Life Insurance For Newlyweds: Which Policy Is Best?

Elaine Brookes Steve Case

Author: Steve Case - Insurance Expert

Reviewed & Fact Checked By: Elaine Brookes

Updated: 6th July 2024

Life Insurance for Newlyweds

Life insurance comes to the forefront whenever a major life milestone or event happens. A significant change in your life – for good or ill – is enough to make you think: is this something to protect?

Marriage is one of the most important milestones you’ll likely reach early in life. Standing across the aisle from your love, surely the answer is clear.

There are many ways to protect a growing family, but one of the most important is life insurance. In case the worst happens, getting life insurance for newlyweds offers real peace of mind.

Whether you’re getting the payout from the loss of your spouse or you know you’re leaving behind that payout for them if something happens to you, it can be an important way to secure each other’s future if one of you passes away.

If you’re shopping for life insurance as a newlywed, you have a lot of decisions to make. Let’s talk about some of the more important considerations and what you might choose for your life together.

Life Insurance For Newlyweds And Couples In Summary:

Securing life insurance as newlyweds is an important step in protecting your future together. It ensures financial security for your spouse and growing family.

Insurance Hero can help you find the most comprehensive and cost-effective policies available.

  • Term vs. Whole Life Insurance: Choose between term life insurance for affordable, time-limited coverage or whole life insurance for lifelong security with investment benefits.
  • Joint vs. Separate Policies: Choose joint policies to cover both spouses or separate policies for individual coverage tailored to your needs.
  • Customisable Coverage: You can mix and match policies to suit your unique situation, providing the best protection for your new life together.
  • Ease Of Comparison: With Insurance Hero, you can quickly compare quotes from top providers to find the best options for your needs and budget.

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Term vs Whole Cover

One of the first decisions you need to make when shopping for life insurance is whether you want to go for term life insurance or whole life insurance. Both are potentially effective, but they operate in different ways and will have different outcomes.

This is a topic we’ve discussed in detail elsewhere, so we’ll be brief about it here.

Term vs Whole Cover

Term life insurance allows you to pick a benefit and a time span. That time can be anywhere from five to 40 years and serves as the duration of the policy. You pay premiums for the duration of the term, and if you pass away during that term, your beneficiary can make a claim and receive your death benefit.

Term life insurance cover is generally cheap; a 20-year, £100,000 policy might only cost you less than £5 per month, assuming you’re in your 20’s or 30’s and have good health. The drawback is that if you outlive the term, you have less to show for it. You can often roll your cover into a new policy, but it will cost a little more since you’ll be older and in a higher risk bracket.

Whole life insurance cover works differently. You purchase cover, which lasts as long as you continue making payments and are still alive.

If you pass away while your cover is valid, the death benefit is paid out. There’s no term to expire. On the other hand, because of the guaranteed payout, a whole-life policy costs more per month. To add some benefit, whole-life policies often have some element of an investment account attached as well, which is yours even if you stop paying and cancel your cover.

Each type has its own benefits. Some are more affordable and have higher limits and others grow over time and almost function like a savings account. Mixing and matching to get the best of both worlds is very common.

AgeLevel Term (20-year term)Decreasing Term (20-year term)
Best Life Insurance Policy for Newlyweds

Term cover is often the best option for young couples getting married. Whole life cover has a role, but it’s narrower and often used for estate planning.

Joint or Separate Policies

The second decision you must make is whether you and your spouse get separate, individual policies or go together to get a joint policy.

The definitions of each are simple. A joint policy covers both of you, while separate policies are individual and cover one of you. Joint cover doesn’t have to be for married couples, but marriage is a primary reason a couple might seek a joint life policy. Some interesting details are worth knowing about joint cover before you decide.

The Two Types of Joint Cover

First, one important distinction is the difference between what is known as First Death cover and Second Death cover.

These terms refer to when the policy can be claimed and the benefits paid out.

Types of Joint Cover

With first death cover, you and your spouse are covered. If your spouse dies, you can make the claim and receive the payout. At that point, the cover is over; it has served its purpose, and there can be no further claims. If you have a child whom you want to be covered in the event of your death, or if you later meet someone else and choose to get married again, you will need to purchase a new policy.

With second death cover, you and your spouse are covered. If your spouse dies, the cover continues to cover you. You don’t get to make a claim or receive any benefits. If you then pass away – as the second death – whoever you two named as a beneficiary will be able to make the claim and receive the benefits.

The biggest choice here is in purpose. Neither one is worse; they’re just different products.

  • If you’re financially secure, as is your spouse, and you can go on living without hardship if one of you dies, second death cover may be a good idea. It serves as a way to protect the future of your children or other loved ones. It’s also a good option to insure against simultaneous death, like a tragic auto accident.
  • If you’re less financially secure and rely on your combined incomes to maintain your standard of living, the loss of one of you and your income can be devastating. First death insurance works best in this situation; you or your spouse receives the payout to go on living until you can stabilise.

