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 Genworth survey found that 69% of single-parent families with kids at home are without life insurance, compared with 45% of married-parent families.
- Why do moms need life insurance?
- Types of life insurance
- Should I buy term or whole life insurance?
- What is term life insurance?
- How much term life insurance do I need?
- Naming a life insurance beneficiary
- Cheap term life insurance for single moms
- Get a term life insurance quote online
- Other life insurance companies to consider
- Still not sure if you need life insurance?
Bestow's life insurance stands out from other life insurance companies promising cheap term life insurance:
- Very low life insurance prices. Sample Bestow policies for a healthy 30-year-old non-smoker start at $50,000 policy for $8/month (and go up to $1 million).
- Short-term life insurance. Bestow offers terms starting at 10 years.
- No medical or lab exam. Ever.
Why do moms need life insurance? Because life insurance is for your family
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 they just can’t afford.
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 for your family.
Chances are, your children are financially dependent on you. If something were to happen, even if once Social Security kicks in, your family would still need more financial support. Life insurance provides that.
Here are my top picks for where to find the best life insurance plan: Bestow, Haven Life, and Policygenius. Each is 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.
Women need life insurance more than men do, yet we are less likely to be covered.
According to the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association, 56% of women and 62% of men had life insurance coverage in 2016 — down from 57% and 61%, respectively, 6 years prior.
Why is that? According to LIMRA, above, women presume that because men tend to earn more than women, and in homes with kids, the man may be the primary breadwinner, he should be covered. Among millennials — more than 4 in 10 think they wouldn’t qualify anyway — a rate 2X greater than any other age group. (I debunk these myths below, don't worry!).
So why should women and moms prioritize health insurance, no matter their family status, or earning? Read on!
Women live longer than men
This is old news: Women outlive men. This is true in every country in the world. In the United States, male life expectancy was 73.4 years, and 80.1 years for females — a difference of 6.7 years.
Men — including those with young children living at home — die earlier than women. The reasons: more dangerous jobs, higher suicide rates (the reasons are many and complex), higher propensity for risk-taking, that leads to aggressive driving and traffic fatalities, violence and homicide.
Biology means men are more susceptible to fatal disease, while also less likely than women to seek out medical care.
Women are more likely to be primary custodian/parent to children
When fathers die, their wives, partners and exes are then left fully responsible for the care of any children or other dependents. Because of divorce and separation, 27 percent of fathers live away from their children's primary residence, a recent Pew study found. In military families, fathers are more likely than mothers to be deployed. Fathers are more likely to be incarcerated than mothers.
In all of the scenarios, mothers are not only the primary caregiver to the children, statistically, they are also the primary financial provider, too. Even in cases where child support is mandated by courts, less than 40 percent is actually received by the custodial parent, and the average sum last year was less than $400.
In other words: While we may be working on more equality between moms and dads (both in terms of financial and logistical care of kids), today the fact remains: If you are a mom, you are likely to be primarily, if not solely, responsible for your kids. A full financial plan includes life insurance.
Women are more likely to be the caregiver to aging or sick loved one
Historically, and around the world, women have taken on the role of caregiver of aging and ill adults in the family.
The number of men taking on this role in the United States has risen dramatically in recent years, but the fact remains: Women still care for the dependent more than men.
Women may soon be more likely to be the breadwinner in married families
While women are the breadwinners by a landslide in single-parent families, this may soon also be the norm in families with partnered parents.
A full quarter of wives in heterosexual marriages make more than their husbands. This figure has been on the rise for decades — and is expected to continue to climb as women gain more power in the workforce and government, and men continue to struggle with unemployment at a higher rate.
Do I need life insurance if I'm a full-time stay-at-home mom?
Quick answer: Yes! Stay-at-home moms need life insurance.
Women often mistakenly believe that life insurance is not for them since they might not have an income today, or their income is low. The reality is that all moms need life insurance until your kids graduate college.
If you are a stay-at-home mom, married to a high earner, your contribution to the family still has a monetary value that would need to be replaced in the event you die. Should you pass, there will be more need for child care, house cleaning, errand running, food preparation, transporting kids, and other tasks that you do that are uncompensated.
