Best Life Insurance for Married Couples

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Contributor, Benzinga
April 21, 2022

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As a married couple, you have a lot of important decisions to make. It may be easy for life insurance to slip your mind, but don’t let it fall to the bottom of your list! Here’s what you need to know about purchasing the best life insurance for married couples. 

Quick Look: Life Insurance for Married Couples

The Best Life Insurance for Married Couples

To make the right decision for your relationship’s needs, it can be helpful to compare life insurance options. This table should help you get started. 

  • Bestow Life Insurance
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    Age Requirements
    18-59
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    securely through Bestow Life Insurance's website
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    *excludes New York

  • Northwestern Mutual
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    Age Requirements
    18 - 100
    Overall Rating
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  • Transamerica (AEGON)
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    Age Requirements
    18 - 80
    Overall Rating
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  • Ladder Life Insurance
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    Age Requirements
    20 - 60
    Overall Rating
    Read Review
    securely through Ladder Life Insurance's website
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    Ladder Insurance Services, LLC (Cal. license # 0K22568; Ark. license # 3000140372) offers term life insurance policies: (i) in New York, on behalf of Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York, New York, NY (policy form # MN-26); and (ii) in all other states and the District of Columbia on behalf of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, MN (policy form # ICC20P-AZ100 and # P-AZ100). Only Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York is authorized to issue life insurance in the state of New York. Insurance policy prices, coverages, features, terms, benefits, exclusions, limitations and available discounts vary among these insurers and are subject to qualifications. Each insurer is solely responsible for any claims and has financial responsibility for its own products.

How Much Life Insurance Do Married Couples Need?

First, it’s important to think about your reason for purchasing a life insurance policy. Typically, the goal is to provide a financial safety net for your family for when you pass away. 

When you purchase a life insurance policy, you agree to make premium payments in exchange for a lump-sum payment (the death benefit) to your beneficiaries when you pass away. Your beneficiary is the person or people that you choose to receive the payment.

There are several factors to consider when it comes time to decide how much life insurance you need:

  • Would you be able to survive on just 1 spouse’s income if the other spouse passed away? As a married couple, you should consider how much income each spouse brings into the family’s household income. 
  • What marital debts do you and your spouse hold? This could include debts such as mortgages or auto loans. It can also include credit card and student loan debts accrued prior to getting married. Think about how much money you would need to completely pay off these debts. If you want to make sure your spouse does not get stuck figuring out how to pay these debts if you pass away, you should consider getting enough coverage to pay those debts in full if necessary.
  • Do you have children? Of course, you want to consider the day-to-day living expenses of caring for your children when deciding how much life insurance coverage you need. You may also want to consider whether you intend to help your children financially if they go to college. If you want to help put your child through college, you may want to purchase enough life insurance coverage to cover their tuition if you’re no longer around to help them directly.
  • What is the goal of your life insurance policy? This can help determine which type of life insurance works best for your needs. For example, you may want to provide a safety net for your children in the event that you and your spouse both pass away. In this case, a joint life insurance policy may be best for you. On the other hand, if your main goal is to support your spouse if you pass away, there are several life insurance options to choose from.

It’s important to remember that bigger does not always mean better, especially when it comes to life insurance policies. You need to keep in mind that the more coverage you have, the more expensive your premium payments will be. To keep the cost of your premium as low as possible, take the time to carefully consider your needs. This will help you choose the amount of coverage that will adequately provide for your family’s needs without breaking the bank in the meantime. It’s a good idea to sit down with your spouse and/or other beneficiaries to discuss their needs if you’re having trouble coming up with a number on your own.

Whole Life vs. Term Life Insurance

When considering life insurance, it’s important to understand the different types available to you. The main decision you’ll have to make is whether you want a whole life or a term life insurance policy. Here’s a quick overview to help you better understand the pros and cons of these life insurance options.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance that provides coverage that will last your entire life. With whole life insurance, your insurance company will pay out your death benefit to your beneficiary or beneficiaries no matter when you pass away. 

Having a life insurance policy that will last your entire lifetime is certainly a large benefit. However, it’s important to understand that whole life insurance is typically significantly more expensive than a term life insurance policy. This is where you need to weigh the benefits of the whole life insurance policy against the cost. 

