Life Insurance Guide for Newlyweds

    September 4, 2023
    | 4 minute read

    The vows have been said, the knot has been tied and you’re now an official party of two!

    Congratulations, newlyweds. There are so many exciting milestones ahead and already so many precious things to protect—most importantly, each other. 

    Why do newlyweds need life insurance?

    As a young newlywed, you’re creating a standard of living that is achieved by both partner’s contributions. If one partner were to pass away, the survivor would not only carry the burden of grief, but the financial pressure of funeral expenses, mortgage payments, shared assets, loans and debts as well. 

    Securing life insurance as a newlywed is a meaningful expression of your love and a crucial step in life and family planning.  

    What’s the best way to secure coverage for both partners?

    While newlyweds have plenty of options, a quick “marriage + life insurance” Google search will often lead couples to information regarding joint coverage, spousal riders and term life insurance policies. 

    The following is a brief overview of each and why we think choosing individual term life insurance policies is usually the best choice for young, healthy (and very in love) newlyweds. 

    Joint coverage

    Joint life insurance covers two people under one policy and a single premium. Couples who go this route will generally have two options: a first-to-die or second-to-die policy. 

    #1: First-to-die  

    With a first-to-die policy, the death benefit is paid out upon the death of the first partner. It’s important to note that while the surviving partner will receive the death benefit, they will also no longer be covered by the joint life insurance policy. At this point, they’ll have aged (at least to some degree) and will face higher premiums should they apply for a new policy. 

    #2: Second-to-die policy 

    With a second-to-die policy (also known as survivorship insurance), the death benefit is allocated once both people on the policy have passed. So, while it can provide support for estate planning and surviving dependents, this policy will not provide a payout that could have been helpful at the time of the first partner’s death. 

    While some couples choose joint insurance for its potential cost savings, we generally suggest against it because of these downsides: 

    • Loss of coverage for survivors in first-to-die policies
    • Lack of flexibility and customization that is available when each partner has their own policy
    • Loss of coverage and other potential challenges if a couple separates 

    Spousal rider

    In this scenario, one partner has a life insurance policy (be it term or permanent) and the other partner is included via a spousal rider. This rider (or add-on) guarantees that the insured person would receive a death benefit if their partner were to pass away. 


    • Potentially affordable way of having coverage for both partners
    • A good option if one partner does not qualify for their own policy 


    • The death benefit associated with the spousal rider is usually (significantly) less than the death benefit associated with the base policy 
    • The spousal rider ends when the base policy ends or in the case of divorce 

    Individual term life insurance policies

    Term life insurance policies are simple and affordable plans designed to protect your family throughout the years when you’re paying a mortgage, raising children and saving for their education.

    Young newlyweds often find that having individual, term life policies provides them with the most flexibility and the highest amount of coverage for the term they choose (usually 10, 15, 20 or 30 years). 

    When choosing a term life insurance policy, we recommend Quility Level Term. These simple, budget-friendly plans do not require a medical exam* and come with coverage options up to $1M. With a Quility Level Term policy, you can apply 100% online and receive an instant decision—all in less than 10 minutes.

    The great thing about choosing a term life insurance policy is that it can evolve right alongside your needs. As you reach new milestones, like adding kids to the mix or moving from that darling 2/1 to a roomier 3/2, you can add coverage, extend term length or even consider converting from term to a permanent policy.

    There’s flexibility in how premiums are paid and you always have the option to add riders to your policy, such as a long-term care rider or a charitable giving addition, which would benefit a non-profit of your choice when you pass away. 

    Each time you pay your premium, take a moment to review your policy and make sure it’s keeping up with your milestones. 

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