Life insurance for newlyweds

Young and newly married couples should buy life insurance to protect their financial future and save money long-term.

Amanda Shih author photo


Amanda Shih

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih is a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert and a former editor at Policygenius, where she covered life insurance and disability insurance. Her expertise has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

Updated|2 min read

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Getting a life insurance policy might be one of the last things on your mind while preparing for your wedding, but it’s worth serious consideration for newlyweds and particularly for young married couples. Life insurance guarantees financial support for your spouse if one of you passes away unexpectedly.

Many couples start to think about buying a policy when they’re planning to have children. But, buying a policy as newlyweds allows you to make financial plans for the rest of your life together and save money on your coverage.

Key Takeaways

  • Life insurance protects you and your spouse from financial strain if one of you passes away.

  • A policy provides support for your long-term plans, like buying property or having children.

  • You’ll get more affordable rates if you buy coverage when you’re young and healthy.

  • Term life insurance is best for newlyweds because it’s simpler and more affordable than other types of policies.

How much life insurance do young married couples need?

Your life insurance policy should have a death benefit equal to at least 10 to 30 times your income. The right amount should anticipate how many years of income your spouse would miss out on if you pass away — a significant amount for young married couples.

The total benefit should also allow your spouse to pay off your debts and cover current and future expenses. 

Spouses who don’t earn an income should still have a policy to account for loans and any household contributions that would need to be replaced in the event of their death, like cleaning or childcare.

→ Learn more about calculating how much life insurance you need

What type of life insurance do young married couples need?

Owning separate term life insurance policies is the best option for newlyweds. Buying individual term policies gives you each the flexibility to customize your coverage (and may be easier to split in the unfortunate event of a divorce).

You might come across joint life insurance, which covers both partners under one policy. However, joint life insurance costs significantly more than term life insurance. Some joint policies only pay out when both partners die, meaning neither partner benefits from the policy’s payout. 

A spousal rider — an add-on to a life insurance policy that provides coverage to the insured person’s spouse — can make sense if one of you doesn’t qualify for your own policy. But that means your coverage is dependent on your spouse’s policy. Spousal riders also come with coverage limits.

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Why do young married couples need life insurance?

When you get married, you start to share your income and debts while making major decisions about your future together. Life insurance can support all of those financial changes:

  • Shared income and debts: Once you start co-signing loans, like a mortgage, you both become responsible for those payments. And collections agencies can come after your spouse’s assets over personal debt, like student loans. Life insurance can pay off those debts so you don’t lose your property or savings.

  • Protection for your future: Policies last 10 to 30 years, so the coverage is meant to protect your family far into the future. The death benefit should factor in your plans to save for a home and any expenses you anticipate into your retirement years. That includes education expenses for a future child.

  • Buying early saves you money: Insurance rates go up as you age. A 20-year, $1 million policy might cost $45 per month at 25 years old, but more than $50 at 35 years old. You would save more than $1,000 over 20 years by buying earlier. Younger, healthier people may also be able to skip the medical exam, which will speed up your approval process.

Every marriage is different and your needs will vary depending on your plans as a couple. A Policygenius agent can help you find the best life insurance company to protect your future together.

Frequently asked questions

How much life insurance should a married couple have?

Your death benefit should be at least 10 to 30 times your income and be large enough to cover your debts and future expenses, like the cost of raising a child.

Is life insurance cheaper if you're married?

Life insurance isn't cheaper if you're married except in specific cases, like using a spousal rider. Rates are based on your individual profile.

Do newlyweds need life insurance?

Newlyweds should get life insurance if you depend on each other financially or share debts. Buying sooner also saves you money.