Single or Joint Life policy?

Wanting to secure your loved ones’ future is something we can all relate to. It’s common sense to want to ensure that should the worst happen, they will be financially covered to cover costs such as mortgage repayments, childcare and funeral expenses.

Making life cover part of your financial plan is a big step towards that peace of mind. But if you are married or co-habiting, you may be asking yourselves an obvious question: Is it better to get two single life policies or a joint policy together?

As a couple, it might be instinctive to opt for a joint policy. But when making such an important decision, there are other things to consider. Here is a quick guide to some of the key things you may like to think about before coming to see us to discuss the next step…


  • Covers two lives in just one policy
  • Joint policies tend to be cheaper
  • Pay out is normally claimed upon the “first death” only, but can be set up as “second death” which pays out when both policyholders die
  • Joint cover may not be suitable in the event of separation or divorce
  • Joint policies are not normally written in Trust as the policy usually pays out to the surviving partner as a ‘transfer of assets between spouses’, which is exempt from Inheritance Tax
  • Terms consider both parties and therefore partners won’t get individual terms as part of a joint life insurance policy
  • If both parents died, children would only get one pay out


  • Two separate policies covering two separate lives
  • Two single policies are likely to cost more
  • Pay out can be claimed on both lives, which will ensure the surviving person is not left without life cover, which may have higher premiums due to age or changes in health
  • Easier to keep covered in the event of separation or divorce
  • Single life policies can both be written in Trust. This means each of you can decide where the money goes on each policy. This will also avoid probate and Inheritance Tax (IHT)
  • Can be tailored to each individual’s needs and terms will reflect each partner’s circumstances and health
  • In the event of death of both parents, the children would receive two pay outs

Whether you opt for a single or a joint policy can be based on many factors, all of which we can go through together with you and your partner. It also a good idea to add some critical illness cover to your policy, as well as child’s critical illness cover where suitable. Contact us today to arrange a meeting to discuss your protection needs.


If you would like advice on taking out or reviewing your life policy then speak to Mark today by either emailing him at or calling on 01453 887179.