Single person life insurance

Single person life insurance can be a valuable financial lifeline if you've got outstanding debts, such as a mortgage or loans. If you're a single parent or have elderly parents who depend on you financially, it offers peace of mind that they won't struggle with everyday expenses if you die.

Even if you don't have any dependents, you might still want to leave behind an inheritance, leave money to a charity, or make sure your funeral costs are covered. A single person life insurance policy can make sure these are taken care of.

Let's look at how life insurance for single people works and whether you could benefit from it. If you're ready to compare quotes, select 'Get a quote'. C icon
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Do I need life insurance if I'm single?

No one is legally required to have life insurance, but whether you think a life insurance policy is right for you depends on your personal circumstances. If you're unsure, the following questions are a good place to start:

  • Is anyone financially dependent on you?
  • Do you have any children you want to leave money to?
  • Do you owe money to a mortgage or other lenders?
  • Do you want to leave money for your funeral costs?
  • Would you like to leave money to a charity or other organisation when you die?

If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, life insurance might be a good idea for you.

What are the benefits of life insurance for single people?

Protection for your children. If you have children, a single person life insurance policy can provide peace of mind that they're financially protected if you die. You can leave money for their everyday expenses, university fees or even driving lessons.

Financial help for family and friends. It's not just children who could get a payout from life insurance. You can name any family member or friend who's financially dependent on you as a beneficiary. This could be an elderly parent, friend, business partner, or even someone who has acted as a guarantor on a loan for you.

Paying off a mortgage. A life insurance policy can cover the remaining amount on an outstanding mortgage, allowing you to leave your property to a family member or friend. If you don't have a policy in place, your mortgage provider may try and collect the remaining money from your estate. This could mean having to sell the property if there's not enough money to cover the costs.

Cover for funeral costs. Funerals can be expensive, costing an average of £3,953 according to the SunLife 2023 Cost of Dying report. A life insurance policy can cover these costs so your family doesn't have to.

Potential cost savings. Life insurance costs are generally lower when you get a policy at a younger age, as you're less likely to make a claim.

What types of life insurance can I get?


Level term life insurance

You choose how much cover you need and the duration of the policy. For example, you could get cover to last until your youngest child turns 18 or finishes university. If you die during the policy term, a fixed sum is paid out to cover expenses such as mortgage payments. The amount paid out remains the same no matter how far into the policy term you are. On average, level term life insurance costs £261 a month.

Whole-of-life insurance

This type of policy is intended to last for the whole of the policyholder's lifetime, making it one of the more expensive options. It pays out if you die at any point during the policy, with the more money going to any named beneficiaries. They can use this money to cover debts, funeral costs or have as a gift.

Decreasing life insurance

Also known as mortgage life insurance, a decreasing life insurance policy covers any remaining mortgage payments after you die. This means that the amount paid out decreases as you pay more off your mortgage. Decreasing life insurance policies normally last between 20 and 25 years, as this is a typical mortgage term. Mortgage life insurance costs £191 per month, on average.

1Based on data June - August 2023. Prices based on average quote offered on a policy with a 25-year term and £100,000 of cover.

Do I need single person life insurance to get a mortgage?

It's not a legal requirement, but your mortgage lender might suggest you get life insurance when getting a mortgage.

If you die before your mortgage is paid off, your family might be left with debt they can't afford to repay. Lenders can't force your friends and family to make these payments, but they might insist that the house is sold to cover the debt. A life insurance policy can cover these costs, so your loved ones don't have to worry about them.

Your lender might offer their own life insurance product, but it's always a good idea to shop around to make sure you're getting the best price.

Do I need life insurance if I have no dependents?

If you're single and have no dependents, there are still a few things to consider:

  • Do you have any loved ones you'd like to leave an inheritance to?
  • Are there any charities or other organisations you'd like to gift money to?
  • Are your friends and family able to pay for any funeral and burial or cremation costs?
  • Is there anyone else who might suffer if your assets or estate are sold to cover debts?

These are all scenarios where a life insurance policy can help. So, if you feel like any of these apply to you, it could be worth buying life insurance.

What our life insurance expert says

"Single person life insurance can be a good idea even if no one is financially dependent on you. If you want to make sure your family don't have to worry about covering your mortgage payments or funeral costs, it's worth considering getting covered. The younger you are, the cheaper it could be too. So if you're planning on getting married and having children at some point, you could save money by getting a policy beforehand."

Matthew Harwood, Home & lifestyle insurance expert at
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Can I use single life insurance to leave an inheritance?

Yes - you can use your life insurance policy as inheritance for loved ones. You might want to do this if you don't own a property or other assets to leave to someone.

If you intend to do this, it could be worth writing your life insurance into a trust. When you do this, the money isn't included in your estate, so it's not included in calculations for inheritance tax. So, your beneficiaries don't have to pay inheritance tax, unless you die within 7 years of putting your policy into the trust. It also means the probate process is avoided, so your family gets the money quicker.

How can I get single person life insurance?

The first thing to do is decide what kind of life insurance you want, and then consider how much cover you need. You can use our free life insurance calculator to help you work out how much you might need.

You can then fill out our quote form and start comparing prices. We'll just need a few details about you and the cover you want:

Cover details:

  • What you want your insurance to cover
  • How much cover you need
  • How long you want the policy to last
  • Who the cover is for

Personal details:

  • Your name, age and where you live
  • Your height and weight
  • Your smoking history
  • Your drinking habits

What other types of life insurance are there?

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