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Life insurance for mums

Your children are precious and you want to do your best for them, you worry about them when they're tiny and that doesn't change as they get older. Your everyday life is so busy that you're probably not thinking about the future, especially not about what will happen to your children when you're not around anymore. However, if the worst should happen will your children be financially protected? We plan so much for our family but one thing that is commonly overlooked is financial protection.

Nobody likes to think about dying, but consider how your family would cope if you were no longer around. Research by Scottish Widows found that fewer than three in ten of those who look after children or other family have life insurance, which equates to 28% of parents having no life insurance at all. In the event of that Carers death their family will not only be grieving but will also be beset by money worries. If you have life cover you're lessening their monetary burden even as their life changes with the loss of a parent. If you arrange financial protection you are continuing to protect your kids' futures.

Stay covered with life insurance for mums, a woman with two children

Why do mums need life insurance?

If you are a working mum it is vital to consider what the outcome for your family would be if your salary were lost. The biggest expense for most families is the mortgage and life insurance can make sure that in the event of something happening to you it would be paid off plus a sum left over for day to day expenses.

Stay-at-home mums definitely need life insurance too, if you were to add up all the jobs you do at home you'd see that to replace you would be pretty expensive. Legal & General calculates that it would cost around £30,000 a year to pay for the work a stay at home mum does, so don't underestimate your value. If the parent that provides childcare were to pass away the impact on your family would be huge both practically and financially. It may be that your partner would have to reduce their working hours to care for the children or that expensive childcare would have to be funded. Life insurance can either pay your loved ones as regular payments or in the form of a lump sum depending on how it is set up.

Isn't life insurance expensive?

Life insurance for mums can be very cost effective and depending on the policy you choose can cost you only a few pence per day. It's best to take out life insurance cover as soon as you can, as the younger and healthier you are when you take cover out, the cheaper your life insurance premiums are likely to be. The monthly premium payments that you make can vary from provider to provider so it's definitely worth comparing what each company has to offer and checking exactly what is covered.

Obviously if you have additional risk factors such as being a smoker or having any diagnosed conditions they will also be taken into account when calculating the premium, alongside your age, lifestyle and the amount of money you're looking to cover.

There are two main types of life insurance, known as 'Whole of Life Insurance' and 'Term Life Insurance'. The former does as the name suggests and runs for your entire life, paying out whenever you die as long as you are still paying your premiums. The Term Life Insurance policy will only run for a specified period of time, usually 5, 10 or 25 years. The way these policies work is that they will only pay out if you die during the fixed period of the policy, neither is there a lump sum payable at the end of the term. You could fix the term to the age at which you expect your children to become financially independent or finish an apprenticeship or a university degree.

How much insurance cover do I need?

Working out how much life insurance cover you need to take out can be tricky but as a general rule, think about your current lifestyle costs and any debts you might have. First consider your mortgage, if you're taking out a policy with a decreasing term in order to cover your mortgage only, the cover should match your remaining mortgage balance. However if you are doing as most mums do and also covering the current and future living costs of the family, you need to take into account expenses as a result of your death, such as childcare, as well as your current outgoings.

Your outgoings at the moment are things like: mortgage or rent payments, groceries, clothing, after school activities that your kids do and hobbies that the adults in the household take part in, monthly energy bills including gas, electricity, water, and council tax. Expenses resulting from your death could include; funeral costs, the loss or reduction in the remaining parent's income due to reduced working hours, and extra childcare costs. It is also wise to factor in inflation to the payout amount you need, especially if you children are still young as their future living costs may rise significantly.

Will life insurance also cover me if I fall ill?

Whilst you're doing your future financial planning you may also want to consider buying a Critical and Terminal Illness policy. In the UK you are far more likely to suffer from a serious illness before the age of 65 than die. Although some life insurance policies also include terminal illness cover as standard they can also be bought as stand alone extra cover and can provide insurance protection for mums in the shape of support for your family if you were to fall ill.

If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness covered under your policy and are given 12 months or less to live, you would be eligible for an pay out. The critical illness part of the cover would pay out if you were to be diagnosed by any non-terminal illness covered, for example if you suffer cancer, heart attack or a stroke, and even if you recover you wouldn't be required to pay the money back.

In summary life insurance for mums is an important consideration and you should be shopping around to make sure the policy you choose fits your needs. By using our comparison tool you can look at some of the UK's biggest insurance companies to see what they offer for the best protection possible for your family.

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