No matter your income now, you may one day be a primary breadwinner for your family — even if you continue to enjoy a long marriage.
After all, men are more likely than women to become unemployed (because of various factors, including that recent downsizing trends affect male-dominated industries more). Your partner may also become disabled — temporarily or permanently — fall ill or otherwise be unable to earn.
In all of the scenarios, the family begins to depend on mom's income. These scenarios may happen in the future. But the sooner you buy life insurance, usually the cheaper it is. As you age, develop health issues, perhaps gain weight, then the premiums go up.
Use this calculator to determine how much term life insurance you need:
Life insurance is less expensive for women
Because women are less likely to die than men, life insurance coverage is cheaper for us. That means less excuses not to buy it!
Types of life insurance
Life insurance comes in two main varieties—permanent life insurance and term life insurance.
What is permanent life insurance?
Permanent life insurance is any policy that lasts for your whole life, while term life insurance only lasts for a specific period of time (the term). As long as you make your monthly payments, a permanent life insurance policy is permanent, meaning that whenever you die, your death benefit will be paid to your beneficiary.
Permanent life insurance typically comes with a cash value that grows as you pay your monthly premiums, earning interest, and creating a savings account you can tap while you are still alive.
Because of these added benefits, permanent life insurance is often much more expensive compared to a term life policy with a similar payout.
Permanent life insurance can come in a number of varieties:
Whole life insurance is another name for permanent life insurance.
Universal life insurance is similar to whole life, but with additional flexibility. Both whole life and universal life consist of a death benefit which is paid out upon your death, as well as a cash component that you can tap while you’re alive. But while all of the components of a whole life policy are fixed, a universal life policy gives you the flexibility to adjust these components as your needs change over time—without cancelling your original policy and having to reapply.
Variable life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance which takes on an added role as an investment vehicle.
Like a regular whole life policy, variable life policies carry cash value. Unlike a whole life policy, though, the cash in a variable life policy can be invested in a fund managed by the life insurance company.
Like any investment, there is a risk associated with this investment, therefore rendering it , variable.
Variable-universal life insurance allows you to both invest the cash balance of your policy, and adjust the death benefit over time.
Should I buy term or whole life insurance?
Good question, and there is no wrong answer.
Many people prefer term life insurance because it is simple, easy to understand, and serves a single purpose: protecting their loved ones should the policy holder die.
Term life policies also tend to be much more affordable compared to whole life policies.
Whole life insurance policies, on the other hand, are more complicated than term life policies, because they are investments. You may decide that instead of investing in a whole life policy, you prefer to have the flexibility of a money market account for your cash, or that you can earn a higher interest rate in a CD or in an index fund. While many people enjoy the lifetime duration of a whole life policy, that feature also makes it more expensive than a term life policy.
Long story short: Term life is the easiest, most affordable way to buy life insurance.
What is term life insurance?
Quick order of business: We advocate for term life insurance — which is the quickest life insurance to buy online, easiest to understand, and addresses most people's needs to protect their loved ones in the event they die.
Term life insurance has two elements:
- The term — or amount of time — that you will be covered. For example, if you buy a 15-year policy, you are covered from the time of signing, and for the next 15 years (assuming you pay your premiums on time). Terms are typically 5, 10, or 30 years.
- Amount — or sum of money your loved ones will be paid should you pass. Typical sums are $100,000, $500,000 and $1 million.
A big benefit of term life insurance is that you can buy it easily, quickly and affordably online.
By contrast, whole life insurance has a cash investment component, which grows at a low, but tax-deferred rate — and which you can borrow money against. Whole life insurance can be a good option, but it is complicated and more difficult to get a whole life insurance quote or policy online.
How much term life insurance do I need?
This is the most common question about life insurance.
Here is a quick-and-dirty formula: for most moms, multiply your income x3 to arrive at the amount of term life insurance you need.
For example, if you are 40-year old woman earning $50,000 per year at your job, buy a term policy with a $750,000 payout. Of course, there are many variables, including how much you have left on your mortgage, whether you want to fund your kids' college, the age of your kids (the younger they are, the more insurance you may want to buy), whether you are responsible (or want to take responsibility for) an aged or disabled loved one.
