Do You Have Life Insurance for a Stay at Home Parent?

by Miranda Marquit

One of the ways you can protect your assets is through insurance. While you don’t need all types of insurance, there are some types of insurance that you need. One of those types of insurance is life insurance.

Of course, life insurance is meant to protect your family. It seems obvious that you need life insurance if you are the primary breadwinner. The life insurance will help your family pay for their financial needs if something happens to you.

But what about life insurance coverage on a stay at home partner?

Life Insurance and a Stay at Home Parent

stay at home mom life insurance

Stay at home moms need life insurance too!

Life insurance should be part of your comprehensive financial plan, and that includes life insurance for your stay at home partner. Another type of life insurance cover that we are asked about commonly is Mortgage Life Insurance, check out our post on the pros and cons of Mortgage Life Insurance Coverage.

At first, it may not seem as though your someone who stays at home most of the time, or has a part-time job, needs to be covered with a life insurance policy. However, it’s important to consider the value of the services that someone who stays home provides. Some of the things that a stay at home partner might take care of include:

  • Bulk of the cleaning
  • Significant amount of the cooking
  • Child care
  • Running most of the errands

We rarely think to put a monetary value on the things that a stay at home partner might do. However, the things that a stay at home parent does are hard to replace, especially if  you need to hire someone to take care of some of the “chores” that your stay at home partner takes care of.

Consider the possible costs involved, as well as the idea that you might decide to cut back on the hours that you work in order to be at home more if your partner passes on. While you might not pay for the same coverage amount on a stay at home partner, it is still important that you consider the possibility (no matter how unpleasant) that your partner might pass on, and leave you with various expenses that you didn’t expect. Life insurance coverage can help offset those costs.

The life insurance coverage can also help you cover expenses that are expected in the event of a death, such as funeral costs, and time you might take off work in order to grieve and re-order your affairs.

What about Other Employment Situations?

It’s always a good idea to consider what you might do if something happens to your partner, no matter his or her employment situation. Even though I’m the primary breadwinner, and I do it from home, we still have a life insurance policy on my husband. What he makes isn’t a huge amount of money, but it’s still enough that we would miss it if he were gone.

Whether it’s a side hustle, a part-time job, or some other circumstance, it makes sense to consider the possibility that the income needs to be replaced. And, even if your partner doesn’t have what society considers a “job,” he or she does provide great value in the household. Really think about that value, and make sure that the life insurance coverage you have for your partner is adequate.

Published or updated August 18, 2016.
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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kevin @ Ask For Benefits

A stay at home parent is far more likely to encounter a disability than die early. Life insurance is important for the reasons stated in the article, but if a parent is unable to care for the family because of a non fatal accident or illness the impact can be even greater as there may be ongoing medical expenses.

But you can’t buy disability insurance for someone who is not working out of the home. So what do you do? There are supplemental policies that the other spouse can buy at work that covers accidents and illnesses. If another child is a possibility buying hospital indemnity makes a lot of sense.


2 Marie at FamilyMoneyValues

I agree with the need, but wouldn’t overbuy on the protection. Definitely cover the cost of the things done by the stay at home IF the surviving partner wouldn’t be able to take them on – but if the surviving partner is able to keep up the cleaning, for example, there is no reason to buy enough insurance to hire a housecleaner for years.


3 Derek - Freeat33

Just don’t allow “Insurance” to be replaced with “Jackpot”. Sometimes people insure so much because they think it will take a million dollars to replace them. My wife needs $600 / wk to feed my family of five. If I pass I imagine those costs would reduce as I eat a lot and also spend. If I insure for $700,000 she would have too much.


4 Ryan Guina

Derek, There is more to deciding how much insurance to buy than just looking at immediate financial needs. It’s a good idea to look at how much the other party is contributing to running the household in terms of financial contributions, how much work they do around the house or with the children, etc. It’s also a good idea to anticipate future costs. Even if your home is paid off, it’s a good idea to plan for other large expenses such as college tuition, car repairs/replacement, etc.


5 Kris

I always thought life insurance was to cover wages, but covering expenses could also be considered. I just wouldn’t buy too much, and carefully consider what the expenses would be so you get just enough.


6 Pam


I used to sell life insurance, so I do understand the importance of having it for both parents. One thing I know is that you need life insurance for a stay at home parent because if they where to die, then it would make going back to work anytime soon very difficult for the other parent.



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