7 min Read
25 Oct 2016

How many life insurance policies can you have?

How many life insurance policies can you have?

Child maintenceIn theory there is no limit on the number of life insurance policies that you can have. Although, there are other restrictions to be aware of which I explain in this article.

In reality there are numerous reasons why you might have more than one life insurance policy including:

  • to protect your family in the event of your death
  • to cover a loan, such as a mortgage, that will be paid off in the event of your death
  • to protect a business partner so that in the event of your death the business can still continue
  • to cover any potential inheritance tax liability against your estate in the event of death

However, you can't simply insure yourself for million and millions of pounds without good reason. When you take out a life insurance policy the life insurance company will in turn use a reinsurer to manage the risk. The reinsurers don't deal directly with consumers but instead deal with the insurance companies. A life insurance company won't want to over-expose themselves to any one individual and neither does a reinsurer. It's not how many life insurance policies that is of particular concern but the total amount of life insurance they are liable to pay out if you die. So when you apply for life insurance the insurance company will likely ask about your existing life insurance policies. Even if you do not disclose your other policies, when the insurance company approaches a reinsurer the reinsurer will check its own records. Don't forget they will be reinsuring for lots of different insurance companies so they will likely find your existing policies. If you didn't disclose the fact that you already have insurance policies which you intend to keep they'd question why and what your motives are which could ultimately mean you will be rejected for the new policy. So be honest.

Why you may have need to purchase more than one life insurance policy

As you go through life you will often need to review your life insurance cover. Most people will buy their first life insurance policy when they get married or take out their first mortgage. A policy to cover a mortgage can be reasonably cheap and can be limited to the term of the mortgage. Covering both parties to the mortgage means that the surviving partner's standard of living can be maintained in the event of the premature death of either partner.

The arrival of children, for example, is a point at which you should review your life insurance again to ensure that you are covered for the extra costs involved in raising your children, such as childcare, if one partner was to die prematurely.

Maybe you start up a business with a partner, again you will need to review your life insurance arrangements. The death of a business partner can have a catastrophic impact on a business as not only have you lost a key worker but their part of the business will form part of their estate, causing financial stress on the business. A life insurance policy can offset the financial impact by providing cash to allow the business to continue operating while adjustments are made.

In later life, as you build up assets, you will need to reflect on your potential inheritance tax liability (IHT) that will fall on your estate in the event of your death. If your total assets are over the inheritance tax threshold (£325,000 for 2015/16 tax year) then your estate will pay IHT of 40% on the amount over the threshold. A life insurance policy for the estimated amount of IHT payable can ensure that your beneficiaries receive your total assets free of IHT.

Can I just increase my existing life insurance policy instead of taking out new ones?

In theory you could increase an existing life insurance policy as long as your life insurance company will allow this. In practice, however, it may be advisable to take out more than one policy so that you or your executor are aware of what purpose these policies were originally intended. Also, you may want to put a policy into trust or assign it for some other reason and this would be easier with more than one policy.

In addition you should not just assume that your existing policy still constitutes value for money. It may be worth checking whether you can replace your existing life insurance policy with a new one with a cheaper monthly premium. This is called rebroking. If you do decide to rebroke then check the new policy is a like-for-like replacement in terms of level of cover and the circumstances in which it will pay out. Also, make sure when you apply for the new replacement life insurance policy you inform the new insurance company that you intend to cancel your existing policy when your are accepted. That way the insurer will take this into account when calculating how much life insurance you will have which in turn dictates the level of medical evidence they will need from you in order to make a decision.

The best way to find the best & cheapest life insurance policies

I recommend using this life insurance quote tool to give you an idea of the monthly premiums you are likely to pay.

You can even use it to see whether you can get a better deal on your existing life insurance policies.

Get an instant life insurance quote

Get an instant life insurance quote in seconds, comparing the whole market

Find the best value life insurance policy

I would then strongly suggest that you have a quick chat (it’s FREE) with the company behind the quote aforementioned quote tool to get their opinion on what is the best course of action. I have personally vetted their service which is why I recommend it.

Article overview

Key points

  • In theory there is no limit on the number of life insurance policies that you can have.
  • However, you can’t simply insure yourself for million and millions of pounds without good reason.
  • When you take out a life insurance policy the life insurance company will in turn use a reinsurer to manage the risk.
  • Use this life insurance quote tool to give you an idea of the monthly premiums you are likely to pay.

Written by Liam

Over 30 years experience in financial services, residential lettings and property sales. Director of a leading national estate agency chain, until leaving in 2008 to pursue other commercial interests. Vast experience in new business development, business change, management development and business strategy.

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