In this article on life insurance for mums we provide you with the reasons why mums need life insurance, how it works and what it costs. We also look at the free life cover offered by companies like Aviva and work out if they're really worth it. We also tell you how to get up to £100 cashback when buying life insurance.
Why do mums need life insurance?
Mums need life insurance because they play a very important role in raising children. Life insurance provides financial protection for families, giving them either a lump sum of money or an income to live on or a combination of both. How much life insurance you need depends on what sort of safety net your family requires, financially.
Most households need to consider a few things:
- Cost of living
- Funeral costs
- Future costs such as further education
Also, depending on who is appointed as the guardian for your children in your will, you may have to consider the loss of income they would suffer if they had to give up or reduce their work to raise your children. If this is a partner, you'll probably understand the financial needs a little better than if it is a family member or friend.
Think about what changes the people around you would have to make if you were no longer in the picture. It can be tough but once you've thought it through, you can buy the amount of life insurance you need to create that safety net and not have to think about it again unless something changes.
How much life insurance do mums need?
There are no hard and fast rules as it depends on your circumstances. However, in 2020, the Child Poverty Action Group found that the additional basic cost of a child, from birth to age 18, was £71,611 for a family with two-parent and £97,862 for a single-parent family. If housing and childcare costs are added these rise to £152,747 and £185,413 respectively.
How does life insurance for mums work?
Life insurance for mums is fairly straightforward. You have a few different options depending on what kind of support your family will need.
Some mums prefer to provide a lump sum of money to pay off debts, mortgages and any other immediate bills like funeral costs. Others prefer that there is a regular income to cover the cost to provide for their children's living needs. However, most people need a combination of these two things.
There are three main types of family term life insurance that you need to consider:
Level term life assurance - it will pay your family a tax-free lump sum of money that you choose, if you die any time between the start and the end of the policy.
Increasing term life insurance - it will pay your family a tax-free lump sum of money that you choose - the amount will increase in line with inflation and payout what is insured if you die any time between the start and the end of the policy.
Family income benefit insurance - pays a tax-free, annual amount of money that you choose from the point that a claim is made until the policy ends - you choose the annual amount needed and it is usually paid each quarter.
In order to work out how long a life insurance policy should run for (called the policy 'term') work out how many more years your children might be reliant on you. As a starting point work out how long it is until your children turn 18, but if they intend to go on to further education then work out how long until they are 23. This is a good base assumption for your required policy term. There are no hard and fast rules, just a sensible approach is needed. The longer a policy term the more expensive it will be.
The best and easiest way to work out what insurance you need, that fits your budget and circumstances, is to arrange a chat with a life insurance expert*, whose services we've personally vetted. Their advice is free, with no obligation, but if you do decide to take out a policy you can receive up to £100 cashback.
Below we give some examples of how mums in different situations might use the different types of policy listed above as well as things they should consider.
Life insurance for working mums
If a working mum dies, there is the immediate loss of her income to the household and the simplest solution to this is to buy a family income benefit policy that will provide a regular income for as long as needed. If needed, a level term assurance policy will provide a lump sum of money that can be put away for the future as well.
Life insurance for stay at home mums
Stay at home mums are usually not working due to childcare choices that they have made so childcare is usually the immediate problem that needs to be solved. The cost of childcare can vary hugely depending on what part of the country you live in as well the age of your children.
Alternatively, your partner may adjust work commitments to provide the childcare themselves - this is often what families end up doing because of the emotional needs of children who have lost their mother. Think about how much money you would need to replace your partner's lost income too. Again both needs could be met via a family income benefit policy or a level term assurance policy if you would prefer a lump sum is paid out.
Life insurance for single mums
Single mums are often much more acutely aware of their children's reliance on them. Many have strong family and friend support circles but expecting someone else to step in and care for your children if you're no longer around, is a big ask - especially when you consider the financial burden.
Single parent life insurance for mums can be put in a trust so that you can give certain people, access to the money that the life insurance will pay out. You can nominate your children as the beneficiaries which creates a legal obligation for the trustees to only use the money for their benefit.
If your children would be cared for by their other parent in this event then you should decide whether you would want to appoint them as a trustee to give them access to the money too - you choose.
Do remember that if you haven't put a will in place then you won't have nominated the guardian for your children and sometimes, this can mean that the state will be left to decide who is fit to do this. Most people wouldn't want this to be the case.
Can I get life insurance while pregnant?
Yes, there is no reason why you can't get life insurance while you are pregnant.
You do have to complete a life insurance application form that will ask you about your medical health so be prepared for this. Women can experience pregnancy-related conditions such as gestational diabetes or hypertension which may affect your application. At worst, your application might be postponed until after you've given birth to rule out any risks but some life insurance companies might accept your application before this.
You should speak with a specialist life insurance adviser* if you will need to disclose health conditions - they will steer you away from the insurance companies that are more likely to postpone your application.
Is a life insurance payout tax-free?
Yes, as long as you fill out a trust form so that the money is paid into a trust if you die, the money won't be liable for inheritance tax. This is really simple to do and most life insurance companies will provide you with the forms to arrange this.
How much does life insurance for mums cost?
The tables below provide some indicative costs based upon age and whether you smoke.
|Non-smoker||£300,000 of level term life insurance over 25 years||£30,000 of annual family income benefit over 25 years|
|Smoker||£300,000 of level term life insurance over 25 years||£30,000 of annual family income benefit over 25 years|
Free life insurance for mums
These are the options for free parent life cover:
|Aviva free parent life cover||
Post Office free parent life cover
Is free life cover worth it?
It is a bit of a gimmick that helps people to look at life insurance with the enticement of 'Free life cover for parents'. The reality is that it is a very small amount of life insurance in comparison to what most parents need.
If you were to die and your child who is less than 4 years old received £15,000, it would be helpful but it wouldn't come close to meeting the needs of most families. In some ways it might even give you a false sense of security and there is always the chance that when it expires, you won't replace it with a full life insurance policy that would continue until your children have grown up.
If you have full life insurance in place that matches what you actually need and just wish to boost it using free life insurance then there is no harm.
New mums can feel a sense of urgency to get things like life insurance but you should take the time to assess what you need and buy more appropriate life insurance. You may be surprised by how little it costs.
How to find the best & cheapest life insurance for mums
Life insurance for mums is marketed on several online forums, comparison sites and there are a few companies that specialise in this area too. However many websites and companies that claim to specialise in life insurance for mothers don't provide very specific and tailored solutions that add value without stretching your budget.
The best way to buy your life insurance is to speak with a life insurance expert* - they deal with all the companies in the market and are trained to build tailored solutions through conversations. They'll stick to your budget and won't charge you for the service as they're usually paid by the life insurance companies.
As a Money to the Masses reader, you'll also receive up to £100 cashback when you buy your life insurance this way.
Additional insurances for mums to think about
Illness can be an equally challenging event in your life and stop you from being able to do the things that you normally do. Serious illness can even mean that those around you have to stop work and look after you. For these reasons, as well as life insurance, you should consider the following.
If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses and do not wish to qualify for the cashback referred to in the article - LifeSearch