Why stay-at-home mums and dads need life insurance

Life insurance isn’t just for family breadwinners. The contribution of stay-at-home parents needs to be considered, too.

Life insurance isn’t just for family breadwinners. The contribution of stay-at-home parents needs to be considered, too.

Kara Gammell
Finances expert
minute read
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Last Updated 10 MAY 2022

The true ‘value’ of stay-at-home parents is often overlooked when families try to work out their insurance needs. Just because stay-at-home mums and dads aren’t earning any income, doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable to the household.  
Stay-at-home parents do a lot of unpaid work. The average mother on maternity leave spends about 37 dedicated hours engaging with their child or children every single week. Typically, they also spend seven hours of their time doing house chores, 120 minutes doing laundry, as many as eight hours cooking, not to mention six hours driving themselves or others around, according to Government statistics.

But while these figures are great for providing cold, hard facts, have you ever thought about who would do all these jobs if you were too sick to manage them all?

Or if the unthinkable happened and your partner died, you’d be the only breadwinner. It’s perhaps worth considering how you might fit these tasks in, as well as going to work. 

Also, remember that paying someone else to do them out of your current earnings could be very costly. 

Looking after children

Bereaved children are potentially very vulnerable. If you work full-time, you might have to arrange full-time childcare for any young children, or you might decide to give up work to care for them yourself.

Other costs

In the immediate aftermath of the death of a parent, there will also be funeral costs to pay. These have risen by 6% each year since 2005, according to the Competition and Markets Authority. See more on funeral costs.

How life insurance can help 

Taking out life insurance to cover the non-working mum or dad would mean that your family would get a life insurance payment on their death – usually paid as a lump sum.

This could help you clear outstanding debts such as your mortgage and help to pay bills. It could also free up the surviving wage earner to work less, not work for a while, or pay for childcare.

To get the right level of life insurance, work out how much money you’d need to help your family, as you face a different kind of future.

See our life insurance calculator

Bereavement Support Payment

If you’re married or in a civil partnership, you may be entitled to a Bereavement Support Payment. Widows, widowers or surviving civil partners need to claim within three months of their partner’s death, to get the full amount.

To be eligible, you or your partner will need to have paid at least 25 weeks of National Insurance contributions; or your partner died because of an accident at work or a disease caused by work. You’ll also need to be under State Pension age and living in the UK.

If you’re entitled to the payment, you could receive a higher rate if you get Child Benefit, or if you were pregnant when your husband, wife or civil partner died.

Rate First payment  Monthly payment
Higher rate £3,500 £350
Lower rate £2,500 £100

If you receive benefits, the Bereavement Support payment won’t affect them for a year after the first payment.

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