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How life insurance can protect your family

Why every parent should consider life insurance

As soon as you become a parent, life changes. Probably for the first time, it's not all about you – there are other people to consider too. It's only natural to worry about how your family would cope if you were to die and you’d want to protect them in any way you can. This is where life insurance comes in. Be you a breadwinner or full-time parent, insuring your life could be the decision that could make all the difference when it really matters.

Life insurance for new parents – couple with new baby

If you question whether life insurance is really worth it, think of it as something you hope you'll never need, but knowing it's there means you can have peace of mind. Having life insurance lets you get on with your life knowing that if the unthinkable happened to you, your family would have a bit of help in the months that followed.

Think beyond the breadwinner

It makes good financial sense for the main wage earner in the family to be covered, and this is often the case with life cover included in certain employee benefits. However the importance of life insurance for mums and dads who stay at home to look after the children shouldn’t be overlooked. If they were to die, would the surviving parent have to give up work to look after the kids and the home? Or would they be faced with high childcare costs that didn't come out of the household budget before?

Family life cover – father and children sitting at kitchen table

How and when a life insurance payout could help

If the unthinkable ever happened, that would be distressing enough for your partner or family – to be faced with money worries on top of that would make a tough time even tougher. And if you have children, the financial pressures could be significant – back in 2016 the estimated cost of raising one child in the UK was a whopping £230,000 and prices have risen since then. So, it’s not hard to see why a life insurance payout could be a financial lifeline for your loved ones, both in the short term and over the years to come.

In the short term

In the first few weeks there would be so much to think about. Your partner would have a lot to cope with including taking care of the children, so not having to think about money at such a difficult time would be some comfort.

In the medium term

As life goes on, your family may face ups and down when it comes to their income. A life insurance payout could be used to pay off the mortgage or keep up with the monthly repayments, as well as clearing any other debts and ensuring there's enough money to cover everyday expenses like food, utility bills, and clothes.

And don't forget the cost of childcare and education – even if that's just paying for school uniforms, equipment and school trips. A little bit left over for a family holiday would also be very welcome.

In the long term

As the years go by and your family grows up, wouldn't it be nice to know that they can get on in life in some part, thanks to the financial security that you put in place for them? You can rest assured that money worries might be made a little less worrying thanks to the earlier provisions put in place by yourself.

Life insurance payout uses – mother of groom fixing buttonhole

Working out how much life cover you need

The question is how much life cover do you actually need? That will depend on you, your finances and your family’s dynamic. A good starting point is to take the following things into account:

  • Your age now
  • Your children’s age - and how long you’d like to support them
  • Your home - the amount owing on your mortgage or your monthly rent
  • Your monthly outgoings – from food shopping and child care to memberships and subscriptions
  • Your debts – including household bills, loans and credit cards
  • Your household income - salaries and other sources of regular income, such as dividends
  • Your safety net - any savings or existing life cover
What life insurance protects – parents and children relaxing in living room

You’ll also need to think about how long you’d like to be covered for - for example, the years your children are at school or the time remaining on your mortgage – and what you can comfortably afford to pay in premiums. Remember, it’s better to have some cover in place to protect your family than none, so be realistic about how much you can achieve.

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, equity release, pet insurance, home insurance, car insurance, ISAs and Will writing services.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). 

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.