Can You Get Joint Life Insurance – How Does Joint Life Insurance Work?

Can you get joint life insurance? Financial hardships brought on by a lack of income are the last thing anyone wants to deal with when one spouse or partner in a relationship passes away before another.

Life partners or spouses can utilize life insurance to financially protect their loved ones or other chosen beneficiaries if one or both pass away before their time. Joint life insurance offers that protection for two people under a single policy, which may be more cost-effective in some circumstances. Joint life insurance does, however, run the danger of leaving the survivor uninsured if the other passes away. Additionally, joint life insurance policies are getting harder to locate, particularly as term life insurance premiums become more reasonable over time.

While having a joint life insurance policy may make sense in some circumstances, experts generally advise against it and suggest getting individual-term life insurance policies. What you need to know about joint life insurance is provided here.

Can You Get Joint Life Insurance?

It is advised to consult an advisor before purchasing a policy because joint life insurance is a unique sort of life insurance.

Suppose you and your partner have a joint life insurance policy. In that case, you will both be insured for the same sum, and the policy will expire after your beneficiaries receive the death benefit from the insurance provider.

Most joint life insurance policies are long-term. In other words, depending on the conditions of the policy, the life insurance coverage continues until one or both of you pass away. Your permanent joint coverage can contain a savings component, depending on how it is set up. Cash value, the amount of money in this savings account, increases tax-deferred. It gives you peace of mind that you can borrow against (take out a policy loan against) or withdraw from your cash value at any time and utilize the money however you see suitable.

Contrarily, joint-term life insurance doesn’t accrue cash value and only offers coverage for a predetermined time. These factors make it significantly less expensive than joint permanent life insurance. Even though short-term insurance plans might provide less protection than other plans, examine your options before settling on one.

Joint Life Insurance: What Is It?

A sort of life insurance called joint life insurance protects two persons instead of just one, but it only provides a single death payment if one of the two dies.

Sometimes it is less expensive to combine two policies into one than buy two private life insurance policies.

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What is the Process of a Joint Life Insurance Policy?

According to John Buenger, senior financial manager and advisor at the Rice Agency, an insurance brokerage company in Maryland, a joint life insurance policy is one contract that covers two lives and is paid for with a single payment.

Joint life insurance is not limited to romantic partners or married couples. You may also purchase joint life insurance if you have a business partner. According to Jessica Lepore, creator of Survested, a life insurance comparison website, “having joint life insurance means that the surviving business partner can continue to run or make the needed corporate changes without the other.”

Joint life insurance comes in two flavors: first-to-die and second-to-die plans. As the name implies, the timing of the death benefit distribution is where these schemes diverge most.

The First-to-Die Policy

According to Buenger, a first-to-die joint life insurance policy covers two persons. The death benefit is paid to the other person or the designated beneficiary when the first one passes away.

If the live individual receives the death benefit, they are free to use it however they see suitable. Buenger says the surviving partner is typically left without coverage when one partner passes away. The premium may be more significant, especially if the original policy was older; however, certain insurance companies may permit the living person to convert their combined policy into an individual one. According to Buenger, there can be a limited window of time, between 30 and 90 days following the passing of the first insured, to complete the contract change. Additionally, not all insurance providers might permit this switch.

Young families frequently utilize first-to-die life insurance for replacing lost income because the surviving spouse can receive the death benefit tax-free.

Second-to-Die Policy

A second-to-die policy only pays the death benefit after the passing of both insured parties. Survivorship insurance is another name for this kind of policy. The funds are typically left to the couple’s beneficiaries, such as their children, charity organizations, or an estate.

According to Joseph Sellitto, senior vice president of Bradley & Parker, Inc., “this policy is not best suited for persons who need an individual death benefit to be paid after their death, regardless of when their spouse or partner passes away.”

What Advantages Can Joint Life Insurance Policies Offer?

The advantages of joint life insurance are numerous.

  • Affordability. For two people, a combined life insurance policy may be more reasonable than buying two individual ones.
  • Estate preparation. Beneficiaries can utilize the death benefit from second-to-die life insurance to cover funeral costs, estate taxes, and inheritance taxes.
  • No need to get married. Joint life insurance is available to people other than spouses. Several insurance firms will sell joint life insurance coverage to domestic or business partners. Evidence of pooled assets can be needed.

What drawbacks do combined life insurance policies have?

Joint life insurance has advantages, but there are also drawbacks.

  • It may be more expensive than individual coverage because you are covering two parties.
  • One person’s health has an impact on the rate. Pricing is dependent on both policyholders. However, a second-to-die policy might be significantly less expensive if one has health problems because the cost will primarily be based on the partner in better health.
  • It is challenging to divide in a divorce. If a couple gets divorced, it might be challenging to distribute any joint life insurance.

Who Ought to Purchase Joint Life Insurance?

Parents and couples may get joint life insurance to secure their families and estates financially. Here are a few instances:

  • A couple can provide money for things like a legacy or money for the kids to pay estate taxes through second-to-die life insurance.
  • A trust that will provide financial support for a special needs child after the parents’ passing can be funded via second-to-die life insurance.
  • Business partners can purchase joint life insurance to safeguard their professional assets if one partner dies before the other.
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Best Joint Life Insurance Policy Providers?

Many life insurance providers, including Fidelity Life, provide joint life insurance.

Fidelity Life Insurance

A joint permanent life insurance policy or, under rare circumstances, a joint term life insurance policy can be purchased.

Guardian Life

Only provides second-to-die life insurance. This coverage is provided through Guardian’s whole life insurance product.

New York Life

Offers an optional rider that pays out after the death of the first policyholder but only sells second-to-die or survivorship life insurance.

