Over half of men in the UK with dependent children have no life cover

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

Over half (53%) of UK men with dependent children have no life cover, according to research from Scottish Widows, meaning that 3.9 million dads are potentially putting their family’s financial security at risk if the unexpected were to happen.

The financial firm also found that only 16% of dads have a critical illness policy, leaving many more millions at risk if they were to become seriously ill. Fathers are, in fact, more likely to insure their mobile phones (21%) than to insure themselves against serious illness.

At risk

A worrying 22% of dads admit their household would be placed at financial risk if they lost their income due to unforeseen circumstances, and 28% say they could only pay their household bills for a minimum of three months.

Two-fifths (40%) say they’d have to dip into their savings to manage financially, but 42% admit that their savings would last for a maximum of just three months.

Johnny Timpson, protection specialist at Scottish Widows, says:  “Our research shows that in the event of themselves or their partner dying, 22% of men with dependent children believe they could rely on state benefits to support their family. While this provides a basic level of support, we would firmly advise people to make their own provision for themselves and their families in order to provide peace of mind with the knowledge that there’s a financial safety net in place.

“No matter what our personal circumstances, it is vital for all of us to ensure we have an appropriate plan in place to protect our finances, helping avoid the need to dip into our savings, which could present even greater challenges further down the line.”

Limited State support

A new Bereavement Support Payment system is now in place, under which 91% of widowed parents will be supported for a shorter period of time (18 months) than previously, according to the Childhood Bereavement Network. In 2014, 70% of claimants were female, so it’s important that fathers seek advice to make sure their household is covered.

This is especially the case for cohabitees, who are not eligible to claim for bereavement benefits, despite the fact that 21% of couples with children are not married, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics for 2016.