A life insurance agent can help you find the right answer and the right policy. Or, buy term life insurance online.
Naming a life insurance beneficiary
In purchasing a life insurance policy, you must name a beneficiary, or the person who will receive your death benefit in the event that you die.
Most often, a married individuals choose their spouse as the beneficiary of their life insurance policy. This isn’t your only option, though: Anyone can be listed as a beneficiary.
Instead, create and name an estate, trust, and guardianship plan, which will receive the death benefit and use the proceeds to care for your child. This estate should designate guardians who will raise your child in the event of your death, and a conservator, who will manage the finances of your estate — including ongoing care of your child.
If you name your children as beneficiaries directly, your estate will wind up in probate court.
Cheap term life insurance for single moms
I just went through Bestow'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).
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.
$200,000 outstanding mortgage
+$800,000 ($80,000 salary x 10 years)
In the above family, a $1 million term life insurance policy is advised.
Your plan should pay off your debts and replace your income for the years your children are still in school. It’s as easy as that.
Get a term life insurance quote online from Bestow
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's life insurance stands out from other life insurance companies in several ways that make it especially appealing to single moms:
Bestow guarantees no medical exam, and prices start at less than $8/month, for a $50,000, 10-year policy. Get a life insurance quote now from Bestow.
I’ve written a lot about life insurance, and summarize some of the best, easiest-to-use and most affordable life insurance companies for single moms. You are right: most are more or less the same.
But I recently met a company that blew me away as being a truly different life insurance company.
Bestow life insurance policies stand out in 3 important ways:
No medical exam ever.
Say what? I said to their product team. Yes, indeed. Bestow life insurance guarantees no medical exam, no doctor visit, or blood test. Too busy for that nonsense? No problem.
Very, very affordable.
Prices start under $8 per month, for a $50,000, 10-year policy for a healthy 30-year-old non-smoker. Get a life insurance quote now from Bestow.
Short-term, flexible policies… if you’re not ready to commit but want to get covered today
Plans start at 2-years (which doesn’t prohibit you from applying for another longer-term policy at a later date), as well as larger 10- and 20-year plans.
How much does life insurance from Bestow cost?
Some sample Bestow life insurance quotes for healthy, 30-year-old non-smokers: 10- and 20-year products with $50k to $1 million of coverage available, starting at $8/month.
This sort of pricing and terms are excellent for moms who may be in all kinds of transitions:
- Going through a divorce or breakup
- Leaving a job
- Starting a business
- Between jobs
- Kids aging out of the house — you may actually only need life insurance for a few more years
Sound too good to be true? See for yourself and get a free quote in 5 minutes from Bestow >>
Is Bestow a legit new startup?
Short answer: Yes.
Bestow life insurance ratings are strong, as are Bestow life insurance reviews.
While Bestow was founded in 2017, policies are issued by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, a carrier rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best that was founded in 1886.
What is the application process at Bestow?
- Apply online here. It usually takes 5 minutes.
- Chose a plan.
- 10, 20 and 30 years.
- Coverage from $50,000 to $1 million
- If you’re approved, pay with credit card.
- Sleep great.
No sales calls. No medical exams or blood tests. No one visiting your home or work.
Bestow has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, and a 4.5 out of 5 stars on TrustPilot. Apply for Bestow now >>
Who qualifies for one of these awesome Bestow life insurance plans?
Bestow life insurance requires you be:
- A U.S. citizen and resident
- Employed, full-time stay-at-home parent, or student
- Generally healthy
- Between the ages of 21-45 for 20-year term life
- Between the ages of 21-55 for 2-year/10-year term life
Bestow life insurance will not cover you if you have one of the following health conditions: heart disease, stroke, cancer (except basal and squamous cell skin cancer), organ transplant, diabetes before 40 (except gestational diabetes), alcohol and drug abuse, HIV, or kidney disease requiring dialysis, as well as other health issues. Check with Bestow to see if you are eligible by obtaining a free life insurance quote online now.
What does life insurance cover?
Just like most term life insurance policies, life insurance offered by Bestow will help your family financially when you die. It is intended to provide help to your loved ones when they can't rely on your salary or income any longer. The payout can be used to pay for your kids’ child care, college, daily care, to pay off any of your debts (including mortgage), or support their lives financially.
