Undervalued and underinsured

Article date: 6 March 2002

New research by Norwich Union, the UK’s largest insurer,has shown that:

  • One in six dads, when asked how much it would cost to replacemum in money terms, said less than £5,000 a year!
  • Four out of ten dads do not know that Mother’s Day fallsin March.
  • Most mums feel undervalued and think that dad doesn’tlive in the real world, believing he does more around the housethan he actually does.
  • Just under a half of mums don’t have any life cover atall to protect their family in the event that something happens tothem. Dads would, therefore, be in for a big financial shock ifmum was no longer there.

(Full details of the research are shown in the notes to editorsbelow.)

Very often, the only life cover people have is for theirmortgage. Parents often don’t think through the consequencesfor their families, of one of them no longer being there to do allthe jobs that are currently taken for granted.

The cost of replacing a mum can be hugely expensive. Forexample, on top of childcare costs, there are costs relating tolaundry, cooking, washing up and cleaning the house.

However, 49% of mums told Norwich Union they don’t haveany life cover at all. But life premiums needn’t beexpensive. And they have fallen by around 25% over the past 5years.

The cost of £100,000 of level term assurance cover over 25 yearswith Norwich Union for a female non-smoker, aged 30 next birthdayis currently £6.20 a month. The same quote based on an age of 40next birthday is £13.30 a month. (Source – Moneyfacts(February 2002).)

Commenting, Ian Beggs, spokesman for Norwich Union, said: "Ourresearch clearly shows that mums are not only undervalued butmassively underinsured.

"The cost of employing someone else to do all the things thatmum does is frighteningly expensive. That’s why it’s asurprise that nearly a half of mums say they don’t have anylife cover at all. This could potentially be disastrous for somefamilies.”

Notes to editors

The research was carried out using a sample of 1,016 adultsbetween 15 and 21 February 2002.

The key findings were:

What dad would expect to pay to replace mum

  • The actual value of a mum has recently been calculated at£40,000 a year on average, by the Office of NationalStatistics.
  • When Norwich Union asked dads how much they thought it wouldcost per year to replace a mum in money terms, 16% said less than£5,000 a year!
    • 18% said between £5,000 and £10,000 a year.
    • 26% said between £10,000 and £30,000 a year.
    • 3% said between £30,000 and £50,000 a year.
    • Only 1% of dads put the value of a mum at more than £50,000a year.
Life cover
  • 49% of mums say they don’t have any life cover atall.

When is Mothers Day?

  • 73% of adults correctly identified that Mothers Day falls inMarch (84% of mums, but only 61% of dads).
  • One in ten dads think that Mothers Day falls between April andJune.
  • Married dads are more likely to get this right; 76% of marrieddads were right, compared to 67% of single dads.

Mums working patterns

  • 61% of mums work either full time (40%) or part time(21%).

When children are ill

  • Of working parents, mums are far more likely to be the oneswho end up taking time off work to look after children if they areill and cannot attend school/nursery. 47% of mums say that iftheir children were ill they’d take time off to look afterthem. Only 17% of dads say that they would.
  • 19% of mums say that if their children are ill, they will beable to make alternative arrangements to have them looked after.However, only 7% of dads say this is the case. This suggests it ismums who will largely take responsibility for making decisionsabout alternative childcare arrangements in the event ofillness.

Jobs that mums mainly do

  • The following proportion of mums say that the following jobsare mainly done by them:
    • Doing the ironing – 75%
    • Doing the washing – 73%
    • Cooking the evening meal – 70%
    • Looking after children – 53%
    • Grocery shopping – 51%
    • Managing the family’s finances – 49%
    • Putting out the rubbish bins – 45%
    • Washing the car – 35%
    • Mowing the lawn – 34%
  • In some cases, dads agreed; the following proportion of dadssaid that the following household chores are ‘mainlywomen’s jobs’ in their view:-
    • Ironing – 54%
    • Doing the washing – 46%
    • Cooking the evening meal – 39%
    • Grocery shopping – 35%
    • Looking after the children – 33%

It is interesting to see that the percentages are much higherfrom the mums themselves!

