Multiple life insurance policies

Design your own life insurance coverage with the help of multiple policies.

Last updated:

Planner and couple with baby meeting in kitchen

Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

Life insurance is needs-based. As you move through life, you may see the value in taking out multiple life insurance policies to suit your changing needs. This is a common tactic – but just know that you’ll have to justify the coverage to your insurer.

Can I have multiple life insurance policies?

Yes, it’s legal — and common — to own multiple life insurance policies. Life insurance is flexible, and many people invest in policies with different term lengths and coverage amounts as their needs change. This strategy is known as “laddering,” and it’s a good way to layer your coverage so that it tapers off as your financial obligations do.

Protect your loved ones
This life insurance broker combines technology and the human touch to match you with a policy tailored to your needs.

Need help? Talk to a customer specialist

X

How to ladder life insurance policies

Let’s say you’re a young parent who’s just taken out a 30-year mortgage. You might purchase a 30-year term life policy to match your mortgage, and a 20-year policy to carry your kids through college, when they enter the workforce and start earning their own money. With this strategy, the goal is to only have as much coverage as you need for that time in your life.

Reasons for owning multiple life insurance policies

In these situations, it might make financial sense to have multiple life insurance policies:

  • You need more coverage. Let’s say you get married, buy a home or have a kid. Rather than boost the limits on your current policy, you could buy a separate policy to cover those financial obligations.
  • You have several debts to pay. Some people purchase term life insurance policies that are due to expire at the same time as their debts. This is known as the ‘laddering’ strategy. For example, if you have 10 years’ worth of student loans and a 30-year mortgage, you might buy a 10-year and a 30-year policy. That way, your beneficiaries won’t be burdened with your debts if you die prematurely. And if you outlive your term, you’ve hopefully paid off those debts and may not need to purchase another policy.
  • You want to supplement the life insurance you have through your employer. Typically, group life insurance offered by employers caps out at low amounts, like $100,000. If your financial obligations exceed $100,000 and you have the room in your budget, it’s a good idea to buy another policy privately.
  • You want different coverage to meet different goals. The main purpose of life insurance is to replace your income when you die. But there are other reasons why you might want to purchase additional coverage, including estate or retirement planning, protecting a small business, securing a loan, or covering long-term care. Multiple life insurance policies can come in handy in those instances.
  • You’re interested in both term and permanent coverage. On a similar note, you might want to combine a term and permanent policy to a) secure your family’s financial future and b) offer benefits during your lifetime. Permanent policies build cash value over time, and many providers offer added protection, such as critical illness riders.
  • You want to mitigate risk. Most life insurance companies are vetted by financial ratings agencies, which assess their long-term financial health and publish the results. But if you don’t like the idea of relying on one provider to pay out your claim, you could consider buying policies from two or more companies.
  • You can afford additional coverage. Some life insurance is better than none. So, if you could only afford a 10-year term policy at 25, but five years later, you’re in a position to add a longer term or permanent policy to your life insurance lineup, you might do that.

Pros and cons of having multiple life insurance policies

Pros

  • Design your own coverage. Purchase coverage as your family and financial obligations change for peace of mind.
  • Save money over time. By laddering policies, you may end up paying lower premiums than if you purchased one, larger policy.
  • Protect your business and personal life. You can take out policies to cover your family as well as key workers in your business so that the show can go on if they’re unable to work.
  • Diversified coverage. As you learn more about life insurance, you may want extra protection that isn’t offered by your current policy, like a terminal illness rider, disability protection, or accidental death and dismemberment coverage.

Cons

  • More admin. To ensure you have enough coverage, you’ll have to track when each of your policies is expiring.
  • Several premium payments. You’ll need to stay on top of your premium payments each month, and they might have different due dates or amounts.

Is there a limit to how much life insurance coverage I can buy?

Life insurance companies don’t have specific limits on how much coverage you can buy – it just has to be reasonable. When you apply, the insurer will ask about your current coverage, income and assets. If the total coverage would exceed 20 to 30 times your income, this may raise a red flag. Otherwise, as long as they think you have an insurable interest and can afford the repayments, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Legally, life insurance companies have to share information about applications with the Medical Information Bureau (MIB). This process benefits both you and your insurer: it helps to prevent fraud, and it also ensures that multiple companies aren’t insuring you beyond your reasonable limits.

Will additional policies payout benefits in a claim?

Yes. You can receive payment from both policies if you satisfy the conditions of both policies.

Compare life insurance companies

Name Product Issue Ages Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Medical Exam Required State Availability
LadderLife™ Life Insurance
20 - 60 years old
$100,000
$8,000,000
No
Not available in New York
Term life insurance with no policy fees and the freedom to cancel anytime. Simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.
Fabric
25 - 60 years old
$100,000
$5,000,000
No
Available in all states except for Montana
Offers term life insurance with accelerated underwriting. No-exam coverage up to $1,000,000 for those who qualify.
Sproutt
18 - 100 years old
$50,000
$3,000,000
No
Nationwide
This life insurance broker combines technology and the human touch to match you with a policy tailored to your needs.
AIG
AIG
20 - 85 years old
$100,000
$2,000,000
Depends on policy.
Products and product features may not be available in all states.
This well-established life insurance provider could offer you $250,000 worth of coverage for as low as $14 per month.
Bestow
21 - 54 years old
$50,000
$1,000,000
No
Not available in New York
Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.

Compare up to 4 providers

Multiple life insurance claims

Provided that your claim satisfies the terms and conditions in the policy, there should be no reason why you can’t file your claims on multiple life insurance policies. However, it’s important to remember that the eligibility of the claim will be determined by each individual insurer who will likely have their own specific set of rules and regulations.

Can I nominate multiple life insurance beneficiaries?

Yes. Most insurance providers will allow you to nominate multiple beneficiaries in the event of a life insurance claim — the number of beneficiaries you have may vary between providers.

Common life insurance beneficiaries are your partner, spouse and or children. However it’s not uncommon to have a beneficiary be other family members, such as siblings or aging parents, business partners or other individuals who are financially dependent on you.

How to split up what’s paid to your beneficiaries

You’ll have to determine a percentage split for your beneficiaries — this’ll determine who gets what share of the benefit.

It’s important to keep your nomination current to account for any circumstantial changes such as separation, divorce or death. This will ensure that the benefit doesn’t end up anywhere other than with your intended recipients.

Bottom line

Life insurance isn’t a cookie-cutter product. The amount of life insurance you buy should be driven by your financial needs – whether that’s a family, a home, or a business. If your needs change, you might consider purchasing multiple policies to cover them. To make sure you’re squeezing the most value from your policies, compare life insurance providers.

Frequently asked questions

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site