Joint Life Insurance

What is joint life insurance? 

Joint life insurance is a type of life insurance that insures two people, however, it only pays out once. In the event of one person’s death, the survivor will be paid a lump sum and the joint life insurance policy will come to an end. When the policy ends, the survivor no longer has life insurance for themselves.

Joint life insurance for married couples

Joint life insurance is most suited to married couples. But you can even take out joint life insurance if you’re not married or simply business partners. Typically, taking out a joint life insurance policy is cheaper than taking out two separate life insurance policies but it’s worth remembering that when one policyholder dies, the other is left uninsured. Also, joint life cover insurance can be difficult to administer in the event of separation or divorce.

How does joint life insurance work? 

You and your partner will both be covered by the same policy and you can decide what pay-out you need to cover your financial commitments if one of you dies. You’ll make one monthly payment between the two of you and you can choose whether the payout stays the same no matter when you claim (level term life insurance) or if you want it to decrease over time as your debts reduce (decreasing term life insurance). 

If you’re trying to decide whether to take out a joint or single life insurance policy, it’s important to remember that joint life insurance policies only pay out once but when they do depends on the type of policy you have:

  • ‘First death’ policy – the insurance provider pays out after the first person dies. There will be no further payments when the second person dies so the survivor will no longer have life insurance.
  • ‘Second death’ policy – a payout is made only after both policyholders have passed away.

What are the pros and cons of joint life insurance?


  • It’s typically cheaper than taking out two individual life insurance policies
  • It’s available to any couple, whether that’s a married couple or business partners
  • It pays out regardless of which partner dies first


  • If both policyholders die at the same time, there will still only be one payout
  • If the relationship ends, the policy can’t be split so it will have to be cancelled
  • If one of the policyholders has poor health, your monthly payments might be higher

Compare life insurance providers

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