You may already know the value of life insurance. Millions of couples with a mortgage, young children or both view cover as a necessity.
A policy can help eliminate much of the financial stress families often experience when the primary breadwinner passes away unexpectedly. This much needed peace of mind may help cover household expenses, eliminate debt or provide for a child’s future education.
Most importantly, the family can focus on what’s truly important, rather than worry about their bills.
But what about stay-at-home parents? They don’t bring home a pay check each week, so many people assume they don’t need to be covered by life insurance.
Including homemakers in a policy may feel unnecessary, especially if the household budget is tight. However, the contributions of stay- at-home parents do hold a monetary value.
Before saying no to covering a stay-at-home parent, consider their worth and all they do around the home.
Keeping the household running
Stay-at- home parents (SAHPs) work hard to keep their household running smoothly. Their job is an important one, and a full-time, 24-hour a day role. It’s also a job that is too often undervalued by both partners, meaning they are often not included in life insurance policies covering the breadwinner.
The list of things that SAHPs do is a long one. Stay at home parents are typically the family’s primary caregiver, providing physical and emotional support for their children, spouse, and sometimes other family members. They often take the lead in housekeeping—everything from laundry and ironing to cleaning and taking out the recycling. They may also do most of the food preparation, including grocery shopping, cooking and packing weekly lunches.
Homemakers are often tasked with coordinating the family schedule – booking appointments, managing transportation, and ensuring everyone is where they need to be on time. And of course, SAHPs must also manage the household budget, making sure the bills are paid and finding ways to save wherever possible.
The site Salary.com has tracked the average “Mom Salary” for over a decade. Factoring in all the tasks mentioned above (and many more that we didn’t list), the average SAHP was worth just over $143,000 USD in 2016, or around $177,000 AUD!
However, many people underestimate the worth of these homemakers, including SAHPs themselves.
A study out of the US found that just 7% of women felt the work stay-at- home mothers do is worth a six-figure salary. More shockingly, 11% of those surveyed valued their household work at under $10,000 USD a year. This undervaluing of homemakers is just one of the factors contributing to underinsurance in Australia and other developed nations.
Help protect your family’s future
Now, imagine what might happen if you were no longer able to care for your family and home.
It can be difficult to think about your own death or developing a terminal illness, but it could happen. If it did, your partner might need to hire one or more person to help out around the house, and a housekeeper or childcare can be expensive.
Your family might need to rely more on convenience items, such as takeout meals, when things get busy. Your spouse might also want to take extended leave from work to help your children cope and get back to normal life.
This is where a life insurance policy covering a SAHP could help. The money paid could go towards hiring babysitters or a part-time nanny. It could allow your partner to bring in a housekeeper to help keep your house in order, and allow them to spend more quality time with your children.
The money might also mean your spouse can take time off work, pay medical bills, or simply take some of the day-to- day financial stress off their shoulders.
Affordable life insurance options
Getting life insurance for a stay-at- home parent doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you may be pleasantly surprised by how affordable a policy can be. If you’re healthy, cover could cost less than $70 a year, with optional extras available to provide further protection for things like accidental death or becoming permanently disabled. Flexible cover amounts and payment options can help make budgeting easier. This way, your family could have peace of mind, no matter what life may throw your way.