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Posted November 26, 2012


The stress of parenting: kids' financial security and health concerns top the list

Poll reveals more than half of parents with life insurance don't think they have enough coverage to support their children up until their 18th birthday

TORONTO - As a parent, you never stop worrying about your kids. Will they get good grades? Are they eating enough vegetables? Are they hanging out with the right crowd? According to research from TD Insurance, parents in Canada worry about all aspects of their children's lives from their financial security (79%), health (79%) and education (76%) to making friends (68%) or falling in love when they grow up (59%).

"As a dad, I know that worrying comes with the territory. You're constantly thinking about how you can protect your kids and make sure that they're living the best lives possible," says Dave Minor, Vice President, TD Insurance. "One way to help minimize the 'what if' and ensure that your children will be financially protected if the unexpected happens, is by making sure you have enough life insurance."

Nearly nine-in-10 Canadian parents (88%) agree that knowing they have the right amount of life insurance would give them peace of mind that their children would be financially secure in the event that something happened to them or their partner. In fact, Canadian parents who understand what protection their life insurance offers are less likely to be quite worried or extremely worried about their children's financial security in comparison to those who don't understand their coverage (34% versus 42%).

Most parents have life insurance, but more than half don't think they have an adequate amount

TD Insurance found 91% of parents surveyed have life insurance. However, more than half (56%) don't think their policy will leave enough money to financially support their children up until their 18th birthday.

"New shoes, hockey equipment, braces and class trips - raising a child to the age of 18 costs close to a quarter-million dollars1," says Minor. "No parent wants to think about the worst-case scenario, but it's important to think about what it will take to maintain your family's lifestyle."

Minor recommends parents consider the following expenses as they crunch the numbers to calculate how much coverage they need:

Your current debts: By purchasing enough life insurance to cover your mortgage and other personal debts, you can ensure your important assets, like your home, are retained by your family.
Final expenses and taxes: Consider funeral expenses plus any tax you may owe following your death, such as capital gains tax or inheritance tax. Your insurance should cover these expenses without having to sell any important assets like your home.
Child care and education costs: A four-year post-secondary degree away from home can cost up to $84,0002, so it's important you consider this cost. If you have young children and are the stay-at-home spouse in your relationship, you'll have to consider additional childcare expenses, too.
Ongoing income for your family: Determine how much you wish to provide for your family in your absence to help them maintain their current lifestyle. Even smaller costs, such as sports activities can really add up.

For parents who do not own life insurance, half (47%) say it's because they can't afford it and 26% don't think it's necessary.

"Life insurance doesn't have to cost a fortune. One of the advantages of purchasing life insurance early in life is that it is more affordable since premiums are based on life expectancy, which naturally decreases over time," says Minor. "For example, a healthy (non-smoker) 35 year-old female could typically obtain term life coverage worth $100,000 for as little as $11 per month.3"

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