Jobs that dads say they mainly do (and mums doubt)

  • The following proportion of dads say that the following jobsare mainly done by them:-
    • Mowing the lawn – 50%
    • Washing the car – 49%
    • Putting out the rubbish bins – 34%
    • Managing the family finances – 25%
  • In addition, the following proportion of dads say that thefollowing jobs, in practice, are either done by them or areshared broadly equally with mum:-
    • Washing the car – 93%
    • Putting out the rubbish bins – 87%
    • Mowing the lawn – 88%
    • Looking after the family finances – 78%
    • Looking after the children – 59%
    • Grocery shopping – 57%
    • Cooking the evening meal – 52%

Where mums disagree with dads

  • 52% of dads say that cooking the evening meal is either doneby dad, or is shared broadly equally with mum. Not true say mums!70% of mums say that the evening meal is mainly cooked by them intheir household.
  • 93% of dads say that washing the car is something that theyeither do themselves, or mum and dad will each do. Not true saymums! 35% of mums say that they end up doing it all the time.
  • 87% of dads say that putting out the bins is something thateither dad would normally do, or that mum or dad would each do.Not true say mums! 45% of mums say this is something they alwaysend up doing.
  • 16% of dads said that when their children are ill, both mumand dad will consider taking time off. Only 8% of mums say thatthis happens.
  • 88% of dads say that mowing the lawn is something that theyeither do themselves, or mum and dad both do from time to time.Not true say mums! 34% of mums say that they end up doing it allthe time.
  • 78% of dads say that managing the family’s finances issomething that either dad would normally sort out, or that bothmum or dad would be involved in together. Not true say mums! 49%of mums say they’re in charge of money issues.

Regional differences

Percentage of dads who correctly identified that mothersday is in March

HighestSouth East (75%)
LowestGreater London (36%)

Percentage of dads who would expect to pay less than £5,000 ayear to replace mum


The regions where the greatest proportion of dads said theywould expect to pay less than £5,000 to replace mum in money termswas Greater London (25%), with the next highest being East Midlands(23%).

The regions where the least proportion of dads said less than£5,000 was the South West (8%) and the East Midlands (10%).

The area where most dads said that they would expect it to costover £50,000 a year to replace mum was the East Midlands (7%).

Percentage of mums who would expect to pay less than £5,000to replace dad


The areas where most mums said less than £5,000 a year was theNorth West (12%).

In all of the following areas, there weren’t any mums whosaid that they would expect to pay less than £5,000 to replace dad- North, Yorkshire & Humberside, West Midlands, East Anglia,South West and Greater London.

The area where most mums said over £50,000 a year is GreaterLondon (10%).

Proportion of mums who say they have no life cover


In terms of regions, the area where most women said they did nothave life cover is East Anglia (62%).

The lowest was Yorkshire & Humberside and the South East(both 46%).

Jobs that mums say they end up doing


Highest regionEast Midlands (93%)
Lowest regionEast Anglia (60)%

Cooking evening meal

Highest regionEast Midlands and Scotland (both 80%)
Lowest regionEast Anglia (52%)

Doing the washing

Highest regionEast Midlands (88%)
Lowest regionEast Anglia (54%)

Managing the family's finances

HighestWest Midlands (57%)
LowestSouth West (33%)

  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer. It is theUK’s largest provider of life, pensions and investmentproducts and one of the leading IFA providers. IFAs provide around75% of the company’s long-term savings business.
  • Norwich Union has strategic alliances with over 20 buildingsocieties and other leading UK brand names including TescoPersonal Finance Limited and The Royal Bank of ScotlandGroup.
  • Norwich Union can only advise on its own products.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on thisinternet site
  • A selection of images is available from the CGNU Newscast siteat www.newscast.co.uk
  • An ISDN facility is available for studio quality interviews.Call the press office on 08703 66 68 73

For all life & pensions media enquiries 08703 66 68 73
For all other media enquiries 08703 66 68 68

Press office contacts:
Ian Beggs, Norwich Union 08703 66 68 71
Out of hours 07790 487533

Louise Goffee, Norwich Union 08703 66 68 70
Out of hours 07810 057362

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