Does Mom have enough insurance?

By Helena Smeenk Pritchard | January 24, 2012 | Last updated on January 24, 2012
3 min read

Most stay-at-home Moms don’t have nearly enough life insurance coverage. What is enough? Because every family is different there is no definitive answer. It all depends upon the age of the children, the family’s values and life style.

But consider this. The premature death of “Mommy” with young, preschool children may require the widower to hire a full time Nanny which can easily cost $40,000 per year in Canada, although live in situations can be somewhat more cost effective. However if daycare is the answer, that’s about $8,000 to $10,000, per child, per year, with the cost for babies and toddlers being higher than for pre-school aged children.

Outsourcing other duties adds up quickly as well. While cleaning service prices vary depending on a myriad of variables, a weekly cleaning can easily cost over $5,000 per year. But cleaning services typically only clean—they don’t usually do any tidying up (how would they know where things go?) or dishes or load and empty the dishwasher, etc.

A housekeeper might be needed to do those tasks along with changing bed linens, doing the laundry, and some meal preparation. Did you know that a one-day-a-week housekeeper can also easily cost $5,000 per year?

Will a grieving widower with two or three kids want to spend Friday nights or Saturday or Sunday mornings doing the weekly grocery shopping? He will if he has to—but then does he take the kids with him or does he need to hire a babysitter? Outsourcing that job would be a welcome relief for most.

Buying goods and services online is a solution to the time and energy and babysitter issue, but then costs go up because the sales and specials are missed.

While Daddy might be expert at barbecuing, what about school day lunches? Daily cash allowances for cafeteria food, or the closest fast food place is often the answer. Then drive-through and home delivery pizza become convenient, but costly, dinner time options.

Do you know any Moms who do home maintenance jobs like painting and wall papering, planting and tending gardens, cutting the lawn, washing windows etc? Outsourcing those jobs likely costs between $15 and $40 per hour.

Is it any wonder that 50% of Canadian parents of children under age 18 believe their life insurance coverage is inadequate? Yet we know:

  • Women have a higher value for life insurance than men
  • Women still undervalue themselves and their familial contribution
  • Women love to talk about what’s important to them—more often than not that’s their families

So your job is simple: ask women questions that will help you to understand what’s important to them. What do they want for their families? Help them to realistically quantify the value of their contributions and help them to see what their children and husband’s situation will be in the event of their premature death—with and without the right amount of life insurance.

Helena Smeenk Pritchard has over 36 years of experience in the insurance industry and is the Principal of Helena Smeenk Pritchard & Associates, a leader in “Insurance Know-How” training. Helena publishes a weekly free ‘Did You Know’ newsletter on her site.

Helena Smeenk Pritchard