Is it possible to have joint income protection cover?

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Things coming in twos have been pretty big business since the days of the Bible – as dramatically demonstrated by both Adam and Eve and then Noah – and ever since two, rather than three, has been universally recognized as the magic number.

That’s right, many of the best things have habitually come in twos down the years, from Marks and Spencer, Richard and Judy and Eric and Ernie through to Abercrombie and Fitch, Wallace and Gromit and Ant and Dec.

Because as the old adage traditionally implies, two’s company, whilst three’s a crowd.

Wherever you look in the pages of history, two heads are seen as better than the one and things/people which pair up appear to fare incredibly well.

Like scissors, Twix bars, Batman and Robin, Kylie and Jason, curtains, Chas and Dave, Ben and Jerry, Tom and Jerry, Black and Decker, Cagney and Lacey, Mork and Mindy, Bill and Ben, Bill and Ted, you get the point. It’s just the way it’s always been.

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So therefore the question remains (at least right here and now), ‘Is it possible to have joint income protection cover?’ The second question being, is this the most tenuous link you’ve ever read?

The answer to the latter is yes, whilst unfortunately the answer to the former is a no, alas; as it seems that as it currently stands income protection cover is the sole preserve of the individual policyholder, as coupling up is regarded as a no-no.

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The predominant reasoning behind this is relatively straightforward when you think about it, as a potential policy needs to be drawn up based on an individual’s circumstances as opposed to a double act’s.

However there are ways around this, such as getting your spouse/partner to insure an equivalent amount to yours, splitting household costs down the centre, if you like; remembering that the maximum an individual can take out in a singular name is 65% of their pre-tax (or gross as it’s more commonly referred to as) monthly income.

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The more you actually consider the concept of a joint income protection insurance policy the more it becomes clear that it would, for the most part be unworkable. Not least because of the crucial factors and subsequent variables which are requested by the insurance provider from the outset of any such plan being underwritten, which would differ between the two parties 99% of the time (not an official statistic, just a guestimate to illustrate the problem with this concept).

Along with the proposer’s specific age, occupation, income levels and health would also figure high up the agenda and bound to vary between partners nine times out of ten (again, not an accurate/researched stat). All of which profiling alone would essentially ensure taking out a joint income protection insurance package would be complex in the extreme.

Structure-wise and looking at whether the policy was designed as two separate plans or the one, all-consuming joint plan would, effectively, make little difference as has long been proven by examining the associated insurance product, joint mortgage payment protection.

What’s more, individually-tailored income protection packages can be increased or decreased (or indeed, cancelled) without compromising the existing income protection insurance cover on the other partner. Admittedly NOT a viable alternative to income protection per se, there are certain similarities and parallels between the two. Having said that – and with direct regards to co-signed mortgage protection insurance, it’s vital to remember that some insurers, whilst flagging it up as a joint plan (and quoting one premium), in reality set-up two single policies whereby cover is equally divided between each partner; which at the end of the day underlines the negligible difference it makes.

In addition, these sort of legally-binding insurance arrangements only normally pay benefits for a short period of time, typically 12 to 24 months.

So hopefully that’s cleared that up. If you would like a free individual income protection insurance quote, see below…

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