For many, Father’s Day presented the opportunity to celebrate dads across the country, but for dads themselves, it’s a good chance to think about how they can make sure that their families are protected, should the worst happen.
It’s not been the easiest year, so it’s no surprise that the idea of planning ahead for any unforeseen events is front of mind for many dads this year.
With 111 children left bereft of a parent every day in the UK – and the average cost of raising a child to the age of 21 estimated to be around £231,713 – it’s easy to see the importance of life insurance. But for many dads, doing something about it can be easier said than done.
Advisers need to be mindful of each person’s individual circumstances when considering which life insurance policy will work best for their client – it could end up being the most crucial decision a dad makes in his life.”
That’s where the role of brokers and advisers comes in. The modern family unit has evolved considerably over the years, which means that no two dads are the same. The right policy will depend on a range of factors such as age, family and employment status.
With so many options available and with everyone’s circumstances individually unique to them, brokers are vital in helping fathers understand which life insurance policy will work best for them, and which will give their family the best financial protection.
Younger vs older dads
Younger fathers are less inclined to take out a life insurance policy than their older counterparts. However, younger dads have the opportunity to capitalise on their low risk to insurers, which equates to lower monthly premiums. In fact, fathers in their twenties or thirties can often lock in super-low premiums for as little as 20p a day, for decades to come.
For advisers, this presents an opportunity to speak to younger clients to raise awareness of the importance and affordability of life insurance.
Of course, it’s also possible for men in their fifties or sixties to become new fathers. While these individuals present a higher risk to insurers and therefore can mean high premiums, there are some insurance options, such as over 50 or whole life plans, that can provide an attractive solution for those in this age bracket.
Both of these options take into account the fact that older fathers will likely have paid off a large proportion of their mortgage by this age and may have reached higher paid positions at work. However, there are some important differences to take account of when considering which products might be better for you.
For example, whole life insurance policies generally pay out a greater assured sum, but individuals will need to answer some medical questions in order to qualify. By contrast, over 50 plans provide a much lower sum – usually up to £25,000 – but don’t require a medical questionnaire.
Dads in employment vs stay-at-home dads
Fathers who are in employment will often receive ‘death in service’ cover. So, for many of these individuals, the perception may be that they and their families are well-protected in the event of their death.
However, these policies generally pay out three times the average annual salary at the time of death, meaning once you account for mortgages, the cost of young children, and other expenses, personal life insurance is still essential.
For those who are self-employed, the situation is a bit more complicated. There are currently around 5 million people in the UK who are self-employed, but given the nature of their employment status, they do not receive this sort of cover, meaning a personal policy is a necessity for this group, rather than a nice to have.
And it’s not just working fathers who need life insurance. It’s a common misconception that stay-at-home dads (and mums) don’t require cover as they don’t earn a salary. But in reality, there are a multitude of unpaid jobs stay-at-home parents undertake every day, all of which need to be considered. From childcare and food shopping to cleaning, cooking and homework tutoring, all of these jobs might well need a paid replacement should the worst happen.
For example, the average cost of full-time childcare is £223.36 a week per child. Without a life insurance pay-out, it would be very hard for most families to meet these costs after the loss of a stay-at-home dad.
Life insurance for single dads
Fathers separated from their children’s mother still have a responsibility for the financial wellbeing of their children. Family living costs, mortgage repayments and childcare costs will all need to be accounted for.
In such cases, individuals may want to consider cancelling joint life insurance taken out with an ex-partner, and instead taking out a new single policy reflective of their changed circumstances. This way, both parties can be sure that their children will be adequately protected if their dad passes away.
Clearly, the role of dads has changed, and as a result, so have their protection needs. With their breadth of knowledge and expertise about life insurance, brokers and advisers have a huge part to play in making sure fathers are adequately protected.
Advisers need to be mindful of each person’s individual circumstances when considering which life insurance policy will work best for their client – it could end up being the most crucial decision a dad makes in his life.