The Short Answer is Likely Yes. Read why we think life insurance for a both spouses can be critical.
In a partnership, duties are often relegated to a specific person. You'll do the cooking as long as they do the dishes. They'll drive the kids to school if you'll pick them up after. You'll go to work while they manage the house. None of these are great revelations; likely they are part of you and your spouse's life routine. And if we asked you whose half of the work was more important, you'd probably respond that both are equally crucial.
Many of us feel that neither ours nor our spouse's duties are dispensable or easily replicated - that's why it's called partnership. Despite that fact, on average, life insurance for stay at home spouses is rare. Generally, stay at home moms and dads will rely simply on their spouse's group or individual life insurance policy.
Perhaps the reason for this is that the conversation around buying life insurance generally centers on assets and net worth. Insurance agents want to know how much money you make, what your investments look like and what assets you have. These questions about how much life insurance do you need, though critical to the process, don't capture the full picture.
Let's Reframe Life Insurance to Include Value, Not Just Money
Stay at home spouses provide a value to the household that can barely be quantified (even though some have tried). However, since the work these spouses do to keep households running isn't defined by a number, but rather a feeling, it's often left out of the life insurance conversation. Insurers, and thus policyholders, think in terms of replacing the money we'd lose not the quality of life we'd be left without. Here are a few reasons we think both spouses need life insurance, regardless of whether one stays at home or both work.
You Manage the Household
For stay-at-home moms or spouses, you should consider the value of all that you do in the home. Childcare costs, housekeeping fees and other expenses should be taken into consideration when deciding whether you should buy life insurance for yourself and how much coverage you would need. It's important to remember that just because you aren't earning a salary doesn't mean you don't still provide a quantifiable monetary value to the family.
You Support the Household and Work a Job
In addition to the income they bringing in through your job, both spouses also likely provide additional tangible benefits to the family through the work they do in the home. Even if you only provide a secondary income, consider what household duties would go un-managed, or be difficult for your spouse to maintain, if something were to happen to you. If you're relying on both your salaries and the work you do around the house to make ends meet each month, then a disruption to either of your salaries would likely cause your family financial strife. Have the conversation with your spouse about how life insurance could help protect both of you.
Life Insurance: It's Not Just for Breadwinners!
When deciding to buy life insurance, a lot of people think about protecting the primary breadwinner's income. This makes sense... until you think about the financial impact of losing a spouse, partner, or even a housemate. Very often, a decision to buy life insurance makes sense for them as well. When you are ready to buy life insurance for yourself, consider buying a life insurance policy for other household members for these reasons:
- Buy Life Insurance to Cover Shared Expenses - If a spouse, partner or housemate shares the mortgage or rent and pays a portion of the bills, are you prepared to take on all expenses? The trauma of losing someone can be dramatically worse if you're suddenly faced with moving, losing your home, or shouldering other financial hardships.
- Life Insurance Can Cover "Hidden" Expenses - A financial contribution to the household isn't always cash. The support of a caregiver is often worth its weight in gold! There's also running errands, housekeeping, tutoring homework -- all of these activities can amount to huge expenses if you suddenly have to pay for them. Buying life insurance can prove to be a financial lifesaver. The life insurance rates for your spouse are bound to be a fraction of the cost to hire help.
- Use Life Insurance to Cover Final Expenses - If your spouse dies, do you have the money for final expenses? Final expenses also include any medical bills, which can prove significant, especially if there was an illness. Buying even the most affordable life insurance can go a long way toward resolving these unexpected bills.
- Buy Life Insurance to Pay the Spouse's Debts - If your spouse dies, can you pay off their debts? Auto loans, credit cards, personal loans and other obligations can create an unexpected financial bite.
Whether you're considering life insurance for a stay at home spouse or buying a policy for both partners, you can get started with our free life insurance calculator tool or by requesting a free quote online today.