Joint life insurance is an ideal life insurance policy for couples. Many young families believe that life insurance is an essential aspect of financial planning. This is apparent by the fact that half of people in the United States have some type of life insurance coverage as of 2020. In Utah, only 48% of young couples in Utah have purchased life insurance for either spouse.

You or your spouse may have reasons for your reluctance to get an individual policy. Perhaps you do not qualify for a separate policy. This particular reason makes joint life insurance policies ideal for couples because they cover both people in a marriage or domestic partnership. Here is more information about joint life insurance to consider for your family’s financial security.

Types of Joint Life Insurance

Joint life insurance policies may either be first-to-die or second-to-die policies (also known as survivorship policies). Both types of joint life insurance policies may either be term policies or permanent policies. In general, term life insurance lasts for a specific frame, while permanent insurance lasts as long as you keep paying a premium. Learn more about these types of life insurance policies here.

The different types of joint life insurance policies are for couples in various situations. See which circumstance applies to your couple’s situation.

First-To-Die Joint Life Insurance

Young families may benefit the most from this type of joint life insurance policy. If you hold a first-to-die joint life insurance policy with your spouse or partner, your insurance provider will pay out your death benefit when either policyholder dies.

First-to-die policies are similar to individual life policies, which pay out after death to help the survivors with necessary expenses. As joint life insurance, this type of policy will help the surviving spouse with a payout to compensate for the income they lose when their spouse dies.

One problem you may face with a first-to-die policy is each policyholder’s income. Suppose you make significantly more than your spouse. You may be spending more to pay for your joint policy. If you end up being the surviving policyholder, your payout will replace your dead spouse’s income, which may turn out to be less than you have been spending.

Like an individual life insurance policy, you will need to purchase a new insurance policy once you get your joint life insurance death benefit. First-to-die joint life insurance pays for the surviving spouse. So, you will need to apply for new coverage if you intend to protect your children or other beneficiaries financially.

Second-To-Die Joint Life Insurance

Survivorship life insurance or second-to-die joint life insurance pays out the death benefit when both spouses die. As such, this policy does not provide income replacement. Instead, the payout goes to your surviving loved ones, whether they are your children or other beneficiaries.

You may consider this type of joint life insurance policy if you intend to direct your death benefit to estate planning. As a couple, you may have plans to cover gift tax or pay for estate tax to protect your loved ones financially during the transfer on death. For long-term estate plans, you would purchase a permanent joint life insurance policy.

One disadvantage of a second-to-die life policy is having to wait too long before anyone receives the policy’s benefit. Both policyholders must die with this type of joint life insurance before beneficiaries get the policy’s payout.

While this setup should not be a problem if you have long-term estate plans, you may risk losing the death benefit when purchasing a term joint life insurance policy. With a term joint life insurance policy, one spouse may end up outliving the policy length.

When To Get Joint Life Insurance

Joint life insurance policies are ideal if individual life insurance policies are out of your budget as a couple. Joint life insurance policies may also make more sense for your circumstances as a couple if one of you has issues qualifying for an individual life insurance plan.

You should also consider joint life insurance if you intend to leave an inheritance. A second-to-die joint life insurance policy may protect your loved ones from the estate taxes that they are likely to face when the court distributes the assets you leave behind.

Whether individual life policies are out of your budget or you have estate tax plans, you should work with seasoned life insurance agents to craft the best joint life insurance policy for your unique situation.

At Ipsen Insurance, we help couples determine which joint life insurance policy best suits their current living situation and preferences. We then find well-priced policies suited for couples beginning to plan their financial security.

Conclusion: What Is Joint Life Insurance?

Joint life insurance is a single policy that covers two people. This type of life insurance makes sense for a couple if:

  • You have estate plans.
  • You have difficulty qualifying for an individual life insurance plan.
  • Separate life insurance policies are out of your budget.

A joint life insurance policy may either be first-to-die or second-to-die. The difference between these types is when you receive the policy’s death benefit. First-to-die policies payout when one spouse dies, making this policy a way to replace a couple’s lost income. Second-to-die policies payout when both spouses die, making this policy ideal for couples who intend to leave an inheritance.

