From the Learning Center

5 Reasons Why Stay-At-Home Parents May Need Life Insurance

By the Bestow Team·September 29, 2021·6 Minute Read

In this Article

These days, many news outlets constantly discuss the continuing rise of two-income households where both parents work, leaving the children in daycare or with extended family. But, in reality, recent years have seen an increase in the number of parents who stay home to take care of their children — one in five parents in the U.S. are stay-at-home parents

And if you are a stay-at-home mom or dad, you contribute significantly to your family. . You have to do a lot of work to take care of the kids and keep the household running. The median value of the work of a stay-at-home spouse is over $170,000 (and that stat was pulled in 2019, before inflation). 

So, if you’re a stay-at-home spouse wondering whether or not you need life insurance, the answer might actually be a resounding yes. Your contribution to your family is valuable.

Can you get life insurance for a stay-at-home mom? If you’re a stay-at-home spouse wondering whether or not you need life insurance, the answer might actually be a resounding yes. 

Your kids, surviving spouse, or surviving parent would likely feel the financial effects of losing you. Buying life insurance, however, may help lighten that burden if you were to pass away — and knowing that can give you some peace of mind. You and your partner may also consider a joint life insurance policy.

What Stay-At-Home Parent Duties Life Insurance Can Cover 

Life insurance doesn’t have to stop at annual income replacement for working spouses. Think about all the things you do in one 24-hour period as a stay-at-home parent. With the right amount of coverage, you can leave behind a benefit that could help keep your family afloat in the event of your passing. 

Think about all the costs that you could incur if a stay-at-home-parent were to pass away:

  • Daycare costs
  • Food & meal preparation
  • Household chores
  • Transportation
  • Education expenses

1. Daycare Costs

While it’s true that stay-at-home parents might not bring in much income, you do cover a major expense in the family’s budget: childcare.

The cost of child care in the U.S. ranges from $5,436 to $24,243 annually, a significant amount for most American families. 

2. Grocery Shopping and Meal Preparation

After childcare, grocery shopping and cooking can be one of the most valuable things a stay-at-home parent contributes to the household. Though eating at home is typically less expensive than eating out, the rising cost of groceries is concerning for most families.

The payout from a life insurance policy could help cover the costs of food, grocery delivery, or a meal prep service.

3. Hiring Help to Keep the House Running

Homemakers tend to do more than just care for children, even though that’s a full-time job in and of itself. Most stay-at-home parents do things like laundry, house cleaning, running errands, scheduling, and more. 

Think about what would happen if you were to pass away today: Your spouse and children would have a lot to deal with, both emotionally and logistically. Not only that, your family will need a lot of help while they grieve, keeping up the day-to-day running of the home they are now responsible for.

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4. Transportation 

Being the only guardian for a while may make it harder to coordinate pick-ups and drop-offs with kids going to school, extracurriculars, lessons, friends’ houses, and more. 

An insurance payout can allow your family to hire help to ensure your passing does not impact your children’s ability to sign up for sports, music lessons, and other activities.

5. Education Expenses

Whether you are helping with homework or more formal homeschooling, supporting a child’s education is another stay-at-home parent responsibility that carries real value. A life insurance payout can help cover the cost of tutors, after-school programs, or K-12 education. 

Moreover, with extra costs for childcare and hired household help, the idea of paying college tuition in a single-earner household can be incredibly daunting. However, the right coverage could help ease the burden of tuition costs if you were to pass away.

What Type Of Life Insurance Policy Should Stay-At-Home Parents Get?

There are many insurance options, and choosing what’s best for your family’s needs is a very personal decision. The two most common types of life insurance are term life insurance and whole life insurance, a type of permanent life insurance. Term insurance policies cover for a set amount of time, usually ten, twenty, or thirty years, while whole life insurance policies can cover you for your entire life. 

Term Life Insurance 

Because term life insurance is active for a set amount of time, it is typically one of the most affordable policies to get. For young parents just starting their families, term life can be an affordable way to help protect your family’s future financial stability.

Moreover, term life insurance may be all you need. For example, buying a term life policy with a 20 or 30-year term could cover you until your children are able to provide for themselves. 

​Whole Life Insurance 

​Whole life insurance features a cash value component and a guaranteed death benefit (as long as premium payments were made throughout the policy). Because of the cash value and death benefit that can be guaranteed for your entire life, whole life insurance is more expensive than term insurance. 

How To Determine The Right Amount Of Life Insurance Coverage For Stay-At-Home Parents

Some things to consider: 

  • How many children you have – you may want to pick a policy that will cover the cost of raising your children until they no longer need care. So, the bigger the family, the bigger you may want your policy to be. 
  • Whether or not you plan to return to work – if you only plan to be a stay-at-home parent for a couple of years before returning to work, make sure to factor in the wages your family will forgo if you pass. 
  • How old are your kids? How far are they from financial independence? – the younger your kids are, the further away they are from financial independence. That means it could cost a bit more to help set them up for some financial stability should you pass away.
  • The cash value of your stay-at-home duties – the cash value of your stay-at-home responsibilities can vary from state to state (and household to household, depending on what’s involved). It may be a good idea to roughly calculate how much it would cost to replace you at home. Consider childcare, cooking, household chores, transportation, education costs, and other relevant expenses.  

You can opt for just enough to cover end-of-life and burial costs, somewhere in the middle to keep your family comfortable for a few years, or even choose to leave behind part of your death benefit to pay for future expenses, like college tuition. 

Of course, your coverage amount is a personal decision that only you and your family can make. However, if you need a little help, an insurance agent or life insurance needs calculator can help you figure out how much life insurance would be suitable for your situation. 

Buying Life Insurance For A Stay-At-Home Parent

Stay-at-home moms and dads have an incredibly challenging (and rewarding) job. You can help protect what you and your loved ones have built with a life insurance policy and rest easier knowing your family’s financial future has a little coverage.

Are you a stay-at-home parent looking for life insurance? With Bestow, you can apply for affordable term life coverage in minutes, no medical exam required. Rates start from just $11/per month. Get your free, personalized life insurance quote now (in seconds). 

Key Takeaways

  • Stay-at-home parents bring incredible value to their family that should be factored in when determining how much coverage you need.  
  • A parent who stays home likely reduces their family’s daycare, housekeeping, food, and transportation costs.
  • Life insurance can help cover the costs that a surviving parent might face if a stay-at-home parent were to pass away.