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Six million mums in UK financially vulnerable

21st March 2017 Print

Amidst the cards, flowers and chocolates, financial security may be the last thing on people’s minds this Mother’s Day.

But research from Scottish Widows reveals that 61% of women in the UK with dependent children have no life cover, meaning that six million mums are potentially putting their family’s financial security in danger if the unforeseen were to happen.

The research also shows that less than a tenth (9%) of mums have a critical illness policy, leaving many more millions at risk of financial hardship if they were to become seriously ill.

Three in ten (29%) mums admit their household would be placed at financial risk if they lost their income due to unforeseen circumstances. One in five (20%) claim they could only pay their mortgage for a maximum of three months, while one in three (33%) say they would have to use their savings to pay for such adverse circumstances.

Many mothers don’t consider having insurance as a necessity, with 15% saying they don’t rate having critical illness cover as a financial priority, while 13% believe it’s a waste of money. This is despite the fact that almost one in five (17 per cent) women now claim to be the main breadwinner in their household, rising to a quarter (25 per cent) among 25-34 year olds.

But there’s also the value of a mother's contribution to the home, outside of employment, with the research revealing that two thirds (68 per cent) of women with children under 18 are still primarily responsible for providing childcare. It’s just as important for full-time mums to be insured, a fact that many families overlook, and just because someone doesn’t earn a salary doesn’t mean their contribution in the home shouldn’t be protected as it could be very costly to replace.

Sarah Moore, Senior Protection Manager at Scottish Widows: “No one likes to think about the worst happening to them, but in the case of mums it’s almost as if they worry so much day-to-day about their children that they forget to consider themselves. The value of protection, however, is to provide long-term peace of mind about having financial security in place for your dependents.

“With a new Bereavement Support Payment system in place from April, it’s more important than ever for women to review their financial protection needs and seek advice to make sure their household is covered.”

In the event that they or their partner dies, more than a third (36%) of women with dependent children think they could rely on state benefits to support their family. However, with more than two thirds

(69%) unsure of how much the surviving partner would get from the state, many could be risking the financial stability of their family, particularly in light of upcoming changes to bereavement benefits, including the Widowed Parent’s Allowance, which may result in a significant reduction in the period over which support will be available.  

Scottish Widows paid out more than £40million in women’s critical illness claims in 2015, with the average age for women who claimed being just 49. In addition, it paid out a further £55million in life assurance claims that year, with the average age for claims being 58.