Be sure to consult with a seasoned life insurance agent to determine whether a joint life insurance policy is ideal for your situation. Our insurance agents at Ipsen Insurance can help find a well-priced policy crafted to work in your favor and that aligns with your intentions. Contact our Utah insurance agency today to schedule an assessment.

 

Glossary

Here is a quick overview of the life insurance policy components:

  • Insurance Provider: The company that grants insurance policies. Also known as the insurer.
  • Policyholder: The insurance policy’s owner. Joint life insurance always has two, and only two, policyholders. Both policyholders are also the insured or the ones who benefit from the policy.
  • Policy Length: The lifespan of an insurance policy.
  • Death Benefit: The amount of money an insurer pays when the insured passes away. Insurers will pay the death benefit depending on the type of joint life insurance.
  • Premium: The fee that keeps a joint life insurance policy in effect.

 

Finding the right car insurance policy for you can be challenging. Along with the many insurance companies to choose from, they each offer different kinds and tiers of policies.

One of the first major decisions you will have to make regarding your car insurance policy is whether to get liability coverage or a full-coverage insurance policy. Choosing one over the other gives you vastly different levels of protection and can greatly affect your monthly and annual premiums.

In this article, we’ll help you differentiate liability from full-coverage policies, review cost differences, and help you decide which one best suits your needs.

Liability vs Full Coverage Car Insurance

Simply put, liability insurance offers very limited protection and coverage against damages. Meanwhile, full-coverage policies include liability, comprehensive, and collision insurance. 

Understanding the difference between the two types of car insurance coverage is essential to making a well-informed choice that not only fits your budget but also adequately protects you.

What Is Liability Coverage?

Liability coverage will cover car accident damage you inflict on the other party. However, liability car insurance does not cover damages to your own vehicle or medical expenses for your injuries.

There are two types or components of liability coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability: This type of liability policy covers the medical costs, lost wages, and compensation for the injuries sustained by the other person or parties involved in the accident.
  • Property damage liability: This type of liability coverage pays for damages you cause to the other person’s vehicle and property, such as car repair costs and damage to buildings or gates.

Each state has a mandatory minimum liability car insurance. However, not all states require motorists to carry a full coverage insurance policy.

When browsing and comparing liability car insurance policies, you will likely encounter three numbers describing the policy’s coverage limits. 

Here in Utah, the state government has set the minimum liability coverage requirements at 25/65/15. These numbers represent the following:

  • A maximum of $25,000 paid for bodily injury liability per person
  • A maximum of $65,000 paid for bodily injury liability per accident
  • A maximum of $15,000 paid for property damage liability per accident

As liability car insurance does not cover your own property damage or injuries, many motorists add personal injury protection (PIP) to their liability coverage.

Not all states require motorists to have personal injury protection policies. In Utah, though, the government requires drivers to carry a minimum of $3,000 personal injury protection coverage on top of their minimum liability insurance.

What Is Full Coverage Insurance?

A full coverage insurance policy will cover payment for damages to both your own vehicle and other parties. The term “full coverage” refers to an auto insurance policy that includes liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage. 

Additionally, some full-coverage auto insurance policies include other coverage for added protection.

Here are the two main components or types of car insurance that make up a full-coverage policy:

  • Comprehensive insurance: This covers claims for any damage or losses not caused by vehicular accidents, such as theft, vandalism, natural disasters, or animals.
  • Collision insurance: This coverage pays for the cost of damage your car sustains after a collision with another vehicle, regardless of who was at fault. This policy also covers damages from accidents involving road hazards.

You can further customize your full-coverage policy by adding other types of coverage. Your additional coverage options include:

  • Personal injury protection: This coverage will pay for your medical expenses, as well as that of your passengers.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This insurance coverage is advantageous to have if you are involved in an accident where the driver at fault does not have insurance. This policy also pays for any difference should the other driver’s policy not be enough to pay for your damages.
  • Gap insurance: This coverage pays for the difference between what you owe in payments for the car and what your insurer will pay for the vehicle.
  • Rental reimbursement: This type of additional coverage covers the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is under repair.

Comparing Liability vs Full Coverage Policy Costs

Since liability insurance offers minimum coverage and protection, its average cost is much lower than that of full-coverage policies. The lower the maximum claims per accident, the lower your monthly and annual premiums will be.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average premium costs for liability coverage in Utah are $586.07. Meanwhile, the average premium costs for a full coverage insurance policy reaches $984.12.

