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Family matters

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Family matters: insuring the stay-at-home spouse.
OMA Insurance
The importance of insuring a home, car, office, and even oneself is readily apparent to most people. But what about our loved ones, notably a spouse?

While a sensitive topic, it is prudent to contemplate the financial impact that would result with the death of a spouse, and to take steps to ensure that the family is well protected.

Loss of life can occur suddenly and indiscriminately, and can strike a family at a time when maximum financial support may be required.

While it may be difficult to imagine, how would your life change if your spouse were to die unexpectedly? Are you financially prepared and protected in the event of an early loss of life?

If a spouse works either full-time or part-time, it is easy to see how the loss of household income warrants insurance coverage to maintain your lifestyle. What may not be immediately apparent, however, is the financial impact caused by the untimely death of a stay-at-home spouse, especially if children are affected.


While a stay-at-home spouse may provide no direct income, his or her duties and responsibilities within the home often result in a significant amount of cost mitigation. Expenses can therefore add up quickly following a death, and the financial impact can consume any savings a family may have. Why take this risk when insurance is available?

Here are some of the costs that may be incurred following the untimely death of a stay-at-home spouse.

  • Emotional Costs: Easily recognizable are the emotional effects following the death of a stay-at-home spouse. The cost of emotional stabilization in the form of therapy or counselling can be high. Taking time off work due to emotional instability, or staying at home to care for a grieving family, can further reduce income.
  • Household: Most families lead very busy lives, and the day-to-day duties and responsibilities of a stay-at-home spouse are integral to managing and maintaining a household. These responsibilities may include: laundry, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, banking and financial management, and transportation. If a stay-at-home spouse dies, the surviving spouse would likely have to hire someone to take on some or all of these responsibilities, or take time off to deal with the extra work. Either option will likely have a significant financial impact.
  • Children: The age of children dictates how significant the role of a stay-at-home spouse would be in the children's day-to-day lives. Young children require more personal attention and constant supervision, day care, meal preparation, and transportation. A surviving spouse who feels the need to become more available following the death of a partner would likely suffer a negative financial impact if the deceased partner were not insured.
  • Elder care: An increasing number of adults are playing the role of primary caregiver to aging parents or in-laws. If a stay-at-home spouse is responsible for the care of elderly parents, in the event of the spouse's death, the surviving spouse may not have the time to continue providing the same level of care. As such, it may be necessary to hire a third party to provide care, or pay the high cost of moving parents or in-laws to assisted-living facilities.

These are just some of the struggles grieving families must face in the event of the untimely death of a spouse. The focus following a death should be on recovery and the bereavement process, not on financial hardship. Ensure your family is financially protected.