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What is Joint Term Life Insurance?


April 27, 2020

By : Bajaj Allianz Life

Irrespective of whether you are single or married, purchasing a term life insurance plan is a good way to protect yourself and your family from the unpredictability of life. Term Insurance ensures that your family is financially supported in the event of any unfortunate incident. A term insurance plan also offers plenty of advantages to the insured.

In recent years, joint term insurance plans have quickly risen in popularity among married couples. In addition to allowing investors to share the premium amount, joint term plans also offer life coverage for both the individuals covered by the plan. If this sounds like an insurance cover that could benefit you and your spouse, here’s everything you need to know about these unique plans and about how they differ from traditional term life insurance policies.


What is term insurance?


A term insurance plan is a type of a life insurance policy. It provides the insured with a pure life cover in exchange for payment of premium. As the name suggests, the coverage provided by a term insurance plan is valid only for a specified period of time which is the policy term. If the insured passes away during the policy’s term, death benefit in the form of a lump-sum amount is paid to the nominee or the legal heirs of the insured.

Unlike a traditional life insurance policy, term life insurance plans do not come with any maturity benefit. This effectively means that in the event of the insured surviving the end of the policy’s tenure, the policy simply expires, and no amount is liable to be paid to the insured by the insurance company. Since term insurance plans require you to forego maturity benefits, they are typically less expensive than regular life insurance policies.


What is a joint term insurance plan?


Upon payment of the premium, a joint term insurance plan provides a life cover to you, the policyholder, and your spouse under a single contract. Much like a regular term insurance policy, a joint insurance plan also does not come with any maturity benefits. Therefore, upon expiry of the policy, you and your spouse cease to be covered by the term insurance cover and receive no maturity benefits. On the other hand, if either you or your spouse do not survive the policy’s term, death benefits shall be paid out by the insurer.

Although a joint term insurance policy is more popular among married couples, it is not restricted to married people alone. A joint insurance plan even allows business partners, who may or may not be related, to enjoy the benefit of a joint life cover. Additionally, it also allows parents to hold a joint term insurance policy along with their children.


How does a joint term insurance plan work?


If you’re wondering how a joint term life insurance plan works, the following points can help you better understand the workings of this type of insurance cover.

• A joint term life insurance plan works on the principle of first death basis.

• According to this principle, if any one of the two insured people dies during the policy’s tenure, the surviving policyholder receives a lump sum pay-out in the form of a death benefit.

• However, in the unfortunate event of simultaneous deaths of both the insured parties, the nominees or the legal heirs of the insured shall receive the sum assured as death benefits.

• Most joint term life insurance plans available in the market provide the spouse with a cover of up to 50% of the sum assured on the demise of the primary insured.

For instance, let’s assume that you purchase a joint term insurance plan with your spouse as your insured partner. And say, according to the plan, you are eligible for a death benefit sum assured amount of Rs. 20 lakhs. Your spouse, on the other hand, is only eligible for a sum assured amount of Rs. 10 lakhs.

Now, in the event of your death, your spouse will receive the full sum assured amount of Rs. 20 lakhs. Alternatively, in the event of your spouse’s death, you will receive a sum assured amount of Rs. 10 lakhs as compensation. And if both you and your spouse pass away simultaneously, your nominee or your legal heir shall receive Rs. 30 lakhs.


How is it different from a regular term insurance plan?


Although they’re largely similar, joint term plans differ from regular term insurance plans in certain aspects, as explained here.

• Number of policyholders - The primary difference between a joint term insurance plan and a regular term life insurance policy is the number of policyholders allowed. While a traditional term life insurance provides a life cover for only one policyholder, a joint policy supports two people, thereby providing two life covers.

• Nature of contract - To cover two policyholders such, you and your spouse using a regular term insurance plan, you need two individual policies, each with different terms and conditions. However, with a joint term insurance plan, you can provide life covers for both you and your spouse or child under a single policy contract with the same terms and conditions.

• Death benefit pay-outs - Another major difference between these two types of term life insurance policies is the death benefit. The sum assured is paid directly to the nominee or the legal heir in a regular term insurance plan, while it is paid to the surviving insured partner in the case of a joint term insurance policy. The nominee or the legal heir only receives death benefits in the event of the death of both the policyholders in a joint plan.


What are the benefits of a joint term insurance plan?


The benefits of a joint term insurance plan are numerous. Briefly explained below are some of the many advantages you stand to enjoy by investing in this kind of insurance plans.

• Cost savings: This is by far one of the most important benefits of a joint insurance plan. Purchasing two separate policies to cover two individuals can quickly cause significant financial burden in the form of premiums. A joint term insurance policy can reduce the amount of premium to be paid each year, which translates to more savings in the long run.

• Income replacement: Certain joint term insurance policies also offer a fixed amount as regular monthly payments in addition to the sum assured as a death benefit. These monthly payments are designed to replace the regular income that the insured partner would have otherwise enjoyed if not for the death of the spouse.

• Tax benefits: The premiums paid towards the policy can be claimed as tax deductions under section 80C of the Income Tax Act 1961. Furthermore, the death benefits received as exempt from tax as per section 10(10D) of the Income Tax Act. Term insurance tax benefits are subject to changes in tax laws, as amended from time to time. Due to these provisions, you can reduce your total tax liability in addition to enjoying a life cover.


How to buy a joint term plan?


You can buy a joint term life insurance plan online or offline. The processes for both these modes are briefly explained below.


How to buy joint term insurance online?


Step 1 Visit the website of your preferred insurance service provider.

Step 2 Choose term insurance from the product list.

Step 3 Read through the terms and conditions of the various plans and choose the joint term insurance policy that satisfies your needs and requirements.

Step 4 Before going ahead with your purchase, ensure that you’re fully aware of the total amount of premium to be paid. A great way to estimate the premium is to use a term insurance calculator, which can generally be found on your insurance service provider’s website.

Step 5 Once you’re done estimating the policy premium using the term insurance calculator, you’ll need to fill out an online insurance policy application form. Here, you are required to fill in your basic personal details as well as the details of your insurance partner. You may also need to submit all relevant Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation.

Step 6 After you submit the insurance policy application, you will be required to make the first premium payment.

Step 7 Once the payment is made, the policy document will generally be mailed directly to your address once the underwriting guidelines have been met. You may also receive a soft copy of the policy document.


How to buy joint term insurance offline?


Alternatively, if you prefer to buy a joint term insurance plan offline, you only need to visit the nearest branch of your preferred insurance service provider along with your partner/spouse, and fill out the forms as needed. You’ll also be required to submit your KYC documents before purchasing the plan.




Now that you’re aware of the details involved in applying for a joint term insurance plan, all you need to do is invest in one, to ensure the security of your loved ones. Make sure to pay all your premiums on time if you wish to continue enjoying the benefits offered by your joint term insurance policy.

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