Is life insurance taxed?
No. This is a common question, and the answer is that life insurance offered by Bestow or any other life insurance is not taxable. What your beneficiaries receive is what they receive!
Get a life insurance quote from Bestow now. Takes 5 minutes!
Is Bestow any better than other insurers?
Here is what life insurance companies don't want you to know: Life insurance is all pretty much the same, but packaged in different boxes.
Bestow and its competitors like Haven Life are all backed by reputable, highly rated older life insurance companies. Each one will give you a slightly different price and terms, and offer different experiences on their website, app or with an agent.
Bestow does stand out for two reasons:
- Bestow guarantees that its life insurance customers never go through a medical exam. This is pretty remarkable, but it is possible because Bestow vets applicants for health concerns that would otherwise warrant a medical exam.
- Bestow packages starting at $8 per month.
Bestow life insurance review: The bottom line
Bestow life insurance offers legitimate, quality, affordable coverage. The website is easy to use. Bestow stands out in the competitive field of life insurance with its no medical exam guarantee for premiums starting at $8 per month.
Other life insurance companies to consider
Is Haven Life a good insurer? My Haven Life Review
Haven Life may not (yet) be a household name in the life insurance sector, but its parent company MassMutual certainly is, as it is one of the largest and oldest insurers in the country.
A.M. Best, a global agency that rates financial services, gives Haven Life an A++ / superior rating.
Haven Life is designed for younger buyers who want fast, easy service. Unlike other insurers that rely on traditional processes of call centers, medical exams and interviews that take 6-8 weeks, Haven Life allows you to apply online and find out immediately if you're approved for coverage — and in many cases to start life insurance coverage immediately.
With Haven Life, you can apply online and find out immediately if you're approved for coverage.
Does Haven Life require a medical exam?
Haven Life has two application options:
1: For qualified, healthy applicants up to age 45 and up to $1,000,000 in coverage, you are not required to take a medical exam — and full coverage can begin immediately. However, issuance of the policy or payment of benefits depends on the answers given in the application and the truthfulness of those answers.
In other words, if you say you are a healthy weight and don't smoke, you can get coverage immediately, online. However, if Haven Life later finds you that you are an overweight chimney, they will require a medical exam and adjust your coverage accordingly.
2: Based on how you fill out the application, Haven Life may ask you to take a medical exam before finalizing their offer. The exam typically takes less than 20 minutes and can be conducted at your home or office (I have taken this same exam to qualify for a completely unrelated disability insurance policy, and it really is easy and quick). About 7-10 days after the exam, Haven Life will extend an offer.
How long does it take to get coverage with Haven Life?
In some cases, for healthy applicants under age 45, you can get coverage within minutes online. Otherwise, it takes a couple of weeks for the medical exam and paperwork to be complete. The company will answer your questions via chat and phone.
How much does Haven Life cost?
I ran some numbers on this calculator, for a 20-year, $500,000 policy for a woman who is:
Age 45, in excellent health, non-smoker: $39.33 per month
Age 45, in average health, non-smoker: $72.71 per month
Age 35, in excellent health, non-smoker: $18.70 per month
Age 35, average health, non-smoker: $39.08 per month
Age 25, excellent health, non-smoker: $16.95 per month
Age 25, average health, non-smoker: $30.77 per month
How much life insurance do you need with Haven Life?
Ah, the universal question! Depending on what your goals are — for example, do you want to be able to pay for all of your kids' college expenses? An expensive funeral? Support your aging parents? — as well as your personal finance situation, your life insurance needs are. Thankfully, Haven Life does have a very good and easy-to-use life insurance calculator to help you quickly figure out this huge question!
Is Haven Life any better than other insurers?
In a lot of ways, all life insurers are more or less the same — and picking one over the other is often just a matter of finding the best price. Haven Life does have a lot going for it: The backing of one of the best-rated and oldest life insurers in the country (MassMutual), a uniquely quick and easy online application, which cuts out on really the biggest hurdle to getting life insurance: the long and annoying application process.
The company is also offering some perks that some users may like, like their blog and insurance information center, which offer info on personal finance topics (which isn't so unusual — that information is found for free all over the web).
