There's no question about it: stay-at-home parents need insurance cover


Why insurance cover for the parent who provides support that goes beyond the financial, is as important as cover for those who work.

Carla Beukes has a full-time job with minimal leave days. She may not have an IRP5 to show for it, but her job includes the administration and logistics operations of the Beukes family household for it to perform as a high-functioning unit of society.

While Carla’s resume may say SAHM, or stay-at-home-mother, she says, “My month consists of at least 100 hours of work we would otherwise have to pay other people to do. I am dedicated to doing this for my family by myself.”

This work has been identified by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental economic organisation with 36 member countries, as unpaid extra work around the world done mostly by women. The number of hours varies from three to over six hours each day depending on country. In South Africa, the figure is at four hours a day and it includes household chores, preparing food, buying groceries and caring for children.

The daily contribution of being a parent who runs the home is significant. Andrew Mc Currie, Head of Technical Marketing at Discovery Life, says, “This is why the work-from-home partners should be valued in the home as much as the tangible income-earner – especially when it is the wife. This is in part because of the unique health risks faced by women, including cancer.”

Women of all ages are at risk of breast cancer, accounting for 46% of female cancers.

The top five cancer claim submissions for women on the Discovery Life Severe Illness Benefit are:

  • 46% breast cancer
  • 12% skin cancer
  • 12% gastrointestinal cancer
  • 11% other female cancers
  • 7% hematological (blood) cancer

“There are a wide range of insurance options for stay-at-home partners that should form an important part of your overall insurance planning, because of the immense value of their work,” says Mc Currie.

What would happen to the family if a stay-at-home partner became severely ill or disabled? They may not be able to carry out their usual responsibilities and may even require extra help and support themselves.

Putting a value on the invaluable

“Calculating the insurance you need to assist or relieve a stay-at-home partner is not a pleasant task, because their value goes beyond the monetary. Luckily financial advisers can guide you with this,” Mc Currie adds.

Severe Illness Benefit

The severe illness benefit covers all major body systems and automatically covers you for multiple claims. It includes the Early Cancer Benefit, which provides cover for qualifying in situ cancers (a group of abnormal cells that remain where they formed and have not spread) and pre-cancerous prostatic lesions

The unique Cancer Relapse Benefit gives you an additional payout of 50% or 100% of your insured amount on recurrence of a cancer after a one-year remission period.

Cover for intensive care unit (ICU) admissions for diseases and trauma events is provided through the Intensive Care Benefit at no additional premium.

Severe Illness: Female Benefit

The Female Severe Illness Benefit is a whole-of-life accelerated benefit. This benefit covers specified severe illnesses affecting women, such as cancer and complications associated with pregnancy and osteoporosis.

Speak to a financial adviser for peace of mind

Seeking expert advice will help you find the right type and amount of life insurance for your family’s needs. Consider speaking to a financial adviser who can conduct a personalised financial needs analysis. This evaluation will help you determine your current financial situation and understand the financial impact you would face if your stay-at-home partner passes away, becomes disabled or gets a severe illness.

This article is meant only as information and should not be taken as financial advice. For tailored financial advice, please contact your financial adviser. Discovery Life Limited. Registration number 1966/003901/06, is a registered long-term insurer, and an authorised financial services and registered credit provider, NCR registration number NCRCP3555. Product rules, terms and conditions apply.

Related articles


“Cancer transformed my life” – Penelope Howie

A country and western song by Tim McGraw kept two-time breast cancer survivor Penelope Howie, emotionally strong through multiple, challenging treatments. Written after McGraw’s dad died of cancer, “Live like you were dying” stems from advice to his son.


"I matter. I matter equally" - Why women need life insurance

It's time to say goodbye to the gender insurance gap – men and women need life insurance equally, regardless of their roles in the household or society. Women’s lives are valuable, and need to be protected.


Cancer and women's health: make sure your lifestyle and finances are protected

Female cancers are some of the most common and serious health issues that affect women. What should you know about ovarian cancer? Why is it so important to make sure your lifestyle and finances are protected in the case of a life-altering illness.

Log in

Please click here to login into Discovery Digital Id

Please click here to login into Discovery Digital Id