Here’s the thing with life insurance for moms:
You know you’re supposed to have it, but you probably don’t because you think it is not affordable. Guilt and stress ensue. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Mama, you’re not alone …
A recent survey found that 69% of single-parent households with kids at home are without life insurance, compared with 45% of married-parent families.
Why do moms need life insurance?
Single or not, as a mom you need life insurance. As a mom, you probably think you don’t have time or money for life insurance. Think again!
A lot of single moms see life insurance as an expense, while important, they just can’t afford.
Or, they assume they can’t afford a plan.
I understand why this is — single moms are often poorer than married moms, so there is a sense that there is less to invest in insurance. But something else is going on.
When you feel like you don’t have enough money, it is hard to remember how critically important you are to your kids.
I don’t care how broke you are, single or married, you need life insurance.
Chances are, your kids are financially dependent on you. If something were to happen, even if once Social Security kicks in, your kids would still need more financial support.
Here are my top four picks for where to find the best life insurance plan, Haven Life, Ethos, and Policygenius. They are easy to use, online so you don't have to leave the comfort of your house, and most importantly I trust them to give you the best rates out there.
Life Insurance you can afford as a single mom
I just went through Haven Life’s, life insurance calculator that did a great job of summing up my financial and family situation.
As a general rule, you want to buy enough to pay off debt and support your dependents until they are through college.
One good measure is to multiply your current income by 10 (so if you earn $80,000 per year, you would need to buy $800,000 worth of life insurance).
Sure, having some life insurance is better than having none at all, but if you do a little math, you can figure out how much insurance your kids will need.
How much debt do you have? How much do you make every year? Add these two numbers together. Boom! You have your life insurance number.
Your plan should pay off your debts and replace your income for several years. It’s as easy as that.
Get a life insurance quote
The whole process takes less than 20 minutes.
Luckily, there are plenty of quick and easy ways you can get about a hundred different insurance quotes in a matter of minutes.
Bestow life insurance
Bestow stands out from other life insurance companies in several ways that make it especially appealing to single moms:
Very low premium options
Examples for a healthy 30-year-old non-smoker:
- $3 / month, 2 years, $50,000, 2-year policy
- $12 / months, 2 years, $250,000
- $14/ month, 20 years, $250,000
- $34 / month, 20 years, $1 million
Short-term life insurance options
Maybe you are going through a divorce or breakup, between jobs, or otherwise in a life transition. Signing up for a 30-year anything is too much. Bestow offers terms starting at 2 years. You can't find that many places. (Read: Bestow life insurance review)
No medical exam ever
I couldn't believe this when I heard it. But it's true: Fill out the online life insurance application within about 5 minutes, and if you are approved, you will never have to take a medical exam, lab report, doctor's visit ever.
Perfect if you're a busy mom, woman or human.
Legit life insurance company
Bestow policies are issued by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, which is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best that was founded in 1886.
For as low as $19 per month, you can get up to $1 million in coverage — plus sleep easier knowing you are taking care of your family.
Haven Life, is backed and wholly owned by MassMutual — a top-rated life insurer, which gets a Better Business Bureau A+ Rating.
They offer great online tools like a calculator and quote page, friendly support and highly competitive rates.
Buy term, ladies!
Term life insurance means you pay a flat rate you pay each month or each year for a fixed term — usually 10, 20 or 30 years.
Don’t mess around with whole life insurance — a type of savings/investment policy that is complicated and not typically a very good deal.
Of course you’re looking for a company you can trust.
As a mother, you understand the importance of family.
Ethos really takes a personal approach to life insurance and aims to treat their applicants like the humans they are — not just another number.
They take the time to actually look at their customers and understand their needs and what works for them, and promises to really deliver what you need — and take the pressure of upselling off the table.
Per their website:
“Our #1 priority is you and your family. We put you above our profits.”
Ethos does deliver on its promise to make life insurance transparent and as simple as possible, and wade through the confusing jargon and legal papers.
Nationwide is more than just another big company selling insurance and financial products. They are in the business of problem-solving, and they do it with personalized and friendly service.
You can access online tools, learn about the different types of life insurance, get answers to questions, or receive an online quote in under a minute. But what I really like about Nationwide is that you can talk to a specialist who will answer your questions. Since life insurance is about protecting your family, you want to feel confident, but you may not know all the answers. Nationwide's specialists make sure you get the right coverage.
I partner with Nationwide because they are a trusted brand that has been around for over 90 years, and they are owned by its policyholders (which I love).
If you want to shop around and get additional quotes, check out Policygenius. Policygenius has changed the way people buy life insurance.
Policygenius lets you get quotes from multiple of insurance carriers at once, and compare them side-by-side. They work with most of the top carriers on the market.
One of the advantages of Policygenius is how easy it to compare policies. After you enter your information, Policygenius cranks out a list of quotes in a dynamic format that allows you to adjust your needs, rates and compare policies head-to-head.
Do stay at home moms need life insurance?
What about if you’re a stay-at-home mom? Do you still need life insurance if you don’t have a paycheck?
How do you calculate your insurance needs if you’re a stay-at-home mom?
Take a few minutes and write down the answer to this question:
How much would it cost to replace everything you do?
Should you pass, your kids would need childcare, someone would need to run them to sports and music lessons, you need someone to clean the house, and much more.
Add up those expenses for one year, multiply times 10, and buy that sum of term life insurance.
Yes, you will get a price break if you quit smoking or get your weight down to a healthy number.
But you also pay more with each birthday (the older you are, the more likely you are to bite the big one, after all!).
Plus (have you been listening to me here, ladies?!), you need coverage now.
So just buy it. This is as much for your peace of mind now as it is for your kids later.
Don’t let your policy lapse
If you do, your coverage will be canceled and you have to start the whole application process over — and prices are likely to jump.
Disclosure: I make money from some links in this post.
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.