Term Life Insurance for Married Couples

Key Takeaway

We believe it’s advisable for married couples to invest in life insurance products to help ensure their spouse’s–and possibly their future family’s–financial security. Term life insurance is a viable option, especially for partners prioritizing affordability.

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When you get married, you may take on shared responsibilities between you and your partner. This includes helping make sure that your spouse and your family can survive their day-to-day expenses in the unfortunate event of an untimely death. You can do this by investing in different types of life insurance. Term life insurance is a practical option for married couples as it provides coverage for a set period of time at affordable rates.

When to Get Life Insurance for Married Couples

Any couple could benefit from getting life insurance, but it may become even more of a necessity in the following situations:

One Partner Is the Primary Earner

Life insurance is especially important when one partner earns the majority of the household income, making it an important consideration around life insurance strategies for business owners. If the primary wage earner dies, the surviving spouse can get some financial cushion from life insurance, helping allow them to continue with their lifestyle.

Managing Expenses or Debts

If you and your partner have large everyday expenses or debts, such as student loans or a mortgage, it may become difficult to pay if one of you passes away. Life insurance can help make the surviving spouse feel less overwhelmed and be more prepared to continue payments.

Covering Final Expenses

End-of-life expenses, such as medical bills and funeral costs, can be expensive. Life insurance can help alleviate these costs for couples in case one passes away unexpectedly.

Choosing Life Insurance for Married Couples

Beyond just coverage and premiums, here are some things to think about when deciding the type of product to invest in with your partner:

Joint Versus Separate

Couples can get joint or separate life insurance products. Joint life insurance covers two people instead of one; however, it only still pays a single death benefit when either of the two individuals passes away. There are two main types of joint life insurance:

  • First-to-die joint life insurance: When one policyholder dies, the surviving policyholder receives the death benefit and will cease to have coverage.
  • Second-to-die joint life insurance: The death benefit is only paid out after both policyholders pass away, with the beneficiaries (e.g. children, siblings, parents, etc.) receiving the payout.

Separate life insurance policies, on the other hand, are individual products that are tailored to each person. With these, death benefits would be paid out to a specific beneficiary‒in this case, your spouse.

Term Insurance vs. Permanent Insurance

For couples opting for separate life insurance products, you can generally choose from two options: term life insurance and permanent life insurance.

Term life insurance provides coverage for a predefined and temporary period, typically between ten to thirty years. Costs are fixed and often more affordable, making it a practical option.

Permanent life insurance lasts a lifetime as long as the premiums continue to be paid. On top of a death benefit, permanent life insurance usually includes a cash value component that accumulates on a tax-advantaged basis. You can withdraw or take a loan against your permanent life insurance policy while alive, subject to policy terms, conditions and limitations, which could help alleviate immediate expenses.

The Best Life Insurance for Married Couples

The best life insurance for married partners will ultimately depend on the needs, preferences, and budgets of the couple. When choosing a product, you must consider the coverage you need‒and, in the case of term life insurance, how long you may require it‒and how much you’re able to pay in monthly premiums. It’s best to shop around and compare your options to find the right life insurance for you and your spouse!

Check out our related article Average Life Insurance Cost for Married Couples!

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The information above is for educational use only and does not represent insurance, tax or legal advice. It is not a recommendation or solicitation to buy insurance. Please talk to your licensed insurance agent for more information about life insurance and your needs. Please consult with the appropriate professional for tax or legal advice. Guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurance company.

Article Author: Meredith Bell
Author Bio: Meredith joined Everly in 2022 and has 20+ years of experience in the life insurance industry. She has held various roles in advertising, marketing, communications, sales and distribution support, and product development. Outside of the office, Meredith lives with her daughter Kennedy and their dog Mavis. Meredith enjoys cooking, camping, gardening, hiking, and bourbon (though not always at the same time). She is a live music enthusiast and an avid reader. Her favorite quote is by Thomas Jefferson: "I cannot live without books." Meredith agrees, but would add cheese, movies, and dogs to that list.

Policies are issued by Everly Life Insurance Company (“Everly Life”), Topeka, KS. Everly Life is not licensed in the state of New York and does not solicit or transact business in New York.

A.M. Best's 15 ratings are a measure of claims-paying ability and range from A++ (Superior) to F (in Liquidation). Ratings are current as of January 25, 2024 and subject to change at any time. While ratings can be objective indicators of an insurance company's financial strength and can provide a relative measure to help select among insurance companies, they are not guarantees of the future financial strength and/or claims-paying ability of a company and do not apply to any underlying variable portfolios. The insurance agency from which a policy is purchased, and any affiliates of those entities, make no representations regarding the quality of the analysis conducted by the rating agencies. The rating agencies are not affiliated with the above-mentioned entities, nor are these entities involved in any rating agency's analysis of the insurance companies.

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