Joint life insurance is one of the most common types of life insurance out there and you’re sure to come across it in your journey into setting up personal protection. Read on to how this type of policy works and why it may be helpful to you.

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is a policy that pays out funds to your loved ones if you were to pass away.

There are 2 main types of life insurance policies - term life insurance and whole life insurance. 

Term life insurance

Term life insurance is an insurance policy that has a start and an end date, i.e. 10 years, 20 years, 30 years etc.

You are able to pick the amount of time you are covered for and the policy expires at the end of the agreed term. Put simply, it is protection for a particular period of time, meaning that a payout is not guaranteed.

Because of the limited time you are covered, this type of policy is usually the cheapest available on the market.

Learn more about term life insurance.

Whole life insurance

Whole life insurance is a policy that has a start date and runs until you pass away, whenever that may be. This means that a payout is guaranteed, so long as you are up to date with your payments. Since this plan comes with a guaranteed payout, it is usually more expensive than term life insurance. 

Learn more about whole life insurance.

The insurance products offered by Cavendish Online have no cash-in value at any time. If you stop paying your premiums your cover will stop, your policy will end, and you will receive no benefit.

For term life insurance, if you have not claimed before the end of your chosen policy term, the policy will end, and no benefit will be paid.

If you experience financial difficulty and can no longer pay your premiums, please contact your insurer before cancelling your policy and before it lapses automatically as they may have options available to stop you losing the plan.


What is joint life insurance?

Joint life insurance is a life insurance plan that covers two people. Whilst it is usually bought by couples, it can be taken out by anybody. The main benefit of this plan is that it can often be cheaper than purchasing two separate policies.

Joint life insurance is available on a ‘first death’ or ‘second death’ basis.

You may be interested in our article - Single vs joint life insurance

To talk to an expert about joint life insurance, you can call us on

01392 436 193

Compare Life Insurance quotes online...

Joint life insurance, first death

As the name implies, this type of life insurance plan covers two people and would pay out upon the first person passing away. The plan would then cease to exist.

This type of joint life insurance is mainly seen as term life insurance, but can be bought as whole life insurance through select insurers.

Joint life insurance, second death

In comparison, joint life, second death insurance looks to pay out upon the death of the second person instead. Because of this, the plan is mainly available as a whole life plan and is often used as an option to cover a potential Inheritance Tax liability.

Some providers do also offer joint life, second death as a term insurance plan, but it is much rarer. Please speak to an adviser if this is what you are looking for.

Life Insurance from leading brands

  • Zurich
  • Legal And General
  • Aviva
  • AIG
  • Beagle Street
  • LVE
  • Royal London
  • Vitality Life
  • Virgin Money
  • Budget Insurance
  • Scottish Widows

Should I take out joint life insurance?

This will come down to your personal circumstances. Joint life insurance plans are a popular choice among married couples, couples in long term relationships or couples with a shared financial liability -  like a mortgage, children, debts etc. 

It could also be set up to provide a lump sum to your partner if you were to pass away, allowing them to maintain their current standard of living even after you die.

An example where joint life insurance may be helpful:
If you have taken out a mortgage with your partner and one of you were to pass away, then the mortgage only needs to be paid off once, so a joint life, first death plan may be the most appropriate policy for you.

Unsure of your options?

How long should I get joint life insurance for?

How long you take out your joint life insurance policy for will be another decision that is personal to you. It ultimately comes down to how long your financial liability is.

Some things you may want to consider are:

Why choose Cavendish Online?

  1. Quality

    Products from leading life insurers
  2. Value

    Providing our lowest possible premiums
  3. Transparency

    Our fees and commission are upfront and clear

What happens to joint life insurance in the event of divorce?

If you happen to split up or divorce your partner whilst your joint life insurance is still in place, there are a few options you can consider:

  • Keep the policy: Even if you split up or divorce your partner, you could choose to keep the policy in place if you want to. In this instance, you may only need to contact your insurer if one of you is changing your name or address.

  • See if you can split the policy: Some insurers will allow you to split the policy into 2 single policies, so be sure to contact your insurer first of all to see what they can do.

  • See if you can remove one person: If only one of you would like to keep the policy, contact your insurer to see if the other can simply be removed from the policy. 

  • Cancel the policy: If you decide to cancel the policy you won’t receive any compensation on the premiums previously paid. Both parties will then need to take out individual cover if required.

The insurance products offered by Cavendish Online have no cash-in value at any time. If you stop paying your premiums your cover will stop, your policy will end, and you will receive no benefit. For term life insurance, if you have not claimed before the end of your chosen policy term, the policy will end, and no benefit will be paid.


How do I buy joint life insurance?

If you are in generally good health and are looking for joint life, first death term insurance, you can get started online. For any other type of joint life insurance plan, or if you have a medical disclosure, please speak to an expert on 01392 436 193 (Monday - Thursday 9am - 5.30pm, Friday 9am - 5pm)

Is joint life insurance cheaper than single?

Joint life insurance can be cheaper than two single life insurance policies because it covers two lives under one policy. There are two types of cover - first death, and second death. With first death, the policy pays out upon the first death. With second death, the policy pays out after both policyholders have passed away.

Can non married couples take out joint life insurance?

Yes, non-married couples can take out joint life insurance policies, which can be an effective way to provide financial protection for shared commitments such as a mortgage or children.

Speak to the experts...

Give our advisers a call today.

Our team of friendly and professional advisers are on hand to help with any questions you may have regarding Life Insurance.

The advisers can also make recommendations tailored to your current situation and will research the market on your behalf, ensuring you secure the cover you need and supporting you every step of the way. 

01392 43 61 93(Monday to Friday, 9am - 5.30pm)

Request a callback

Apply with advice

What our customers say