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Money worries leads to rise in co-habiting couples

08 August 2014 17:22:50

Are you co-habiting to cut costs? image
Are you co-habiting to cut costs?

The number of UK unmarried co-habiting couple families has increased significantly over the past 10 years, with finances proving to be a major factor in the decision.

According to new analysis from Santander Insurance, there are now more than 2.8 million unmarried opposite sex couples living together, which represents a 28% increase; and 89,000 same sex couples, a 68% increase, between 2003 and 2013.

Money worries is one of the main reasons that couples choose to cohabit, with almost one in four (24%) saying they can’t afford to get married and 7% saying that living together saves money on the cost of housing.

Other factors behind the decision to live together were that neither party wants to get married (18%), they are ready to cohabit but not marry (14%), and they are finding out if they’re compatible (9%).

Despite financial concerns leading the way when it comes to reasons for same sex and opposite sex couples cohabiting, they are less likely to have life insurance than their married counterparts.

In fact, the bank found that less than a quarter (23%) would rely on their partner’s life insurance to cover financial commitments in the event that they passed away or became terminally ill.

This is a particular concern for the 41% of opposite couples and 6% of same sex couples that have dependents living under their roof.

More people (24%) said that they would sell a joint property, while others would find themselves in more difficult situations. One in 20 admitted they would risk repossession, 8% would ask family and friends for support, while 15% don’t know what they would do.

“Modern families come in all shapes and sizes nowadays and there has been a significant increase in the number of unmarried family units,” said Mark Russell, head of marketing at Santander Insurance.

“However, unmarried couples tend to consider life insurance less than married couples, so we want to make sure this audience is aware of the importance of financially protecting themselves for the eventuality that their other half passes away or becomes unable to contribute.”

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