Mothers - undervalued and underinsured

Article date: 10 March 2004

New research by Norwich Union reveals that manydads still have no real idea how much mum is worth and how much itwould cost to replace her if the worst were to happen.

The key research findings were:

  • One in six dads, when asked how much it would cost to replacemum in money terms, said under £5,000 a year – less than£100 a week!
  • Mums are the ones who still get their hands dirty, doing thelion’s share of the chores around the house such as washing,ironing and cleaning
  • One in three mothers don’t have any life insurance coverat all to protect their family in the event that something shouldhappen to them
  • Almost half of all mums don’t know what their partnerearns and has in savings

Even though mum does so much, one in six dads believe that£5,000 a year would be enough to replace mum in money terms –that’s less than £100 a week, and a further 23% of dads thinkmum is worth less than £200 a week. These dads would be in for abig financial shock if mum were no longer around as the averagecost of mum’s work is almost £30,000* a year.

One in three mums have no life insurance cover at all to providefor the family should something happen to them. Worryingly, almosthalf of all mums have no idea how much their partner earns and hasset aside in savings.

Louise Goffee, spokesperson for Norwich Union, said: "Ourresearch shows that not only are mums undervalued, but many of themhave no idea of their partners’ financial status. If theworst were to happen to either partner then families couldpotentially face a financial nightmare. But it doesn’t haveto be this way, families need to discuss their finances openly andplan for the future. "


Press office contacts: 
James Evans 01904452791 Out of hours 07790 487105
Louise Goffee 01904 452617 Out of hours 07810 057362
David Gwyer 01904 452828 Out of hours 07800 699508
Lorna Wiltshire 01904 723251 Out of hours 07788 471849
Rob Pell 01904 452659 Out of hours 07968 934091

Notes to Editors

  • Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer. It is the UK'slargest provider of life, pensions and investment products andone of the leading IFA providers. IFAs provide around 75% of thecompany's long-term savings business in the UK.
  • Norwich Union has strategic alliances with building societiesand other leading UK brand names including Tesco PersonalFinance and The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of imagesare available from Aviva's internet press centre at

Research facts

The research was carried out using a sample of 1,060 parentsbetween 20 and 26 of February 2004.

*The Office of National Statistics has calculated that the valueof unpaid housework and informal childcare is almost £700bn (ONS,Social Trends 33, 2000). Divided by the 24 million households inthe UK, this comes to £29,166 a year.

What dad would expect to pay to replace mum

  • 16% said less than £5,000 a year.
  • 23% said between £5,000 and £10,000 a year.
  • 32% said between £10,000 and £30,000 a year.
  • 4% said between £30,000 and £50,000 a year.
  • 5% of dads put the value of a mum at more than £50,000 ayear.

Jobs that mums mainly do

The following proportion of mums say that the following jobs aremainly done by them:

  • Cleaning the bathroom – 79%
  • Doing the ironing – 80%
  • Putting out the rubbish bins – 36%
  • Grocery shopping – 74%
  • Looking after the children – 57%
  • Sorting out the family bills – 50%
  • Washing – 85%
  • Disposing of spiders – 35%
  • Getting up in the middle of the night due to a noise –31%

Life Assurance

  • 30% of women in the survey said that they do not have lifeinsurance

Do you know how much money your partner earns and has intheir savings account?

  • Almost half of all people (48%) said yes, they know (44% ofmen and 52% of women).
  • 13% of men and 11% of women are not interested in theirpartner’s finances.

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