Life insurance provides your dependents with a lump sum or an income if you die. It might be morbid to think about but if you’re the main earner in your family, you want to make sure they would have enough to live on if the worst was to happen. After all, your wages cover the bills – and if you own a house, the mortgage as well – so it’s a good idea to make sure they’d always be able to afford this.
But if your partner doesn’t work and instead stays at home with the kids, should they still get a life insurance policy? After all, if they don’t have a job, there would be no income to replace so you might think that life insurance for them would be a waste of money. However, it’s not just income you need to consider when deciding whether to get life insurance – it’s their value as a whole.
The extra jobs
You probably wouldn’t really think about it this way, but if your partner looks after your children at home, they still have ‘financial value’. If they weren’t around anymore, you’d have to pay for childcare as well as paying for someone to do all of the household jobs they take care of while you’re at work. Alternatively, you wouldn’t be able to work full time, which would mean a further financial strain.
In fact, according to recent research, a stay-at-home mum is worth £29,535 in all of the domestic tasks she takes care of, while a stay-at-home dad has a value of £21,601. If you’ve got a partner who looks after the household responsibilities, it might make sense to ensure that they have life cover too.
Getting life insurance
If you’re looking for a life insurance policy for someone who isn’t in work, you’ll need to think about the type of cover you need and for how long you’ll need it. For example, will you only need the insurance to last until your kids are old enough to look after themselves, so for 16-18 years or so? Or do you want it to run until your mortgage is paid off, because you’d be able to work less after then if you had to? Rather than a policy that pays out a lump sum, you might prefer one that pays a regular income (often called Family Income Benefit).
You might also be able to get a joint-life policy for you and your partner, so one of you would get a payout if the other one died. However, this is generally more suited to a couple who are both working. As you’d both have such different situations, it might be more effective to take out separate life insurance policies – although this would be more expensive than getting one joint policy together.