New research from Tesco Bank reveals that over a third of parents with a child aged 18 or under (37%) have never discussed with their partner or another family member what will happen to their dependent children if either of them dies.
Two fifths don’t have life insurance
Parents’ reluctance to face up to questions about their own mortality is just one part of the ‘family protection gap’ identified in the research. Over 40% of all parents with children under the age of 18 do not currently have life insurance, with 60% of these parents citing one or more of the money worries listed as a key reason for not doing so.
Of the parents surveyed who don’t have life insurance, over a fifth (21%) focus on daily finances rather than looking at their longer-term financial planning perhaps because they don’t realise how affordable it can be – 39% of those who don’t have life insurance indicated that the main reason for this is because they couldn’t afford it.
One in five parents surveyed (20%) also admitted that they don’t really understand how life insurance works. There is a similar lack of understanding when it comes to other protection products such as income protection and critical illness cover.
Issues of life and death
Psychologist Honey Langcaster-James said: ‘There is a certain amount of reluctance on the part of many families to discuss what will happen if they or their partner dies. This issue throws up big, challenging questions about life and death and many would prefer to just stick their head in the sand.
‘Families are using the perceived cost to justify why they do not have the necessary cover in place. However the real issue here is not one of cost as the findings above clearly demonstrate.’
Which? analyst Paul Davies added: ‘This is a timely reminded that people need to think about life protection once they have dependents, despite this being a grim subject. There is, unfortunately, a similar reluctance to consider income protection to meet regular family out-goings if the main bread winner is unable to work.’