State Farm

Sells universal life insurance with shared coverage that accrues tax-deferred cash value.


Nationwide is a different insurance provider that offers joint life insurance, precisely a survivorship-indexed insurance plan. Couples between the ages of 40 and 70 may purchase it, and the minimum death benefit is $100,000. A long-term care rider, an inheritance protection rider, an extended no lapse-guarantee rider, and a policy split option rider are just a few of the additional coverage options that Nationwide, like State Farm, offers.

How To Obtain Joint Life Insurance?

To get any insurance coverage, you must first decide what you’re looking for. It’s time to browse around and compare firms once you’ve selected what kind of coverage you want. It’s time to submit an application once you’ve located the firm that provides competitive joint life insurance quotes for the desired policy coverage. This stage can be carried out in a variety of ways. Typically, you can apply for coverage online through the website of the insurance company, speak to an agent over the phone, or visit with them in person.

Both you and your spouse will likely need to undergo an insurance medical exam before the application can be fully considered. This aids the business in figuring out eligibility and premium costs. All that’s left for you to do after this, assuming there are no unforeseen issues, is to get your policy and make your initial payment.

If You Are Not Married, Can You Still Purchase Joint Life Insurance?

If you are not married, you can still purchase joint life insurance! When joint policyholders pass away, joint life insurance typically pays out to the surviving spouse or partner. This is crucial since the joint plan offers your loved ones and children some financial security in the case of an untimely demise.

However, if you are not legally married, coverage can be restricted. Limited combined life insurance payouts, reduced education coverage for your children, and burial expenses are a few examples of these restrictions. If you are not married, confirm the specifics of joint life insurance by contacting a life insurance expert or consulting a financial counselor.

How is a Joint life insurance policy affected by divorce?

You must talk to your spouse about joint life insurance if you are not married. Joint life policyholders are frequently entitled to a payout at the time of death if they are divorced, but this may differ depending on where in Canada they reside and whether or not they have a written agreement outlining how their joint assets would be distributed.

For instance, a person with children from a prior marriage could want their ex-spouse to inherit all or part of the combined coverage to protect those children in the event of their passing.

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The joint plan can also make a difference; some allow beneficiaries other than spouses, while others do not. For any specific inquiries involving divorce and joint life insurance, contact Legal Aid or a financial advisor.

What Makes Joint Life Insurance Desirable?

Joint life insurance coverage may be sensible for:

  • Young couples with a small life insurance budget who wish to protect themselves and their partner
  • Couples who only need life insurance to pay off a substantial debt, such as an estate mortgage.

What Will Happen with a Joint Policy After Divorce?

What happens to your joint life insurance policy when you and your partner split up?

These are your choices:

Maintaining the shared policy together

After a divorce, you and your spouse can continue the combined insurance policy. But for that to happen, the terms of handling premium payments must be agreed upon by the two of you. In a scenario that is already stressful, this tension may not be desired.

One person handles the policy.

The joint policy can be assumed by either you or your ex. If the policy was purchased several years ago and you now have to pay higher rates because you are older, this might make financial sense.

Rescind the rule

You may also surrender the joint policy for its surrender cash value if you have whole life insurance. The sum will equal the policy’s cash value minus any applicable fees and penalties.

Make two different policies out of the joint policy.

Some insurance companies provide a separation benefit that enables you to split a joint policy into two separate ones. This option becomes accessible if you are under a certain age and apply within a specific timeframe (typically 90 days) following your divorce.

A Life Insurance Rider Is What?

To better meet your individual insurance needs, a life insurance rider is a provision that can be included in your life insurance policy. In most cases, insurance riders require an additional premium payment in addition to your monthly premium. Additionally, some riders might be provided at no extra cost.

Conclusion – Can You Get Joint Life Insurance

Joint life insurance can be the best option for you and your partner if you’re searching for a straightforward, straightforward to apply for, and only pays out once life insurance policy. Joint life insurance is a more specific policy, so keep in mind that it may provide less coverage than other policies, so make sure to weigh your options before settling on one. As you can see, several options are available to couples in Canada. Let us assist you if you still need to figure out the best life insurance for couples. Please send us an email or set up a conversation with one of our agents to go over your options and assist you in choosing the best product for you.

FAQ – Can You Get Joint Life Insurance

Where do the proceeds go when one spouse passes away?

The proceeds from the couple’s joint assets will be allocated in accordance with the terms of the couple’s will or trust in the event that one spouse passes away. The proceeds will be divided by the state’s laws where the couple was residing at the time of death if they don’t have a will or trust.

Who is the policy owner?

The insurance company is the owner of the policy. Both the consumer and the person insured by the policy are the ones who pay for the insurance.

Can I change my joint life insurance coverage into a single policy?

The insurer and particular life insurance policy in question and the answer determine this question’s outcome. It is possible to convert some life insurance plans to individual ones but not others. The easiest way to determine whether or not a specific insurance can be converted is to contact the insurer directly.

What distinguishes variable universal life insurance from variable life insurance?

With variable life insurance, you can allocate a portion of your premium to the investment fund of the insurance provider, giving your beneficiaries access to tax-free benefits if the fund grows.

The same investment opportunity as term life insurance is available with variable universal life insurance policies but with some additional advantages. These whole-life insurance policies offer variable premiums, death payments, and the ability to invest cash value.

Does a joint life insurance payout twice?

Joint life insurance only pays out once; it does not pay out twice. If your insurance is second-to-die, it will pay out to your beneficiaries following the passing of both policyholders. If you have life insurance that pays out when the first partner dies, it is known as first-to-die insurance. If the second partner still needs life insurance, they may need to get a policy since they will no longer have any coverage in place.


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