover things like school and higher education, or childcare if your death necessitates this additional cost.

Sometimes the lump sum can be used as a gift, or simply to cover the cost of your funeral so it doesn’t come out of the family savings.

Term life insurance only offers cover for a limited period of time. After your policy expires, you can’t claim any pay-out and the premiums you’ve put in won’t be returned.

An exception is return-of-premium life insurance, which will essentially refund what you’ve paid – but at the cost of much higher premiums while the policy lasts. What’s more, you usually have to hold the policy for the entire term and make all payments to get your money back.

Most people simply accept that life cover, like other types of insurance, is about weighing up the risks of not having it against the price you pay if you don’t need to claim. The peace of mind of knowing your family will be looked after if the worst happens often makes the decision easier.

When you near the end of a life insurance policy, it’s worth considering whether you still need cover. If your mortgage is paid off and your children have flown the nest, then you may not require it anymore. If you do want to continue, you could buy another policy or apply to extend your current one. But bear in mind your premiums are likely to be higher than they were for your original policy now that you’re older, and you may not meet all eligibility criteria.

Generally speaking, you’ll pay less for life cover the younger and healthier you are so, if you think you need it, it’s sensible to compare life insurance quotes as early as possible.

There are several events in life that inevitably make the question of whether to get life insurance more urgent. Buying a new home and taking out a mortgage is an obvious one. If you die before the loan is repaid, the responsibility for it will fall on your loved ones instead, so you need to think about whether they’ll be able to shoulder this without your income.

For other people, having a baby is their trigger to consider life cover. According to Child Poverty Action Group raising a child to the age of 18 in the UK in 2021 stood at £160,692 for a couple and £193,801 for a lone parent. Having a life policy in place, at least until children reach financial independence or have finished school, can give you peace of mind they’ll be provided for when you’re gone.

Even if you don’t have children, getting married or making any other long-term commitment to a partner can also be a reason to research life insurance. Whether you opt for a single or joint life insurance policy, your partner will be financially cared for on your death.

Life insurance is also relevant if you’re planning for a funeral and/or inheritance. According to the SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2022, the cost of a basic funeral in the UK was £4,056 in 2021. The lump sum your loved ones receive can be used to cover this, rather than it coming out of their own pockets. Alternatively the pay-out can make a difference for anyone looking to leave money to their children without inheritance costs. You can take out a whole-of-life insurance policy, which lasts until your death, to cover the inheritance tax bill you expect your heirs to have to pay.

Life insurance provide peace of mind that your partner or children with be financially looked after when you’re not around to do it yourself. If your dependants are still in school (or younger), or if your partner relies on your income it’s especially worth looking into. Ditto if your family is living in rented accommodation or in a house with a mortgage that you pay. If there’s any doubt they could keep up repayments without your salary, life insurance could be a solution.

Even if the long-term financial future of your family looks relatively stable without you, life insurance can be helpful to cover funeral expenses, provide an inheritance, or cover extra childcare costs if you’re not around.

Not everyone needs life cover. Some already have a policy through their employer, others may feel their partner earns enough for the family to live on. If you’re older and your children have flown the nest, it might also be unnecessary. The key question to ask yourself is whether your death would have a financial impact on the people you care about.