Do I need life insurance now I’m a mum? We speak to an expert to answer all your questions

Life insurance family

by Lorna White |
Published on

When you become a parent, it opens up a whole new and exciting chapter of your life. With so many changes, life insurance is probably not at the top of your to-do list right now, but it’s definitely worth having a good think about if you’re a new mum or dad.

To help you learn more about life insurance, whether or not you actually need it and what the best options are for you and your new family, we’ve got all the expert advice and tips from expert and Go.Compares life insurance spokesperson, Rhys Jones.

What is life insurance and how is it different to life assurance?

Both life insurance and life assurance are insurance policies designed to pay out in the event of the policyholder’s death. They are designed to cover things like mortgage payments, debts and living costs and lessen the financial burden on your loved ones which is why it makes sense to take out life insurance when you have children. Depending on the type of cover you choose, your insurer may provide either a lump sum or regular, recurring payments once a claim is made.

The main difference between the two policy types is to do with duration. While life insurance policies have a fixed term ranging between one and 50 years, life assurance policies will typically cover the policyholder's entire life.

What are the different types of life insurance?

There are two common types of life insurance - term life insurance and mortgage life insurance.

Term life insurance - provides a set amount of cover that doesn’t decrease over time. You decide the level of cover you need as well as how long your insurance policy will last from the outset, and the payout you receive in the event of a claim remains the same throughout.

Mortgage life insurance - also known as decreasing life insurance - is designed to cover debts that change over time, like your mortgage. So, over time, the amount your policy pays out will decrease. The advantage of this type of cover is that it is usually cheaper than other cover types, and could still offer the protection you need. However, it is worth being aware that depending on the policy you choose, your cover may only extend to your mortgage and not to other expenses.

“As well as these two main insurance types, there are more specific options that may be better suited to you - such as joint life policies, over 50s cover, and critical illness cover. It’s important to take the time to compare all your options, as this will help ensure you get the cover you need.

Can you take life insurance out when you are pregnant and do you need to tell your insurer?

Becoming a parent for the first time often prompts people to think about life insurance. You can take out life insurance while pregnant, and you are also not obligated to tell your insurer about your pregnancy if you don’t want to, though talking through the risks and common side effects of pregnancy with your insurer could help you get the right level of cover.

Do new parents need to take life insurance out?

Parents sorting life insurance

Just like taking out family travel insurance, it's better to be safe than sorry. Becoming parents and raising children can be expensive, so if you or someone you rely on financially were to fall ill or pass away it could have a significant impact both emotionally and financially. Life insurance can help give you a safety net to protect you, should the worst happen. So, while there may be hundreds of things on your to-do list as you prepare for a new arrival, we do recommend adding life insurance to the list.

How much life insurance should you take out?

When it comes to choosing your level of cover, you should consider what you need your life cover to pay for. This could include things like mortgage payments, your family's living costs, and funeral expenses. Deciding on these things will help you work out not only how much cover you need but which type of life insurance is right for you. If you aren’t sure where to start, then try using Go.Compare’s life insurance calculator.

How much does life insurance cost?

The cost of your life insurance will depend on a number of factors, including your age, your lifestyle habits and the level of cover you need. The average monthly cost of level term life insurance for someone in their mid-30s is £10.32, while for someone in their mid-40s, it is £16.42.*

*These are based on quotes returned by Go.Compare from Reassured on level-term life insurance policies for a non-smoker, £150k level term life insurance policy over 20 years. Data obtained on 7 June 2024 .

Is there a 'best age' to take out life insurance?

While there isn't a best age to take out a life insurance policy, it's recommended you take out a policy before you reach your mid-30s. Once you have life insurance in place, your premiums are fixed and the cost won't change - so the older you are when you decide to get cover, the higher your premiums could be.

Is joint life insurance cheaper than single?

Joint life insurance can be a cost-effective alternative, as it tends to be cheaper than two single policies. However, it is important to note that a joint life policy will only pay out once, meaning the surviving partner will receive the payout but will then be without cover.

How many life insurance policies can you have?

While there isn't a limit to how many life insurance policies you can have, it can be expensive to maintain multiple premiums on policies you don't really need. However, in the event that your requirements change and your policy can't be amended to meet your new requirements, then taking out an additional policy could be worth considering.

Can you get a mortgage without life insurance?

While it’s possible to get a mortgage agreement without life insurance, most lenders and mortgage advisers will strongly advise against this. This is because the financial security life insurance offers isn’t just a benefit for the policy holder and their family - it also helps ensure that the mortgage lender will continue to receive payments in the event the mortgage holder passes away.

About the expert

Rhys Jones expert

Rhys Jones, insurance expert at Go.Compare, has worked within the financial services for ten years. He is a qualified mortgage advisor and a member of the Chartered Management Insitute - working with Go.Compare he is surrounded by information and regularly reads publications like Money Week to stay up to date. His top money-saving tip is to shop around to know you are getting the best deal and always see if there are any extra vouchers you can use.

Lorna White is the Senior Digital Writer for Mother&Baby. After running the Yours magazine website, specialising in content about caring for kids and grandchildren, Lorna brought her expertise to Mother&Baby in 2020. She has a keen interest in a range of topics from potty training and nutrition to baby names and early development and has a wide range of experienced medical experts and professionals at her fingertips. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her two young sisters, dog walking and enjoying the outdoors with her family.

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