Take note that the average premium costs for liability and full-coverage policies vary not just by state but also depending on the insurance company.

If you are looking for competitively priced car insurance policies, Ipsen Insurance can help you find the right one. We offer both liability and full-coverage car insurance for Utah residents.

 

Here is a look at the average cost of different insurance coverage across some of the biggest car insurance providers:

Insurance Company Average Cost of State Minimum Liability Coverage Average Cost of 50/100/50 Liability Coverage Average Cost of Full-Coverage Insurance
State Farm $660 $800 $1,457
Geico $513 $628 $1,405
Progressive $724 $888 $1,509
Allstate $735 $868 $1,921
USAA $409 $490 $1,225
Farmers $876 $995 $2,000
Nationwide $729 $798 $1,485
Travelers $781 $960 $1,325

 

Please note that these figures are based on insurance quotations for a middle-aged driver with a clean record.

Many states set their minimum liability coverage auto limit to 25/50/25. Take note that this minimum requirement may not be enough to cover all damages and claims if you are found at fault in an accident.

Doubling the average state-mandated minimum auto limit offers greater coverage while still being more affordable than a full-coverage policy.

A 50/100/50 liability coverage auto limit may sound high but it is only a mid or upper mid-tier limit. It is generally better than state-mandated minimum liability coverage but is still not always enough to cover all claims.

Factors That Affect Premium Costs

Car insurance premium rates are affected by several different factors. This applies to both liability and full-coverage insurance.

The same type of liability or full-coverage auto insurance may still have varying costs for two people with contrasting ages, gender, and driving records. This is why different sources may provide different insurance quotations from the same insurance companies.

The same reasoning stands for drivers with tickets or accidents on their record.

Here are some factors that may affect your car insurance premiums:

  • Age: Young drivers are often given higher premium quotations due to their inexperience and likelihood of getting into accidents.
  • Gender: Male teen drivers often pay higher premiums as they are generally considered riskier drivers than female teens.
  • Driving record: Motorists with clean driving records pay lower premiums than those with a history of violations or even just one speeding ticket. 
  • Credit score: People with a good credit score (769-794) can get lower insurance rates than those with poor (524–577) or fair (710–740) credit scores.
  • Car model: The type of car you drive also affects your insurance rates. High-end and sports cars are generally more expensive to repair, thus it will cost more to insure.

Should You Get Liability or Full Coverage Insurance?

Liability coverage is generally the most affordable type of car insurance policy for motorists. Moreover, almost all states require motorists to carry liability insurance.

Although a full coverage auto insurance policy offers greater protection, it may not always be worth it for certain people.

An easy way to figure out whether to get liability or full coverage insurance is to compare the total insurance costs with the value of your car. If your vehicle is worth a couple times more than the cost of a comprehensive and collision policy, then it is better to purchase full-coverage.

Here are other reasons to purchase full-coverage over liability insurance:

  • You are leasing your car
  • Your car is financed, either through direct lending or a dealership
  • Your car is new or less than a decade old
  • Your savings are not enough to buy or repair a new car out-of-pocket in case of an accident

If you fit into any of these criteria, then it is highly recommended that you purchase a full-coverage auto insurance policy.

Final Recommendations

Regardless of what type of car insurance policy you decide on, it is always best to compare different insurance quotations from several companies. The best insurance policy varies depending on each individual’s needs and financial capabilities.

For competitively priced and reliable car insurance rates, be sure to check out Ipsen Insurance. We offer different types of auto insurance policies, including gap insurance, accident forgiveness, and roadside assistance.

Contact Ipsen Insurance today for a complimentary, non-binding insurance quotation.

Car insurance provides you with a certain level of financial protection in the event of an accident. You commit to make regular payments to an insurance company and in exchange they may pay for repairs to your vehicle or pay you the value of your car on the day of the accident. This works because the insurance company sets premiums at a level that allows them to help those in accidents and still make a profit. 

Despite being a requirement for owning and driving a car, many people do not fully understand how car insurance works. As a result, some people’s car insurance coverage can be lacking.

Your Policy Affects How Your Car Insurance Works?

