Vow to look out for your new spouse’s future — even after “till death do us part.”
Hopefully you and your spouse have a long time before either one of you needs to worry about what will happen to your finances when the other dies. But taking out a joint life insurance policy now can keep you both financially secure — and save you money on premiums later.
When do most people take out life insurance?
The best time to get a life insurance policy is as soon as possible. Premium prices go up as you age, making it ideal to get a policy while you’re young — especially if you’re taking out whole life insurance.
But a lot of people don’t think about getting life insurance when they’re healthy, single and debt-free. Getting married, buying a house, having kids and taking on debt are the most common catalysts that lead people to start comparing policies.
Why should newlyweds or married couples consider life insurance?
There are many reasons why it makes sense for married couples to think about taking out life insurance, such as:
- You want to make sure your partner is taken care of. Life insurance can make sure that if something happens to you, your spouse won’t have to worry about financial problems. A life insurance policy can pay for funeral expenses and provide a financial safety net if they need to take time off of work to grieve.
- You’re thinking about kids. If you and your spouse want kids in the future, a life insurance policy can make sure that they’re provided for if an unexpected tragedy occurs and you’re not there to support them.
- You’re taking on debt. If you’re relying on two incomes for your mortgage payment, car payments and credit card bills, life insurance can help make sure that if something unexpected happens to you, your partner isn’t left to shoulder a huge financial burden on their own.
- Life insurance is cheaper when you’re younger. The increased health risks that come with old age mean that buying a policy becomes more expensive as you grow older.
- You can take out more coverage. The maximum amount of life insurance you can take out decreases as you age. For example, while your insurer may allow you to take out $1 million in coverage when you’re 30, once you pass your 45th birthday the maximum policy may drop to $500,000.
- You need to plan for the future. Getting married means growing up, and growing up means making responsible decisions. By taking out life insurance, newlyweds can establish a strong financial base for their new family and protect themselves from the uncertainties of the future.
But I thought life insurance only made sense after having children?
Many people take out a life insurance policy after having their first child. But it often makes more sense to start thinking about life insurance before you have kids. Life insurance is cheaper when you’re younger, plus you can make sure that your spouse is financially secure. And if you decide to have kids in the future, you’ll already have a policy in place to provide for their future.
What factors do I need to consider?
When shopping for a life insurance policy, factor in:
- Your financial commitments. Start by making a list of your assets and savings, and then subtract any debts, including your mortgage, car loan and any credit cards. This is the amount of money — or debt — you’ll be leaving for your spouse and any children. Is it enough to pay for any future financial needs, like retirement for your spouse or college for your child?
- Your budget. Next, consider how much you can afford to pay for premiums each month or year.
- Your coverage needs. What type of life insurance coverage do you need? For example, do you want a death benefit that will pay out when you die, critical illness or disability insurance that can help if you’re unable to work, or a combination of benefit options?
- How long you’ll need coverage. While a term life insurance policy is cheaper if you only need insurance for a few years, whole life insurance costs less if you plan to keep a policy for longer.
- Medical exam. Certain comprehensive policies may require you to see a doctor, but if you’d prefer to avoid it you can go with a policy that doesn’t require a medical exam.
Are there discounts available for joint policies?
Yes. Buying a joint life insurance policy as a married couple is typically cheaper than if each of you buys a separate policy.
Types of life insurance coverage
Life insurance coverage options can be purchased separately or bundled into one policy and include:
- Death coverage. Also referred to as a death benefit, this is what most people think of when they talk about life insurance. It pays a lump sum benefit if you die or are diagnosed with a terminal illness. For newlywed couples, it lets you ensure that your untimely death doesn’t put your partner under significant financial pressure.
- Disability insurance. This can help you provide for your loved ones and any dependents if you become permanently disabled and can’t work.
- Critical illness insurance. If you’re diagnosed with a serious illness, such as a heart attack, stroke or cancer, critical illness insurance will pay a lump sum. It can be used to help cover medical and rehab costs, replace lost income and cover any day-to-day expenses.
- Personal accident insurance. Also known as personal injury protection, this type of policy pays a lump sum if you suffer an injury as a result of an accident. This benefit can be used to help you take time off work, hire someone to help out around the house, cover your medical expenses and help you keep up with all your other regular bills.
- Income protection cover. Income protection insurance provides an ongoing monthly benefit if you’re unable to work because of illness or injury. It’s useful for anyone who relies heavily on their income in order to provide for their family and meet ongoing expenses.
Compare top life insurance providers
It’s a good idea for newlyweds to consider taking out life insurance. Policies cost less when you’re young, and it can help mitigate the risks of merging your finances. Compare life insurance policies to find an option that fits both your needs and your budget.
Frequently asked questions