Life Insurance for Stay-at-Home Parents

Dad juggling 3 kids

If you never thought a stay-at-home parent needed life insurance, you might want to think again.

That’s because in addition to being full-time caregivers, stay-at-home parents are often also cooks, housekeepers, tutors, psychologists, chauffeurs, nurses and more. That’s a lot of responsibilities that often demands life insurance protection.

One person who does all of the above and more is Beth Schiedel, mom of Zita, 3, and Audrey, 1. She says there’s a big difference between her current job and her former job as a research assistant. “This job invades every aspect of your life,” she says. “There are no sick days or holidays. Being a stay-at-home mom is a marathon, while working was a sprint from 9 to 5.”

Though most stay-at-home parents are mothers like Beth, this isn’t always the case anymore. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in five primary caregivers for preschool age children is a man. Recent economic trends that saw big layoffs in traditionally male sectors such as construction, finance and manufacturing only ushered along that trend.

Regardless of whether it’s a mom or a dad, stay-at-home parents add to a family’s bottom line in a big way. According to, stay-at-home parents work an average of 94.7 hours per week and contribute a salary of $112,962 to the family.

Another cost stay-at-home parents often assume is caring for elderly relatives as well as young children. Pew Research reports that one in seven adults falls into this “sandwich generation.”

This list makes it easier to see the hole a stay-at-home parent’s premature passing would present. In addition to footing the bill for the mortgage, car and credit card and funding any college and retirement funds, the surviving spouse will likely need to pay for more childcare, buy more prepared meals and hire more household help.

“If there’s no money, there are no options,” says Greg Wieser, ERIE’s director of Strategic Marketing. “A family might have to split up, look at nursing homes if there are elderly relatives in the picture, sell possessions, drastically cut expenses and/or move to a less expensive house in a different school district. These are painful realities to confront during an already trying time.”

Luckily, even a small amount of life insurance can help in these sorts of situations—so no excuses about not being able to buy a big policy.

“That’s like saying I want the $60,000 Cadillac, but since I can’t afford it, I’ll walk,” Wieser says. “Just like a car, with life insurance you buy what you can afford. Some coverage is better than no coverage. An ERIE LifeSense℠ policy is a fantastic option for a first policy.” (See below to learn more about this easy, affordable coverage.)

So now that you know a stay-at-home parent needs coverage, how do you figure out how much is needed for how long? Start simple by considering the four L.I.F.E. questions:

Liabilities. What’s your total debt?
Income. What will your income needs be—and how long do you need that income?
Funeral. Figure $8,000 for a very simple service.
Education. How much do you want to contribute toward your children’s education?

While no policy can replace a parent, it can help your family in a big way if the unthinkable happens. Your ERIE Agent can help you get an accurate picture of your family’s needs and which coverage would work best.

Easy, affordable life insurance for stay-at-home parents

A term life policy that provides coverage for a set number of years is usually the best bet for stay-at-home parents. That’s because it’s ideal for handling expenses during the high-cost childrearing years in a more cost-effective way than a whole life policy.

A great term life option for stay-at-home parents is ERIE LifeSense℠, a new product that lets you easily and affordably get $90,000 worth of term life coverage – without a medical exam.*

For instance, a 40-year old, nonsmoking stay-at-home dad can get a $25,000 five-year ERIE LifeSense℠ policy for only $10.14 per month. A 10-year policy is just a dime more – $10.24 a month. (Nice to know a dime can still buy you something, right?)

Applying for an ERIE LifeSense℠ policy is easy. Instead of a physical exam, there’s just a simple application that asks a few medical questions. All told, most people can get approval in as little as 15 minutes.

To learn more about this and other term life options, make sure to contact your ERIE insurance Agent.

ERIE® life insurance products and services are provided by Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home office: Erie, Pennsylvania) and are not available in New York. Additional terms, conditions, exclusions, licensure and territory information are available at The insurance products and rates described in this letter are in effect as of July 2013 and may be changed at any time. Eligibility for insurance coverage will be determined at the time of application, based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

*Issuance of policy is dependent on answers to medical questions.

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