Welcoming your first child changes everything, from social activities and date night, to the family budget. While every parent handles a happy new addition differently, one sentiment prevails: Parents will do nearly anything to support their children, now and into the future.
Raising a child through age 17 in the United States costs an estimated $233,610,1 according to the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. And that’s not including higher education costs, a mortgage and other household expenses.
In contrast with this hefty responsibility, 38 percent2 of parents have only employer-provided life insurance, which typically covers just one to two times their annual salary. For stay-at-home parents, there is also a need for coverage, as child care alone can cost up to $17,0003 per year.
By purchasing an individual life insurance policy, you are helping to protect your family’s financial future – and giving yourself financial reassurance.
Crunching the numbers
Every family has expenses that continue to grow along with the household. After the birth of a child, many parents commit to saving a certain amount each year for tuition or an endowment for their child’s future.
“If something were to happen before you can fulfill that savings plan, a life insurance policy can help get it done, providing that peace of mind,” says Frank Muscat, assistant vice president at Amica Life. “And it can be done for just $1, $2 or $3 a day,” depending on your age, health and the amount you need.
Families with a stay-at-home parent need to consider the cost of filling that role, which includes more than just child care and household responsibilities. A recent survey from Salary.com4 estimates the financial value of a stay-at-home parent at $143,000 a year.
“If something were to happen before you can fulfill that savings plan, a life insurance policy can help get it done, providing that peace of mind.” – Frank Muscat, assistant vice president at Amica Life
Life insurance benefits can also help cover mortgage costs, credit card, student loan or medical debt, funeral costs, and everyday expenses. During the emotionally stressful time following a loss, life insurance can alleviate much of the anxiety a family might have about their financial future.
Every family has its own life insurance needs, depending on savings, debt and current and future expenses. If you determine you need more coverage than you can currently afford, Muscat recommends starting with a policy within your budget.
“As time goes on, you can always add to that coverage,” he says.
After you determine how much coverage you need, the next decision is the type of policy (or mix of policies).
If you aren’t sure which type of policy is best for your family’s needs, an Amica Life insurance specialist can guide you through this process. It might make sense to have a combination of policies, because your life insurance needs may change over time as your children grow up and become more independent, Muscat points out.
“Your mortgage won’t always be what it is now, and your kids will graduate from college someday,” he says. “You can work with your representative to determine what makes sense” for the long run. But when it comes to protecting your new baby, “the most important part is getting the coverage in place.”
Read our helpful life insurance guide for tips and answers to common life insurance questions when welcoming a child.
1 Expenditures on Children by Families, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 2015.
2 2016 Amica Life Financial Peace of Mind Survey, 2016.
3 Parents and the High Cost of Child Care, Child Care Aware® of America, 2015.
4 2016 Stay-at-Home Mom Salary, Salary.com, 2016.
ALIC34818 (exp. 12/19)