How single moms can find affordable life insurance

single mom life insurance

Here’s the thing with life insurance: 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.

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 moms 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. The crazy part of this story is that life insurance is not very expensive. 

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. I endorse Haven Life, which 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. 

1. Buy term. That is just a flat rate you pay each month or 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 a very good deal.

2. Figure out how much you need. 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 general rule of thumb 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).

3. Get a quote. The whole process takes less than 20 minutes:

4. Buy 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.

5. 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. 



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10 thoughts on “How single moms can find affordable life insurance

  1. Absolutely! I have life insurance, and I keep an updated will with trusts set up. I also have all the ‘legals’ in place for my children’s care and support as their father isn’t in the picture at all. Huge load off my shoulders knowing they’ll be good (at least financially!)

  2. OR be like the single mom who is dating an acquaintance of mine, and recently told (not asked) him to put her on HIS life insurance policy “to take care of us if something happens to you.” They’ve been DATING maybe a couple years, and this guy has his own grown kids to think about. Mind you the single mom owns nothing, lives at home with her own mama at 44 years old (with her drug-addled 20 year old ex-con son) because she can’t pay her own bills from her low paying jobs where she barely stays for a few months.

    Forget the man’s kids, in favor of her own, not to mention the man has no legal commitment to her. She’s a single mom, by gosh, her kids needs come before his kids needs, as usual.

    OH, and later she told him she wants to marry him, “So I can quit my job to stay home and take care of you.” – referring to the boyfriend. She doesn’t have young kids, and he’s been divorced for years and taken care of himself. Hmmmm. Sounds more like she wants to sit on her ass at home (a home at the beach she also wants him to pay for.) while he works to keep her in the style he’s providing, because gawd knows she doesn’t pay her own bills.

    Impress me single moms. Pay for your own life insurance, and other bills.

    1. This is pretty vitriolic Darth. I dont doubt there are some free loaders out there but that is certainly not the majority. I work very hard at a professional full time job am a single mum and I pay my own life insurance. Think it’s always prudent not to generalise especially when you are on a site dedicated to the group you are stereotyping !

  3. I am a single mom with a disability. We live mostly on my SSDI check and live simply. No one will sell me life insurance worth more than $50,000. It’s not that some of us are “stupid” it’s that $650.00 a month income only goes so far…

  4. Good article. However Haven Life is not the best avenue to go. They represent ONE company. Depending on ONES health profile who knows what rates Haven Life will offer, or if they can even offer coverage.

    Smart people work with agencies who represent multiple companies. Bad advice being given from author to just “work” with Haven Life.

  5. I like this article a lot. Thank you, Emma, for bringing awareness to this issue.

    Don’t do term insurance if you can afford not too. I am a life insurance agent with New York Life Insurance. We are the oldest, biggest, and richest life insurance agency in the country. Term insurance is fine for a single parent SO LONG AS the parent converts to cash value life insurance within the first few years. Term insurance is temporary insurance. As Emma said, its only meant to last for 10-30 years. But after that, it becomes exorbitantly high! For young single parents, this is a problem.

    Cash value life insurance is better. (1) Over time you own the policy – just like after you finish paying your mortgage you own your home. (2) You can borrow from the policy. So if you get in a financial bind or you need to pay expenses for your child, like education, extra-curricular, etc., you can get a loan on your policy and just repay it later.

    Another great idea is to get a policy on your kids. Definitely NOT because we believe they will go before us – no parent wants that. But because kid policies have a long time to accrue cash value. So by time they turn 18, 25, or 30, they already have a policy that can be given to them with huge cash value.

    I’m a single mom to a 6-year old. When I got mine and my child’s policies, I felt a huge sense of relief because I knew I had provided for my baby and if I go early she’ll be taken care of. Please, just do it. Get the policy. Many whole life policies are extremely affordable – some as low as $40 or $50/month – but it all depends on the parent’s health.

    Hope this helps.

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