When you purchase car insurance, you receive a level of protection in case you get into a car accident or if your car gets stolen. This level of protection will affect part of how your car insurance works. Car insurance policies include:

  • Liability coverage: The most basic car insurance policy, this will cover costs if you cause a vehicular accident, damaged property, or injured a person. 
  • Personal injury protection (PIP): This is a type of no-fault coverage and would cover medical and rehabilitation expenses for you or your passengers.
  • Collision coverage: This policy applies to damages to your own car, regardless of who caused the accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This kind of car insurance will cover damages sustained while you are not driving your car, such as fire, falling objects, floods, theft, and vandalism.
  • Gap insurance: This kind of coverage will only pay for your car’s actual cash value in case of an extreme accident, collision, or stolen vehicle.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance: This type of policy covers costs of the accident if the other driver involved does not have insurance or is underinsured.

How to Buy Car Insurance 

Always shop around and compare different insurance policies. Take a look at what different types of coverage entails for different insurance companies. Different policy providers may quote different prices for similar coverage, so make sure to carefully compare the quotations you receive.

At Ipsen Insurance, you can receive a free, non-binding insurance quotation through our website. All you need to do is fill out our online form and then wait for our response.

Here are the basic steps to buying a car insurance policy:

  1. Decide on the type of coverage you want or need.
  2. Set a range or specific amount of car insurance coverage to focus on.
  3. Research different car insurance providers online.
  4. Fill out applications for insurance quotations from different policy providers.
  5. Compare the policies and quotations you receive.
  6. Finalize your choice and purchase your policy.

When you are ready to buy car insurance, make sure you have your driver’s license and vehicle registration with you. If you have previous insurance coverage, it will help to have a current declaration page as proof of your policy. 

Now that you’ve signed up for a car insurance policy the only thing you need to do is to make the payments to the insurance company. If you do find yourself in an accident, then you’ll need to file an insurance claim.

How to File a Car Accident Insurance Claim

If you find yourself in a vehicular accident, it is important that you know the proper steps for filing an insurance claim. Familiarizing yourself with these tips and steps will help you when the time comes.

It is important to contact your insurance provider soon after the accident has occurred. Many companies have a claims process that can be filled out on the insurance provider’s website. They will then reach out to you for additional information. 

Important tips to keep in mind right after the accident:

  • Note down important details on the accident: This should include the name of any involved parties, license plates, the damages, make and model of the vehicles, time of the accident, and any witnesses.
  • Take photos and/or videos of the scene: These would support your notes and may help you when filing claims later on.
  • Exchange contact information with any involved parties: Remember to also ask the name of the other driver’s car insurance provider.
  • Ask for a copy of the police report: If you were required to fill one out at the scene of the accident, ask for a copy for your insurance company.

Once you are in a better state of mind, you can get a headstart on filing your claim. Many insurers now have mobile apps to facilitate smoother claims processing. If your insurer has an app, take advantage of it to process your claim faster.

Keep in touch with your insurance provider after the initial call. Remember to ask them what documents are required to support your claims.

Moreover, ensure that you supply any necessary information, forms, and documents your insurer requests.

Pertinent information you may need to submit for you claim:

  • Policy number
  • Time, date, and location of the accident
  • A detailed account of the accident
  • Contact information of any involved parties
  • Police report number
  • Name of the police department involved and officers who responded

Aside from asking your insurance provider about the requirements for the claims, you should also ask if there is a time limit for submitting a claim. Confirm with your provider whether your insurance policy has a critical claim deadline or not so that you don’t miss it.

if the insurance company considers your car totaled, receives the information they need, and the title for the car they’ll assess the worth of the vehicle just before the accident and will give you that amount of money. If you had a loan for the vehicle, they will put this money towards paying off the loan first. If there is money left over after the balance of the loan has been paid then what is left over will be paid to you.

If the insurance company doesn’t consider your car totaled, they will estimate the cost of the repairs to your vehicle and will likely opt to pay the lowest bid for you for the necessary repairs to the vehicle.  

The Bottom Line

Your car insurance provider will request a lot of information and documents from you following the accident. However, as long as you comply with all of these, processing your claim should be completed smoothly.

Make sure to choose a reliable insurance provider. Ipsen Insurance can help you find a reliable car insurance provider and policy in the most hassle-free way possible.