Joint life insurance is a type of personal insurance which covers two policyholders and pays a lump sum on the death of one policyholder only, usually the first policyholder to die.

The lump sum paid by life insurance in Ireland is usually tax free, depending on who benefits from the policy.

Find out if Join life insurance is right for you.

Joint life insurance is a type of personal insurance which covers two policyholders

What is joint life insurance?

Joint life insurance is usually purchased by spouses or partners with the surviving policyholder receiving the benefit on the death of the first policyholder. It offers financial protection to the remaining spouse and their dependents.

It is a cost effective way to insure two policyholders, rather than having two separate life insurance policies or a more expensive dual life insurance policy.

Although it offers less protection as it only pays out once, it will offer financial protection to the remaining spouse or partner with the loss of an income.

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Who offers joint life cover in Ireland?

Zurich - Home Insurance
Aviva - Home Insurance

When does joint life insurance pay out?

Joint life insurance usually pays out a lump sum on the death of the first policyholder to die, if one person dies during the term of the policy.

Joint life insurance can be purchased on a joint life second death basis, but is usually a joint life first death policy.

Who should have joint life cover?

Couples looking for more affordable life insurance cover.

Generally a joint life insurance policy will cover two policyholders on a cost effective basis.  It will provide less cover than dual life insurance but will still offer financial protection to a remaining spouse and any children or dependents. 

If one spouse is a stay at home parent and they pass away, the benefit from a joint life policy could provide the means to pay for care for any children in the family.

For an older couple who may have grown up children and low debts, a joint life insurance policy may cover funeral costs and provide a financial benefit on the death of one spouse or partner if one passes away during the term of the policy.

Couples with two incomes.

A young couple with dependent children may want an affordable life insurance policy that offers protection if one of the couple should die.  This will alleviate the financial burden on the remaining spouse or partner and may pay off a mortgage or debts so that they will have financial security on one remaining income.

Couples without children.

A couple without children may want to provide financial support and protection to the remaining spouse or partner in the event of one dying.  It may also pay off a shared mortgage to ease the financial burden on the remaining spouse.

Benefits of Joint Life Cover

Joint life insurance is a personal insurance policy that covers the lives of two policyholders and that will pay a tax free lump sum, usually to the surviving policyholder, on the death of one of the policyholders.

The level of cover you chose ie. the amount of the lump sum, will depend on what you can afford and also your personal circumstances.

You would need to take into account your levels of income and debt or your outstanding mortgage balance, as well as the ages of any children you may have.

Tailored Life Insurance Quotes

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Decreasing Level or Increasing Cover

Life insurance policies may have level, decreasing, or increasing cover.

Level cover means that the amount paid out on the policy does not change over the term of the policy, usually for a set monthly premium. This type of policy is usually more expensive but will give you complete peace of mind in knowing exactly how much benefit you would receive.

Decreasing cover means that the amount paid out on the policy decreases over time, maybe as mortgages or debts are paid off and children get older and more financially dependent. This is generally more affordable than level cover.

Increasing cover means that the amount of benefit paid out increases over time. An indexation option in the policy means that the policy benefit will increase over time to allow for inflation.

Conversion Policies

A conversion option taken out when you purchase the policy will allow you to make changes to our policy without providing new medical information if your circumstances change.

Additional Policy Benefits

Some life insurers in Ireland include other benefits which are included in their life insurance policies such as:

  • Nurse advice
  • A second medical opinion
  • Counselling support
  • Virtual GPs

The services on offer vary between insurers so check what is on offer when you obtain a quote.

You can also add joint serious illness cover to your joint life insurance policy which will pay out a lump sum if one of you is diagnosed with a specific serious illness during the term of the policy.

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What is the difference between single life and joint life insurance?

A single life insurance policy will cover the life of the policyholder only with a lump sum paid if they die during the term of the policy. It may be suited to single people or couples where one parent is the sole earner in the household.

A joint life policy will cover the life of two policyholders with the benefit paid on the death of the first policyholder only. Following a payout, the policy will cease to provide further cover. It may be suited to couples where there is one earner and a stay at home parent in the household or a couple where both have an income.

This would depend on what you can afford as it offers more protection than a single life policy but will be more expensive.

It may also suit a couple who do not have children as it will offer affordable protection to a remaining spouse should one die during the term of the policy.

Can joint life be whole life or term life?

Yes, a joint term life insurance policy will pay out on the death of the first policyholder during the term of the policy.

A joint whole of life policy will pay out on the death of the first policyholder whenever that may be, provided that premiums continue to be paid.

How much is joint life cover?

Insurer Example 1 Example 2  Example 3
Zurich Single Life (for one)- €41.24
Joint Life (for both) – €71.79
Dual Life (for both) – €72.72
€59.18
Royal London Single Life (for one)- €44.14
Joint Life (for both) – €81.09
Dual Life (for both) – €82.77
€68.08
Aviva Single Life (for one)- €48.50
Joint Life (for both) – €81.87
Dual Life (for both) – €85.35
€69.91
New Ireland Single Life (for one)- €49.11
Joint Life (for both) – €80.97
Dual Life (for both) – €86.68
€74.41
Irish Life Single Life (for one)- €55.56
Dual Life (for both) – €99.65
€501.40/m
Laya Single Life (for one)- €48.56
Joint Life (for both) – €85.41
€68.30

* Example 1 – Couple both aged 55, non smokers, no health issues, cover of €100,000 for 20 years
* Example 2 – Couple ages 29, 28, one smoker, no health issues, cover of €320,000 for 40 years, joint life cover.
* Example 3 – Whole of life joint life insurance, couple, non smokers, no health issues, cover for 280,000.

Quote data accurate as of April 12th 2023

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Joint Life Insurance Calculator

Factors which affect the amount you pay for joint life insurance include age, amount of cover, additional options, health, whether you are a smoker or not and your lifestyle.

Each insurance policy is different. It is important to compare as many policies as possible to get the best possible deal on your life insurance.

The factors which affect your life insurance quote

Age

The age you and your spouse are when you take out a joint life insurance policy will affect how much you pay.  Joint life insurance is almost always more expensive as you get older.

Amount of Cover

The amount of cover you require will affect the price of your life insurance.  Other factors such as the term of the policy and whether you chose level or decreasing cover will also affect the price you pay.

Additional Options

Adding joint serious illness cover or a conversion option, for example, will affect the price of your joint life insurance policy.

Health

Both your and your spouse or partner’s health such as any existing or previous health conditions will affect the amount you pay for joint life insurance.

Smoking

If you have smoked or vaped, usually in the last twelve months, then you will pay an increased premium for joint life insurance.

Lifestyle

If your or your partner’s job is considered especially risky, or if you engage in dangerous hobbies, you will need to disclose this information to your joint life insurer and you may pay more for life insurance.

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