Single life or joint life policies?

If you are applying for life insurance with another person, one of the options to think about is whether to choose a joint or a single life policy. It is up to you to choose a policy that meets your needs but this article aims to help you make this decision.

What is the difference?

A single life policy covers one person, and pays out the amount of cover chosen if that person dies during the length of the policy.

A joint life policy covers two people for the same amount of cover, and works on what is called, 'first death' basis, which means it pays the surviving policy holder the cash sum chosen if one person covered dies during the length of the policy. The policy pays out once and then ends.

If two people are applying together, they could either opt for two single life policies, which would pay out twice (once on each death), or one joint life policy that pays out once on the first death.

Which is best?

There are pros and cons for each choice which vary based on your situation. You could get a quote for both options and then decide. When deciding, it is worth considering the following:

Budget– Depending on your personal circumstances, one joint life policy could be more affordable than taking out two single life plans.

How much cover you need– Consider whether both of you need the same amount of life cover. If you think you each need different amounts you can start to get an idea of whether joint or single life plans are more appropriate.

Continuing cover – After a claim is made on a joint life policy, the surviving person would be left without cover and would have to decide whether to reapply. You should bear in mind if doing this that life insurance gets more expensive the older you get.