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Stay-at-home mums do almost £30k of unpaid work a year yet two thirds do not have life insurance

Posted on 14 December 2016

When it comes to life insurance, most families think about household income, but what about the value of whoever stays at home to look after the kids?

New research from leading life insurance provider SunLife has found that on average, mums are worth £26,241 a year to the family thanks to all the unpaid work they do, rising to £29,812 for stay at home mums.

But more than two in five mums don’t have life insurance, and this rises to almost two thirds for stay at home mums, and this is worrying, says SunLife Protection Director Mark Jones:

“If you work part time or you’re a stay-at-home parent and don’t earn a salary, it’s easy to think you don’t need life insurance. But the fact is, if something happened to you, your partner may have to reduce their working hours to look after your children, or pay someone else to do all the roles you do – and that’s not cheap.”

A mum’s worth

SunLife’s research shows that on average, mums spend more than two days (48 hours 24 minutes) cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, being a taxi driver first aider, doing homework and generally tending to the needs of their children. And when you work out what it would cost to employ someone to do these tasks, using the average salaries for the jobs these are most like (teacher, cleaner, taxi driver etc) the value is £26,241.

Chef Cleaner Laundry Nurse Taxi Teacher Childcare TOTAL
Hours 7.7 7.7 4.3 4.6 3.7 4.2 16.3 48.4
Salary £2,931 £2,948 £1,543 £2,495 £1,614 £5,963 £8,747 £26,241

For a stay at home mum, the tally reaches 56 hours and 36 minutes, which puts the value at almost £30,000 (£29, 812). Mark continues: “A stay-at-home mum or dad makes a huge contribution, and any family would be affected both practically and financially if you passed away unexpectedly.”

Not enough cover?

Those that do have life insurance have £120,437 on average, dropping to £106,152 for stay at home mums. And while this would cover the average outstanding mortgage of £85,000 and average household debt of £8,0001, it doesn’t take into account the average household spending of £5312 a week and does not consider university fees (£27,000)3 or pre paying for a funeral (£3,897)4. And of course, it does not factor in the average ‘mum value’ of £26,241.

Mum-with-her-two-children

Next steps

Our calculator value of mum can help you work out what you are worth, then our life insurance calculator can help you work out the cover you need.

Mark concludes: “It is common for parents with a young family to choose term life insurance, as it means you can get cover during the time your little ones rely on you most. For example, you could choose a 10, 15 or even 20-year term that covers you until your children can stand on their own two feet.

"Of course, replacing a parent is impossible, but a pay-out could help to cover some of your family’s day-to-day costs and take some of the emotional, practical and financial stress out of a terrible situation.”

Find out more about life insurance.

Sources

1. Average outstanding mortgage £85,000, average unsecured household debt £8,000. Source: Bank of England

2. UK households spend £531/week on average which is £27,627 per year or £2302.30/month. Source: Office for National Statistics

3 University fees are currently £9,000 a year. Source: gov.uk

4. The average funeral costs £3,897. Source: SunLife Cost of Dying report 2016

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). 

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.