Give the gift of 'love insurance'!

Friday 12 February 2016, 05:36 PM

Sam Barratt
Financial Journalist , Freelance

  • Valentines-gift-Lg

Handing over a life insurance policy on Valentine's Day might not initially seem as romantic as red roses or chocolates, but it's a gift that could last much, much longer and prove to be considerably more valuable.

If you and your sweetheart are financially dependent on each other or you have children, life insurance is a must. It will provide a payout, either as a lump sum or a regular income, if you die prematurely. This can help to clear debts, such as the mortgage, or replace the income you brought into the home.

Although it provides the peace of mind that your family will be supported even if you're not around, cover isn't expensive. If you're still young and healthy, you'll only pay a few pounds a month for several hundred thousand pounds worth of cover.

Over the course of a year that stacks up quite nicely against the average £81.20 we spend on Valentine's Day according to dating website eHarmony. For those keen to do things together as much as possible, joint life insurance policies are available. As these pay out on first death, they're slightly cheaper than taking out two individual policies. But, while this can work well where you're covering a single debt, such as the mortgage, it can often be worth spending a little more on two individual policies instead.

Having two separate life insurance policies means you can both cover your contribution to the household finances. Then, if you were both unlucky enough to die prematurely, your dependants would benefit from two payments instead of one. And, while it might be terribly unromantic to bring this up, if you did split up, you could take your own life insurance policy with you. If you'd opted for a joint life plan, although you could keep paying the premiums, this might not be appropriate. Instead you could find yourself having to take out your own cover at this point, potentially paying a higher premium to reflect the fact you were older and wiser.

So, while it's probably best to stick with the more traditional Valentine's gifts on the day - or risk requiring medical attention - ensuring there's some life insurance in place to protect your family is likely to win you many more brownie points than even the largest chocolate box or bouquet.

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