And, of course, these are just options for joint cover. A separate cover for each of you acts more like first death cover.

Joint Cover Benefits

The Benefits of Joint Cover

Joint cover can be beneficial in a few ways.

The first is price. Joint cover is generally more expensive than single cover, but it’s cheaper than two single cover policies. That can be most useful, particularly for dual-income households, where financial hardship can apply to either side if one person dies.

In a single-income household, if the non-earner passes away, the financial impacts are lower (though not nothing; childcare and other home living expenses crop up.)

A second benefit is also related to price. If you specifically opt for a second death cover, the price of the policy is usually set by the health review of the healthier of the two of you. This can be quite a savings if one of you has worse health and is older, though the drawbacks of second death cover apply.

Joint cover can also be more useful for overall estate planning, though if you’re just getting married, there’s a good chance you aren’t thinking about that quite yet. Maybe you should! But that’s a discussion for another day.

Joint Cover Drawbacks

The Drawbacks of Joint Cover

Joint cover has some drawbacks that might make it worse for your circumstances.

The first is that it costs more than a single policy. In a single-income household, having cover for the income earner can be all you need. A death benefit isn’t exactly enough to assuage a broken heart, but at least if the non-earning spouse dies, it’s not a significant financial hardship the way a complete loss of income can be.

Another drawback is that if you opt for the first death cover, you don’t get the benefit of pricing being based on the healthier of the two of you. This doesn’t matter if you’re both in good health, but depending on your circumstances, it can make a difference.

Another potential drawback is divorce. Divorce is already a messy and complex affair in most cases, especially if it’s contentious and there wasn’t a prenuptial agreement in place.

Sorting out the results of a joint policy can be trickier. This is the worst if you have a joint whole life cover; a joint term life cover can simply be cancelled. While it’s unfortunate to lose the pricing you had when you signed up, it’s better than fighting over who gets it if either one can keep it.

Divorce isn’t something you go into marriage expecting. Still, since it’s always an option if something goes wrong, you need to consider it before enrolling in a joint life insurance policy. Some insurance providers offer special riders for splitting cover, so you would need to get one if you wanted to protect your policy against divorce.

If you have a critical illness cover rider attached to your life insurance, you can use it to claim a payment before one of you dies, as long as you meet the criteria of critical illness. The drawback is that it can generally only be claimed once; if the other spouse falls ill later, they can’t then claim the same rider.

Finally, one other drawback is that joint life cover is a somewhat niche product. Many couples don’t opt for joint cover, and it’s not as useful for people who don’t have partners or loved ones to cover, so it’s a relatively rare product.

Many life insurance providers don’t even offer joint policies, so you’ll likely have to shop around more to find potential cover, and it might not be as good as what you could get going with a life insurance provider that doesn’t offer it.

Bundled Policies

Bundled Policies

Another consideration is whether or not you want to bundle policies. A significant part of marriage is building a life together, which often means bundling and combining assets and resources.

You may have a joint bank account, joint investments, both names on a mortgage or car note, and so on. It also makes more sense to, for example, purchase combined auto insurance or homeowner’s insurance.

While the “in it together” life insurance is joint life insurance, you can also often bundle a life insurance policy with another kind of insurance policy. Many of the UK’s best insurance providers offer various kinds of insurance and can give you a discount if you get multiple kinds of insurance with them.

Spouse Insurance

What About Spouse Insurance?

Spouse insurance is not an additional insurance policy. Rather, it’s a rider you can attach to your own life insurance that covers your spouse on your cover.

It’s often a lower benefit for a lower fee, attached but not joint, and can be dropped without retooling the whole plan. Often, you see these as additional riders with life insurance cover as part of an employment benefits package.

Multiple Life Insurance Policies

Multiple Life Insurance Policies

Another option you might consider is to have multiple life insurance policies.

For example, maybe you sign up for a joint cover with a first-death format. You choose a relatively low amount of cover, enough that it can be used to pay for funeral expenses and maybe a few months of living expenses, but not much more.

You can then also purchase a larger single policy covering the primary income earner. This might be a standard term life policy, or it could be a decreasing benefit policy that is linked to your mortgage or another significant expense.

By having multiple kinds of life insurance covering multiple scenarios, you can end up with a better slate of cover than you would otherwise. On the other hand, the premiums do add up, and it can be a lot more work to administrate than any individual policy would be.

What’s the Best Life Insurance Policy for Newlyweds?

There’s no simple answer to this question. Fortunately, there’s one good way to find out. All you need to do is click on our form and fill it out. By providing a little information, you can get quotes from all of the UK’s best insurance providers in no time at all. Best of all, the process is free, and there’s no obligation to take any of the quotes if you don’t want what they offer.

Using our process, you can simultaneously shop for the best possible insurance for your situation across all of the top insurance providers in the UK.

It doesn’t matter if you want a £100,000 policy or £1,000,000 of cover, term or whole cover, or single or joint cover; we can help you get quotes. It’s fast, easy, and the best way to get the best options. Why not give it a try?