Should a stay at home mom or dad be insured?

Just because an adult family member isn't working outside the home doesn't mean they should skip life insurance coverage.

A dad working at a kitchen table while kids eat and the mom is in the background.

Stay at home parent

My spouse and I have decided that one of us will take a few years off of full-time employment when we have children. We know that the working spouse definitely needs life insurance. But as for getting life insurance on your spouse who doesn't work: Is it worth it?

In a word, yes. Here's why. Generally, when people start to think about how much life insurance they need, they use an income-based rule of thumb, such as multiplying their annual income by 10. That often means they don't think a stay at home mom or dad needs life insurance because there's no income to replace. However, that assumption is a common misunderstanding about the goal of life insurance. Life insurance is not meant just to replace lost income, it protects your family against financial hardship.

Why insure a stay at home spouse?

Many stay-at-home spouses take the lead in caring for young children, cooking meals, cleaning the house and running errands, among other tasks. If these caregivers were suddenly gone, their working spouses would likely need time to grieve and to help their children deal with the loss of a parent. In addition, they may eventually need to hire someone else to do many of the tasks the non-working spouse was in charge of, creating a significant financial burden. Consider childcare alone: The average cost for a nanny in 2020 is $15/hour or $600 per week — over $31,000 over the course of a year. Multiply that expense over several years and it's clear why stay-at-home spouses need their own coverage.

How much life insurance does the stay at home spouse need?

Determining life insurance needs even for someone with an income is an inexact science, and that really rings true for a non-earning spouse. There are several important factors to consider when thinking about how much life insurance protection is right for the stay-at-home spouse in your family. Your coverage amount will be influenced by factors such as the number of children in your family, the age of your children, the cost of living in your geographic area, the salary of the breadwinner, final expenses and how long you want life insurance coverage to continue. By talking through these topics with a State Farm® agent you will gain valuable insight and information to help you determine the coverage amount that's right for you. You can use our Calculate My Life tool to help you decide how much life insurance you need.

Get a quote for term life insurance – if you are interested in additional life products, please contact a State Farm agent.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

State Farm Life Insurance Company (Not licensed in MA, NY or WI)
State Farm Life and Accident Assurance Company (Licensed in NY and WI)
Bloomington, IL

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