Haven Life does offer some cool perks through its Plus program, which is available in most states: Free service to create a trust and will (you probably know you should have both, but if you're like most Americans, do not), as well as 15% off CVS Minute Clinic (I use one in my neighborhood for flu shots and other medical services), as well as free access to the emergency call service LifeLink.
Haven Life life insurance vs. Bestow life insurance
Haven Life and Bestow both offer quality policies from reputable, highly rate carriers that have been around for decades, easy-to-use websites and good customer service.
Bestow does stand out in the life insurance universe for two reasons:
- Bestow life insurance guarantees no medical exam— ever.
- Bestow offers 10, 20 and 30-year policies for premiums starting at $8/month. This is a great option if you are between jobs, recently laid off, starting a business, divorced or otherwise in a life situation where you need life insurance, quick.
Haven Life vs MassMutual
Haven Life Insurance is a life insurance startup that is backed and owned by MassMutual, which created the new brand as a way to offer consumers an easier and more affordable way of buying term life insurance online compared to the traditional process.
Haven Life vs Ladder
Like Haven Life, Ladder is a life insurance company which offers consumers term life insurance via an online application
The key difference is that while Haven Life is owned by MassMutual, Ladder is not owned by a traditional life insurance company. Instead, Ladder partners with a number of other companies (Allianz Life Insurance Company in New York State, and Fidelity Security Life Insurance Company in all other states).
Nationwide life insurance review
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).
Nationwide life insurance vs. Bestow life insurance
Bestow and Nationwide are both highly reputable companies providing life insurance to consumers. But there are a few key differences between the two companies:
- Bestow only offers term life insurance policies, while Nationwide offers term life, whole life, universal life, and variable life policies.
- Bestow does not require a medical exam, while Nationwide does require such an exam.
Policygenius life insurance review
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.
Policygenius life insurance vs. Bestow life insurance
The primary difference between Bestow and Policygenius is that Bestow is a life insurance company, while Policygenius is a life insurance marketplace. Policygenius allows you to compare rates and policies from many different life insurance companies. Bestow sells you life insurance directly.
Still not sure if you need life insurance?
You just don’t think you need life insurance
I know, we all think we are invincible, but the fact is there is always a possibility of something happening at any time. I’ve seen first-hand how families have struggled because they were not prepared for the unexpected.
You think your life insurance policy through work is enough
This is a common perception, and it may be true depending on your situation, but it’s important you understand the limitations of an employer policy. They are contingent on your employment with the company (no job = no insurance!). And you can’t lock in a rate with these policies, so the price is going to go up as you age, so you may be paying more in the long-run. And finally, they usually only cover 1-2x your salary. How long will that last your family? Is it enough?
You don't totally understand how life insurance works and who gets the money
Life insurance can be really confusing and there are a lot of misperceptions. While it can cover burial expenses, as a mom, this is only part of what you need to be thinking about. You also need to consider how your family will survive without your income. I know it isn’t pleasant to think about, and that may be a reason why you have put it off, but you really shouldn’t.
You think life insurance is too expensive
Many people think it is expensive, but the truth is, it’s often very affordable. For example, if you are a 40-year non-smoking female old and in good health, you could obtain coverage for less than $20 per month. You can always increase your coverage later, but it’s best to lock in a rate while you are young because it does get more expensive as you age.
You’re uncomfortable paying for life insurance you may never need
I’ve heard this one before as well, and although we never want to waste money, this is one time I hope you waste money (nothing ever happens to you). However, on the off chance something does you need to be prepared, the consequences can be disastrous financially if you’re not prepared.
To help you feel more confident to get started thinking about the best way to protect you family, I’ve worked with Nationwide to answer some basic questions about life insurance.
When should you get life insurance
In general, you need life insurance if other people depend on you: You are a parent to minor children, your spouse depends on you, your aging parent or disabled sibling depends on you.
You should buy life insurance when you have a first or another baby.
You should buy life insurance when you get a divorce.
If you have a business, pet or philanthropic cause you want to leave money to, an investment in life insurance can benefit more than just a biological family.
Buy life insurance now
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 life insurance 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.
Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist and author. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker,” her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Emma's Top Single Mom Resources.