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Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 16 years of experience in the industry. ...
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Life Insurance for Single People (without smelly kids)

Your blogs are great! I’d love a round-up of why single people without kids should get various types of cover – we don’t have the safety net of a partner to potentially cover our bills, and in the event of death we wouldn’t want to lumber elderly parents with funeral costs. And I am sure there are loads of things I haven’t thought of.

Thanks to Carol for the inspo!

There are two ways to skin this particular cat.

I could go through the reasons why a single person without kids would need cover:

– mortgage
– bills
– funeral costs
– student loan debt/private student loans
– credit card debt

Instead, I’ll review the types of life insurance options available to everyone and figure out if they are useful to singletons.

I am starting with my favourite and the cover that EVERYONE should have, regardless of whether they are single or have children.

Why I Recommend Income Protection to Single People

What does it do?

what does income protection do?

Although income protection is important if you have a mortgage to pay, I think it’s even more important for renters.

What happens if you’re renting and fall ill?

How long before your landlord turfs you out?

Not long.

How important is income protection for singletons?

It’s vital unless you already have income protection through work—go and check.

Fingers crossed, you already have it.

If you do, happy days, – move on down the page.

If you don’t have income protection, think about what would happen if you couldn’t work long-term.

You pride yourself on your independence.

The replacement income from your protection policy will safeguard your lifestyle and dignity and stop you from having to go looking for handouts.

For me, it’s a no-brainer, and if you’re already actively saving or adding to your monthly pension, it won’t cost you anything more.

Divert some of the savings into an income protection policy.


Just like it’s impossible to outrun a bad diet, you can’t save enough to replace a long-term loss of income.

If you’re lucky enough to have €50,000 in savings, this will only last 17 months if you withdraw €3000 monthly.

Don’t worry—not many people have access to a cool €50k in savings.

Most people would be in trouble for more than a couple of months without income.

How much does it cost?

Several factors will affect your income protection premium:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Smoker/Non
  • Amount of income you wish to insure
  • Occupation
  • Retirement Age
  • Deferred Period

You can plug all of these variables into our income protection quote calculator and get an instant quote.

Right, let’s move on to another “living benefit” that will pay out to you while you’re still above ground.

Serious Illness Cover for Single People

What does it do?

Critical illness cover, specified illness cover, and serious illness cover all mean the same thing.

Should you get one of the illnesses listed on your policy, the insurer will pay you a big wedge of moolah tax-free.

It’s your third-party fire and theft compared to income protection’s comprehensive insurance.

How important is it for single people?

Let’s look at a common scenario – if you have a stroke and are left with permanent symptoms, you’ll have to gut your house to make it more accessible.

The bill for the renovations comes in at a whopping €30G’s.

Where do you get the money to pay the builders?

Fortunately, you took out critical illness cover for € 30,000, as luck would have it (!),  so you can get your house in order immediately.

I say it is a common scenario because strokes, heart attacks, and cancer make up the bulk of serious illness claims.

Serious illness cover gives you financial breathing space should you be hit with a catastrophic illness.

Quick story

I remember going to a presentation by the Marie Keating Foundation.

The presenter implored and almost begged us (financial advisors) to push serious illness cover when advising our clients.

The Foundation had introduced a Comfort Fund (a small one-off payment to people who had a cancer diagnosis) that was oversubscribed to the point that they ran out of money and had to close applications.

What is Multi Claim Protection Cover?

swiss army knife

What does it do?

Multi Claim Protection Cover is similar to serious illness cover, but instead of paying out should you be diagnosed with a specific condition, it pays out based on the severity of the condition.

How important is it for single people without children?

It’s especially important if you have an underlying condition that prevents you from getting income protection or serious illness coverage. For example, suppose you have diabetes, MS, a heart issue or a history of cancer. In that case, it’s going to be difficult to get income protection or serious illness coverage, but you could qualify for MCPC.

Is Cancer Only Cover Different to Serious Illness Cover?

What does it do?

Cancer only cover does exactly what it says on the tin.

It will pay you a tax-free lump sum should you get cancer, as defined on your policy.

The definition of cancer for this insurance is identical to cancer on a serious illness cover policy.

However, cancer-only coverage costs around 20% less than full serious illness coverage.

How important is it for single people without children?

Like MCPC, you can get cancer coverage even if the insurers have previously declined your application for income protection or serious illness coverage.

Life Insurance for Single People

What does it do?

Life insurance for single people exists to protect financial dependents.

By that, I mean children, a partner who isn’t working or earns less than you or parents who rely on your income.

It pays out an amount of money (the death benefit) if you die during the “term/years” of your life insurance coverage.

How important is it for single people without children?

One of Carol’a worries was lumbering her elderly parents with the cost of her funeral.

Taking out life insurance eliminates this worry.

But what if your parents rely on you financially?

If they rely on your pay cheque then you should consider term life insurance to leave a lump sum of money behind to take care of your parents should you shuffle off this mortal coil before them.

Imagine the parties they’ll have with all of their friends, thanks to your generosity.

You’ll FINALLY be their favourite child. 😅

You can also use term life insurance to cover short-term debt, such as credit card or car loan debt, that will remain outstanding on your death.

Whole Life Insurance for Single People

What does it do?

Unlike term life insurance, above, you can’t outlive Whole of Life cover.

It will pay out eventually as long as you keep up the life insurance premiums.

How important is it for single people without children?

I can see three ways you could use it.

1) Leave a gift behind for a favourite nephew/niece/Nick
2) Pay for your funeral expenses
3) Cover the inheritance tax on the gift you left your favourite nephew/niece/Nick.

You can plan for this in advance for inheritance tax using Section 72 Whole of Life Assurance.

Finally, there is the beaut of whole of life cover that will pay out more than you pay in.

We won’t spend too much time on Mortgage Protection

I’m not going to dive too deep into mortgage protection for single people here, but if you have a mortgage, it’s mandatory coverage to clear your debt to the bank should you leave us before you have paid it off.

If you don’t have a mortgage, you don’t need it.

Why health insurance is essential if you’re single

If you’re single, you need private health insurance in Ireland and want access to the best possible treatment quickly.

What other types of cover are available for Single People?

Personal Accident Cover

This is like the baby brother of income protection.

It’s way cheaper and will pay you up to 50% of your weekly wage for up to 12 months if you can’t do your job due to an accident.

If you have a manual job, income protection will be expensive or impossible to get.

Personal accident cover will offer you some protection.

i.e. 50% of your weekly wage is better than nothing.

Surgical Cash Cover

This is a rider or addition to a life insurance policy. You can claim if you have major surgery including knee and hip replacements.

Hospital Cash Cover

Another rider benefit. This will pay you a daily sum if you are hospitalised for more than 72 hours.

Over to you

Right, we’ve covered a fair bit there on Life Insurance for Single People.

A lot for you to chew on!

If you’re interested in any of the above or would like me to review your personal situation and make a recommendation, please complete this questionnaire, and I’ll contact you by email.

Alternatively, if you’d like a quick chat first, please schedule a call back:


Talk soon,


Editor’s Note – We first published this blog in 2021 and have updated it since.