Father's Day – which this year falls on 18 June – is just around the corner, but while many families will be thinking of how to treat the special man in their lives, few will be considering the financial implications should anything happen to him. Unfortunately, this is something that should always be considered, yet with some 3.9 million dads having no financial protection in place, many are putting their family's finances at risk.
Research from Scottish Widows shows that 53% of men with dependent children have no life insurance, which means that their family's financial security could be in jeopardy should the worst happen – particularly if they're the main, or only, breadwinner.
Furthermore, only 16% of surveyed dads have a critical illness policy, leaving many more families at risk if they were to become seriously ill. This doesn't mean they're less likely to protect other aspects of their lives, either: fathers were found to be more likely to insure their mobile phones (21%) than to insure themselves against serious illness, so priorities clearly need to change.
This is even more pressing given that 22% of dads said their household would be placed at financial risk if they lost their income due to unforeseen circumstances. A further 40% said they'd have to dip into their savings to manage financially, but 42% said that their savings would last for a maximum of just three months, with only 28% believing they could pay their household bills for longer than that.
Despite this, few see insurance as a necessity, with many believing that the state will protect their family should things go wrong. Indeed, 18% of dads said they don't see critical illness cover as a financial priority, with 19% saying they don't think they need it and 17% saying they can't afford it, yet this could be a costly mistake – perhaps even more so for those who don't have life cover, particularly as welfare changes mean that bereavement benefits are now only paid out for 18 months, while non-married couples wouldn't receive anything.
"Our research shows that in the event of themselves or their partner dying, 22% of men with dependent children believe they could rely on state benefits to support their family," said Johnny Timpson, protection specialist at Scottish Widows. "While this provides a basic level of support, we would firmly advise people to make their own provision for themselves and their families in order to provide peace of mind with the knowledge that there's a financial safety net in place.
"No matter what our personal circumstances, it is vital for all of us to ensure we have an appropriate plan in place to protect our finances, helping avoid the need to dip into our savings, which could present even greater challenges further down the line."
Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.