Reviewing your insurance after a partner dies

If your partner has died, one of the things you'll need to look at is the insurance policies they had. You may also need to change your existing policies. Here are some of the different types of insurance policy you should review.

Update your car insurance

If you were a named driver on your partner's car insurance policy, it's very important to check whether you're still covered. Most policies terminate on the death of the main policy holder and will leave you uninsured. Contact the insurer straight away to find out whether you're covered.

If the policy has terminated, put new cover in place. You don't have to go with the same provider. You'll probably get a cheaper quote if you shop around.

Let the insurer know if the vehicle will be driven less now, or if you won't be using the vehicle for work purposes any more.

Remember that all cars you own must have insurance, even if you never use them.

Car insurance - choose the right level of cover

Update your home insurance

You'll need to let your building insurance provider and contents insurance provider know if someone named on the policies has just died, as this might change the premiums you pay. You may have buildings insurance and contents insurance with the same provider or different providers. Contact your insurer(s) as soon as possible to get your buildings and contents insurance policies put into your name.

If your home has less in it - for instance if others have just inherited some of your partner's possessions - you might be able to reduce your contents cover. Work out the value of your possessions, including any items of high worth, and update your contents insurance.

Contents insurance - choose the right policy and cover

Buildings insurance - how much cover do you need?

Life insurance

If you took out life insurance to provide for your partner in the event of your own death, you may decide you no longer need it after their death. Similarly, if you took out a joint-life insurance policy to provide for your dependants on the death of the second policy holder, think about whether you still need this.

You might want to consider changing the name of the beneficiaries on your life insurance policy, or perhaps set up a new policy instead.

If you have no insurance and you have dependants, it might be even more important to take out life insurance now.

Do you need life insurance?

Protect your income from accident or ill health

Many people take long periods off sick at some point in their lives. Your employer will only help you up to a point. The state might not help you enough, or at all in some circumstances.

Income protection insurance

The death of a partner may mean your income is the only money coming in. Especially if you are young or you don't have a lot of savings, you should think about protecting it in case you fall ill and can't work. An income protection insurance policy can do this.

Do you need income protection insurance?

Critical illness insurance

Another option is critical illness insurance, although this usually offers much more limited cover while it typically costs less. Unlike income protection insurance, it will only pay out if you contract a serious disease or illness, and there are lots of exclusions. Critical illness cover pays out a lump sum rather than the replacement income you would get from income protection insurance.

Do you need critical illness insurance?

Payment protection insurance (PPI) or short-term income protection

You might want to take out a payment protection insurance policy to protect your mortgage, loan or credit card repayments in the event of job loss, an accident or illness. Cover is normally limited to just those repayments and any payout lasts no longer than 12 or 24 months.

Short-term income protection policies work in a similar way to payment protection insurance, but pay out a proportion of your income rather than a sum linked to your mortgage or other repayment. Short-term income protection offers much less cover than income protection, but is much cheaper.

Do your homework and make sure you get a policy that is suitable for you and shop around to get a good price.

Do you need payment protection insurance (PPI)?

Money Advice Service

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service. All information accurate at the time of publication.