Stay-At-Home Parents Need Life Insurance Too

March 12, 2012

Stay-at-home parents should consider having life insurance coverage in addition to the family breadwinner. The duties and responsibilities of a stay-at-home parent are valuable services that would be costly to replace, should the unthinkable happen.

Parents spend years driving the kids to soccer practice, cooking, and cleaning. If a child gets sick at school, they are there in 10 minutes to pick them up. Imagine if a parent wasn't there to fulfill these duties. Those who have been a stay-at-home parent know that it is as much of a job as going to work every day.

It may seem obvious that parents should purchase life insurance on themselves to cover their kids should anything happen to them, but many assume that only the family breadwinner needs insurance. Consider the costs to the family if a non-employed parent was no longer there. Suddenly, there is now the need to pay for a nanny or after-school care, or the parent will have to take days off if a child gets sick and has to stay home from school, and might even pay a cleaning service to tidy up around the house. These many extra responsibilities can negatively affect the career of the working parent who is now left alone.

"People don't realize that even if you're a stay-at-home mom or dad, you contribute in an exemplary way to your family with the valuable services that you provide. The costs add up over time. With more than one life insurance policy in place, your family is protected from the unforeseen costs of single parenting," says Frank N. Darras.

When purchasing life insurance for a stay-at-home parent, consider the following:

  • Think about all of the responsibilities they take on and how those responsibilities would be distributed if something devastating happened.
  • Price out any services parents would need to purchase to cover those duties. From there, figure out an average "salary" and use this amount to decide how much life insurance coverage should be purchased.
  • Will a parent's current job still be manageable without another parent to lighten the load?
  • Does your job allow that parent to take time off to be with your young children after the death or when they get sick?
  • If a parent travels often for work, are paid per project, or work odd hours, he/she may not be able to keep up the same workload without a parent at home with the kids. Breadwinners have to be prepared for this if a spouse is no longer around.

It is never too early to invest in life insurance:

No matter how young parents are or how many years they think they have left, it is never too early to purchase life insurance. "Whether you are a teen mom or waited until your forties to have children, your kids cannot afford to wait for you to purchase life insurance. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to get the coverage you want, at the price that you can afford," says Darras.