Life insurance for newlyweds

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

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Amanda Shih

Amanda Shih

Licensed Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih is an insurance editor and licensed Life, Health, and Disability agent at Policygenius in New York City. Her work has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Jetty, and J.D. Power.

Updated August 19, 2021|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 newly 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 will save you 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 get 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 newlyweds need?

Your life insurance policy should have a death benefit equal to at least 10 to 15 times your income. The total benefit should also allow your spouse to pay off your debts and cover anticipated 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 newlyweds need?

Owning separate term life insurance policies is the most affordable 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).

Some couples consider 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 partner doesn’t qualify for their own policy. But that means one partner is reliant on their spouse’s continued coverage. Spousal riders also come with death benefit restrictions.

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Why do newlyweds need life insurance?

When you get married, you share your incomes and debts while also making major decisions about your future together, all of which life insurance can protect:

  • Shared income and debts: Once you start cosigning 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.

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

  • Buying early saves money: Your insurance rates are based on your age, health, and risky habits or hobbies. A 20-year, $1 million policy might cost $45 per month at 25 years old, but more than $50 at 35 years old. Over those 20 years, you would save more than $1,000 by buying earlier. Healthier people also may 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. An independent insurance agent can help you find the best life insurance company to protect your future together.

Life insurance for newlyweds FAQ:

Why do newlyweds need life insurance?

Life insurance ensures financial support if one of you passes away. Buying sooner also saves you money.

How much life insurance do newlyweds need?

Your death benefit should be at least 10 to 15 times your income and be large enough to cover your debts and future expenses, like the cost of raising a child.

What is better for couples, joint or individual life insurance?

Most married couples are better off buying separate term life policies for their affordability and simplicity. Joint life insurance is pricier and can leave one partner without an insurance payout if the other predeceases them.

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