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Insurance 101

What do single parents need in a life insurance policy?

Insurance 101

What do single parents need in a life insurance policy?

Ways to think about life insurance for single moms and dads.

The number of US children living in single-parent households has risen over the last few decades. Currently, nearly 23% of US children under the age of 18 live with only one parent and no other cohabiting adults. And 86% of these parents are single mothers. Now, we don’t want to just repeat the challenges facing single parents, especially single moms. But we do want to highlight some ways term life insurance coverage can help with the guesswork that comes with parenting. Do you know how to cover costs for your kids’ education? Do you know who you can trust with a payout if you suddenly die? If you’ve asked these questions, or even just wondered what the best life insurance for single mothers was, keep reading. Hopefully these tips make it all that much easier.

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  1. Why should a single parent consider term life insurance?
  2. Costs to consider
  3. Consider your beneficiaries
  4. Conclusion

Why should a single parent consider term life insurance?

Term life insurance coverage can be great for single parents. Why? Because term life coverage is generally best for short-term needs, such as covering final expenses and student loan debt. That way, you can help ensure that your kids can be financially secure if you were to die unexpectedly. And term life policies are often more affordable for younger people and families than whole life policies can be.

Costs to consider

If you’re looking at term life insurance coverage, you have to consider what you want your policy to cover. Calculating the right amount of coverage is important. Below we’ve listed some options to get you thinking.

Four boxes with the costs to consider:   “funeral costs” with an image of a coffin  “income supplement” with an image of a piggy bank  “education costs” with an image of a child looking through a telescope  “child costs of living” with an image of an adult and child

Funeral costs

In the event of your death, who will pay for your final expenses? How are those expenses going to be met? The average funeral can cost anywhere between $7,000 and $12,000. That includes embalming, viewings, service fees, transport, casket, etc. Cremations are cheaper, with the average process costing around $1,100. But a sudden cost like this can still be hard for a family to meet. Having a term life policy that can help cover final expenses can go a long way to easing the pain of loss and taking stress off of your loved ones.

Income supplement or replacement

Your life insurance payout can be used to supplement or even replace your income. In 2020, 62% of respondents to a LIMRA and Life Happens survey cited income replacement as a reason for buying life insurance. When calculating your coverage, you want to multiply your salary for the number of years you want covered. This way, you’ll still be able to contribute to the well-being of your kids for years to come.

Education costs

So education doesn’t necessarily mean just college. As you know, children already have a lot of education costs throughout their youth. When it comes to public schooling, parents can expect to spend approx. $162,899.86 on their child’s educational needs and related activities. Private schooling, on the other hand, has costs closer to $292,719.86. Add that to the rising costs of higher education and student loans, and you’re looking at a lot of pretty pennies.

Child costs of living

Having a term life policy is more akin to a safety net than an investment option. For single parents, this kind of coverage can be great, as it allows you to know that, should the worst happen, your kids can be covered. More than just replacing income, term life insurance coverage can make sure that all of your kids’ costs are met without more disruptions to their daily lives.

Consider your beneficiaries

Who should you list as your beneficiary? A single-parent life insurance beneficiary should be someone you trust. They’re going to be handling the death benefit payout and making sure your wishes are met. It’s likely your beneficiary would be the same person who’d be your child’s legal guardian in the event of your death—so choose wisely.

We do want to stress that it’s not recommended you name your minor child a beneficiary of your policy. This is because typically minor children cannot directly receive the proceeds of a life insurance policy. Instead, the state would appoint a legal guardian, if you haven’t done so already. This guardian would then determine how to spend and manage the money. If you haven’t designated a beneficiary, this legal guardian may not fulfill your desires in the way that you would want. So not only is it important to name a beneficiary, it’s also vital to set clear expectations for what the payout is to be used for.


So what’s the best life insurance policy for single mothers? If you’re looking to get your kids covered, have short-term needs and aren’t looking for long-term investment options, then term life insurance may be right for you. If you’re looking for flexible coverage that works with your needs, you can always check out how Wysh does term life insurance. It’s a 100% digital term life experience that can grow with your needs and your family, no matter what size or shape they come in.

The opinions we expressed in this post are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations.