Why stay-at-home parents are valued at $50k without earning a thing

Just because our hard-working ‘home executives’ might not earn a salary, it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t hurt the family financially if they were to pass away or become incapacitated.

Mum and baby - insurance advice for stay at home parents Hawkes Bay NZ

Did you know that the value of the average home-maker is just under $50,000 a year? 

In arriving at this figure, we need to consider the key costs you would need to cover if the worst were to befall the stay-at-home parent in your relationship. 

If the stay-at-home parent is uninsured, here are some costs you could bring upon your family:

  • Child care. Day care options for young children are not cheap and a full-time nanny is even more expensive. A modest early childcare figure might be $200 per week, amounting to $10,400 each year per child. For school-aged children, you’ll still need to factor in the costs of before and after-school care too.
  • Cooking the meals. Due to full-time work commitments, adding cooking to your daily routine can be quite impractical. Cooks can be hired for around $100 per week, costing up to $5,200 per year. Failing that, you’ll likely end up spending a similar fortune on takeaways and ready meals.
  • Cleaning service. Cleaners cost around $25 per hour and are typically engaged for 3 hours a week. That’s just under $4,000 a year!
  • Transport. Taking time out of your work day for school pick-ups and  extra-curriculars means that’s time when you’re not earning money. In many cases your job may not allow you this time anyway. This may mean your kids have to give up their activities unless you can afford a nanny to take them there.
  • Counselling. During a traumatic situation, counselling services for family members should also be seriously taken into consideration. Not only is the home-maker often the one who cooks, cleans and babysits – they are also the heart of the home. Losing them can be emotionally devastating and counselling is often needed. From $150 per hour, this can end up costing thousands.
  • Added extras, like house maintenance and mowing the lawns. If you’ve lost your partner and are now a solo-parent, you might want to save the weekends for being with the kids and not cleaning the gutters. General garden and house maintenance might cost you $40 per week, so $2,080 per year.

The combined costs of all these services could certainly ruin the average middle-income family with no life cover for the stay-at-home parent. 

There are 3 possible solutions for families that suffer the loss of a non-working partner:

  1. Pay the expenses out of savings
  2. Add to the mortgage
  3. Have insurance cover in place (this can be the most reliable option of the three)

It’s hard to imagine a life without our significant other, but these are the realities that many families face. We also need to consider what would happen if this key person were to suffer an illness that required long periods of rest and rehabilitation.

When it comes to protecting your family, the home-maker or non-salary earner is just as important as any bread-winner and should have personal insurance cover in place.


There are numerous options on the market and as Insurance Advisers we can help you find the best cover for your family’s needs and budget.

Plus, with an annual review from your Insurance Adviser each year (or sooner) together we can make adjustments to your policy so that if you return to work or something else changes, your cover will adjust with your new circumstance.

It’s a service that comes at no cost to you*, and can make a big difference in the quality of cover and getting a claim paid out. 

*Our standard Insurance Advisory service is provided free of charge in most cases as we are remunerated (paid) by the providers. After our no-obligation initial consultation with you we will provide you with a quotation for your insurance requirements.

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