How much are mum and dad really worth

As a parent, you want to provide the best for your children and plan for their future.  As we all know raising a child/children is expensive, in the last two years the average cost of raising a child has increased by 15% from £133,848 in 2011 to £154,414 in 2013*.  This means the average weekly cost of raising a child is £165.  

Losing a parent turns a family’s life upside down.  If you do not have life cover the trauma can go further than you imagined.  Children thrive on stability so the last thing a family needs is to have their routine upset due to financial hardships.  Arranging life cover means that you will leave your family with the financial security to be able to afford all the everyday things they are used to.  If you do not, your family may have to move house, change schools, etc.

What is the value of a parent?

When considering levels of cover for life assurance policies, the main basis of calculation is income.  However, in addition to this, parents carry out unpaid domestic work which they do not take into account, for example spending time with their children, cooking and preparing meals, washing/ironing clothes, cleaning, driving to activities, other household tasks, are to name but a few.  The following graphs demonstrate the value of a parent:


New Mums/ Mums to be

Hours per week7153.572.5
Cost per year£31,627£23,971£32,655


Perceived value of a parent:


Perceived Worth

Actual Worth


Mums £15,548£31,627£16,079
Dads               £15,496£23,971£8,475


As the above demonstrates, parents massively underestimate the value of the unpaid work they carry out in their home.  The value of a mum’s domestic work is more than double the estimate, and for the dad’s there is a difference of 55% between the work that parents think they carry out and the actual amount.  Many parents we speak to think that the parent earning the most money is the main person who should be considered when effecting life assurance, however the ‘stay at home’ parent is very expensive to replace and therefore life assurance should be considered for both parents. 

Most people’s priority when they have children is ensuring that they can provide the best possible future for their children, yet most parents do not consider effecting life assurance arrangements to ensure that their children are provided for in the event of a parent’s death. 

Cost is often highlighted as a reason not to effect life assurance, but the costs are often low - see the example of the cost of a life assurance policy below.

A joint life assurance policy, for a sum assured of £150,000, payable on first death, could cost under £20 per month.**

Interestingly most people consider insuring their pets as a higher priority than insuring their family.***

In order to provide for your children’s future, arranging family insurance protection and making a will should be part of your financial planning process.

Our team of independent financial advisers can assess your life assurance requirements and as part of the process would also recommend that a will is in place.  Less than 31% of parents have a will and for new or expectant mums this is even lower at 16%.  Of those parents who do not have a will 52% said the reason was simply that they hadn’t got round to it.

If you would like to discuss life assurance arrangements for your family or making a will, please contact Nicola Ward, one of our independent financial advisers.


*Source Legal & General ‘Value of a Parent’ 2013 research
**Avelo Comparison Service, Legal & General quote August 2013; quote based on joint life first death, non-smokers, both aged 36 next birthday, 25 year term, increasing lump sum in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) £150,000 for £18.22 per month
February 2012

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.