According to the Pew Research Center, 26 percent of moms are not employed and six percent of dads are either part-time or not employed. Stay-at-home parents (sometimes referred to as SAHPs, if you love acronyms) are often overlooked and under-appreciated.
Why? Because SAHPs aren’t "bringing home the bacon," so to speak. The traditional idea of a "housewife" is a sexist archetype, and so women who choose to provide childcare are often unfairly stigmatized and underestimated.
But if you are a stay-at-home parent, you know that just because you’re not out working doesn't mean you’re not contributing. Your role is important and invaluable, and losing you would be devastating, both emotionally and financially. Without you, your family would have to find someone else to provide childcare (as well as everything else you do for the family), which can be incredibly expensive with just one income.
In fact, your contribution to the home is precisely why insurance plans and policies exist in the first place – to protect family and keep everything afloat after an unexpected death.
Why do stay-at-home parents need life insurance?
For the same reasons working parents need it: to cover expenses like childcare, education, funeral, medical, and inheritance if something happens to you.
Stay-at-home parents "should ask themselves some questions," suggests Roy Innella, President and CEO of The Wealth Advocate. "What would happen if I weren’t here to take care of my children? Who would take care of them?"
Breadwinners ask themselves those questions all the time, so why shouldn’t SAHPs? What would be the cost of bringing in someone to take care of your children? How would your partner afford that one their single income? Fortunately, life insurance helps answer that question.
Why do stay-at-home parents hesitate to get life insurance?
Some people have the misconception that life insurance is too expensive. Because families with one stay-at-home parent are receiving one income instead of two, they try to cut costs and save money by couponing, carpooling, or bargain hunting. But cutting life insurance out of the budget shouldn’t be one of them, especially since life insurance is probably cheaper than you think. Losing a parent or spouse – whether he’s full-time, part-time, or unemployed – is already emotionally-devastating, so why make it financially-devastating as well?
What kind of life insurance should stay-at-home parents buy?
Term life insurance is the best option for most people — stay-at-home parents or not. Term life insurance is designed to cover your major debts and obligations until it's no longer needed.
Not every life insurance company will give you the same rates, so it’s important to shop around. "When shopping for insurance, first look at the financial strength of the company and their history," says Innella. "There are very strong companies that have been around a long time that are less likely to have problems paying a death benefit."
Your best bet is to talk to an independent agent who can help you compare quotes from a variety of top rated life insurance companies. Independent agents can also help you customize your policy: adding on a rider, for example.
Although there is no right or wrong amount of life insurance to take out – unless it’s none, of course – there are suggestions.The easiest thing to do is to use our life insurance coverage calculator, which takes into account your mortgage, the age of your child(ren), and other major debts and financial factors.
Unfortunately, no one knows when tragedy will strike. But if you’re seeking financial security and stability for your family and want to know that they’re protected if something happens to you, life insurance is your best option.
Stay-at-home parents are providing a valuable service to their family, and that service shouldn’t be taken lightly. Protect yourself today so you can protect your family tomorrow.