In addition to providing lifelong coverage, whole life insurance policies offer a savings component. When you pay your premium, a portion of that amount becomes part of your policy’s cash value. At a certain point, after you’ve built up a significant cash value, the funds will become available to you to withdraw or take out a loan from. The downside here is that in some cases, there can be consequences to accessing the cash value. If this is something you are considering doing, be sure to carefully read through your policy documents. 

Permanent life insurance policies aren’t always straightforward but can be hugely beneficial in the right situation. A whole life insurance policy might be the right choice if you’re looking for a life insurance product that can also help you invest and leave assets for your family. 

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance policies are essentially temporary life insurance. With these policies, you’ll choose a set period of time over which you will have life insurance coverage. Term life insurance is the most affordable type of life insurance for premiums. When your term life insurance expires, your policy may be guaranteed to renew annually at a higher premium. You may also have the option to convert your term life insurance policy to a whole life insurance policy. It’s important to carefully review the policy’s features and options before choosing the option that fits your needs. 

One reason you may consider this type of life insurance policy is if you are concerned about certain financial needs that are only temporary. For example, if your spouse is staying at home with your children and your income is the only income, you may be concerned about what would happen if you suddenly died. This would be considered a temporary concern, especially if your spouse intends to go back to work when your children are older. In this case, you may want to purchase a term life insurance policy as an affordable way to ensure that your family is covered if your family’s only source of income disappears. 

Separate vs. Joint Life Insurance

When you approach life insurance as a married couple, you’ll need to choose whether you want a separate or joint life insurance policy. Here are some things to consider as you make that decision.

Separate Life Insurance

Separate life insurance simply means you and your spouse each take out separate life insurance policies. This option can give you and your spouse more flexibility in terms of coverage options. In most cases, buying 2 separate term life insurance policies can be more affordable than purchasing a joint permanent life insurance policy. 

Joint Life Insurance

Joint life insurance is typically permanent life insurance, meaning the policy will stay in effect for your whole life as long as you pay the premiums. Some joint life insurance policies may build cash value. You may also be able to enhance the policy’s features with policy riders. For example, you may be able to add a critical illness rider that will allow you to tap into the death benefit early if either you are your spouse is diagnosed with a terminal illness.

There are a couple of types of joint life insurance to choose from as well:

  • First to die joint life insurance works similarly to separate life insurance. When one spouse passes away, the surviving spouse receives a death benefit. If this were to occur, it’s important to note that there is no death benefit for the surviving spouse. If the surviving spouse wanted to stay covered by a life insurance policy, they would have to purchase a new life insurance policy.
  • Second to die joint life insurance doesn’t pay out a death benefit until both parties covered by the policy have passed away. After both parties pass away, the death benefit is paid out to the beneficiary of the life insurance policy. Premiums for this type of joint life insurance policy must be paid until both parties covered by the policy pass away. You may also see this type of policy referred to as a survivorship policy. 

Life Insurance Premiums for Newlyweds

When you get a life insurance quote, you’ll be asked for basic information including your ZIP code, gender and birthdate. You may also be asked about health factors, such as whether you smoke. Here are a few examples of premiums for life insurance for newlyweds.

AgeCoverage AmountTermCompanyQuote
25$500,00020 yearsHaven Life$16.95/month
25$750,00020 yearsUS Life$23.25/month
35$500,00020 yearsHaven Life$18.70/month
45$500,00020 yearsUS Life$38.92/month
45$750,00020 yearsHaven Life$55.99/month

Choose the Right Insurance Policy Together

In order to choose the right life insurance policy, it’s important to be clear on your intentions for the policy. You and your spouse should discuss your financial needs and what type of policy would provide the best coverage. Then compare your policy options to select the best fit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q
Should couples invest in whole life insurance?
A

Yes, couples can invest in whole life insurance as a backup retirement plan.

Q
Can couples buy term life insurance?
A

Couples can buy term life insurance policies, layer them or extend them as needed.

Methodology

Benzinga crafted a specific methodology to rank life insurance. To see a comprehensive breakdown of our methodology, please visit our Life Insurance Methodology page.