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Life insurance for mums & single mothers

Last updated: 19/04/2022 | Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Raising a child is a great responsibility, requiring years of love, education, supervision, meals, laundry, and bedtime stories. Part of that responsibility is ensuring your child is cared for and provided for should you unexpectedly die.

Although none of us like contemplating such tragedies, it’s crucial to plan for the worst when you're a parent. Doing so can bring you peace of mind.

In This Guide:

Why is life insurance important for mums and single mothers?

Becoming a parent is one of the main reasons people take out life insurance. These policies pay out a lump sum, or replace a regular income, to your survivors should you die during the policy term.

These life insurance pay-outs can then be used to cover mortgage payments and other household expenses to ensure your child remains in the family home and experiences as little disruption to their lives as possible. Life insurance can also cover educational expenses, childcare, and all the other expenses of raising little ones, and leave an inheritance to help your children as adults.

Life insurance is especially crucial for single mums, who may be their child’s only source of financial support. In these cases, an insurance pay-out can minimise the upheaval the child experiences following the loss of their main parent.

Life insurance is also important for mothers raising children alongside partners, whether they’re a breadwinner or stay-at-home mum. 

Many people understand the importance of having life insurance for working mothers: the pay-outs can replace the income that would be lost after their death.

But life insurance is just as vital for stay-at-home mums. Consider how much unpaid labour a stay-at-home parent does around the house, from childcare to school runs to meals. Someone else will have to do that work should you die, be it your surviving partner or paid childminders.

A life insurance pay-out can make up for lost income if your partner has the shoulder parenthood alone and reduce their working hours and/or pay for childcare.

What type of life insurance should I get as a mum?

There are several life insurance products useful for mums, depending on their family’s financial situation and needs. When you start looking for a quote, you will usually look at one of the following: 

Decreasing term life insurance:

With a decreasing term policy, the pay-out decreases over the term.

Decreasing term life insurance is often synced up with mortgages so the pay-out would cover the outstanding balance. In fact, many mortgage lenders require borrowers to take out decreasing term life insurance policies as a condition of the loan.

These policies are helpful if mortgage payments account for a large part of your family's monthly expenses. You can also align decreasing term life insurance policies with your children’s age, assuming the total amount of financial support they’ll need will decrease as they get older.

These policies often come with more affordable premiums than level term or whole of life policies.

Level term life insurance:

Level term policies pay out the same amount whenever you die, provided it's during the policy term.

They’re useful for covering educational expenses for your children, which may increase as they get older, and for leaving them an inheritance.

Level term insurance is more costly than decreasing term insurance, but cheaper than whole of life policies.

You can reduce costs by setting the term so it lapses when your youngest child becomes an adult.

Whole of life insurance:

Some parents want to guarantee their children receive a pay-out no matter when they die, not just during the 10 to 30 years a term life insurance policy runs for.

These parents will want to consider whole of life insurance. These products will be particularly helpful for parents who expect to care and financially provide for children with special needs for the rest of their lives.

Whole of life insurance policies are the most expensive type of cover, but will be the most sensible for some mothers.

Specific types of insurance for mothers:

Depending on your current circumstances, you can take out a more specific type of family insurance policy. The below policy types are variations of the types listed above.

If you are a mother and part of a couple - Joint life insurance

Couples with children may opt for joint life insurance policies (either term or whole of life).

These policies cover both parents, but only payout following the first death.

They can be an affordable choice, particularly if you want the same amount of cover for both parents.

If you are a single mother - Single person life insurance

Single person life insurance covers the life of one person; it’s the natural option for single mothers.

Although 'single' is in the name, the policy can be tailored to the benefit of your children.

If you want to ensure your children are looked through regular payments - Family income benefit

A family income benefit policy will provide your dependents with a fixed monthly payout for the rest of the term of your policy, should you pass away during it.

It is similar to a term life policy but ensures any family you leave behind keeps receiving an income for an extended period.

How much life insurance cover do mums need?

Ideally, you’d choose the highest amount of life insurance cover available, but that will come with steep premiums. You’ll want to strike a balance between the price of the premiums and the potential pay-out.

Working mothers are often advised to take out life insurance cover that’s at least ten times their annual income. Stay-at-home mothers should consider the cost of the childcare that would allow the surviving parent to keep working.

To arrive at a level of cover you’re comfortable with, consider your family’s current annual expenses and any additional costs that might be incurred by your death, such as for childcare or your funeral and burial. Also consider any debt you hold, especially co-signed by people who may survive you, such as your spouse.

Should I get life insurance if I am going to have a baby?

Many people take out life insurance when they become parents. But should you take out a policy while you’re pregnant, or wait until after the child is born?

You can certainly still qualify for life insurance cover while pregnant. You’ll have to disclose the pregnancy when questioned about your health and medical history, but it shouldn’t affect the outcome of your application or the premiums you’re quoted. However, if you’re experiencing pregnancy-related conditions such as gestational diabetes, the insurer may put your application on hold until after you give birth. 

While pregnancy and childbirth are much safer than they were for women of previous generations, complications and tragedies do still occur. Therefore, having a life insurance policy in place may give you peace of mind as you approach the birth of your baby.

Can single mums get life insurance?

Yes, single mums can get life insurance.

A single mum could be the only source of income for a child, which makes it even more important that a life insurance policy is taken out.

Single mothers may neglect taking out a life policy though as it could be seen as an unnecessary expense.

Life insurance doesn't have to be expensive though; at Money Expert we can talk you through your options and help you find a single mum life insurance policy that works for you.

Click the start a free quote button below to get started 

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