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The dictionary describes a mother as:

Mother: – A woman in relation to her child or children.

But what is a mother really? The obvious thoughts are carer and homemaker but perhaps that’s more the role mums see themselves performing. Through the child’s eyes, mum is a hero, teacher, confidante and playmate. The one who wipes away the tears, gives them a hug, asks about their day, dishes out advice, helps with their homework, tidies their room, and reads them a story. Quite the hero!

There’s often an assumption that there’s no need to insure the homemaking, caring, stay-at-home mum as ‘she doesn’t earn anything’. In these cases it’s the very fact that she’s doing the school runs, going to the shops, tidying rooms, washing dirty clothes, tackling a mountain of ironing and cooking tea that lets Dad go out to work and bring home the money.

But what if mum wasn’t there to do that? What if she had an accident, a serious illness, or even worse? Dad’s benevolent employer’s sympathy would run out pretty quickly. The reality of trying to hold down his full time job and be both mum and dad at the same time would soon hit home.

Legal and General’s ‘Value of a Parent’ research from 2015 puts the average value of a Mum at £29,535 per annum(1). So if the housewife mum who ‘doesn’t earn anything’ isn’t around, dad has to find nearly £30,000 each year.

At the Recognising Excellence conference last month, we were humbled to once again hear from a very special and inspirational speaker. She helped brokers understand why Critical Illness protection is so crucial.

Her name is Heidi Loughlin. A police officer from Bristol. Married with two children. Like millions of others, Heidi had bought a home with her fiancé and taken out a mortgage. However, she did not take out Critical Illness Cover.

When asked what would have made her take the cover out at the time of arranging the mortgage, Heidi said ‘I was young and fit, the likelihood of something happening to me felt impossible. If the reality and in particular the statistics were shown to me, I may have acted differently’.

The broker that had sold Heidi the mortgage had bottled it. Now she is paying the price. The adviser either didn’t want to, or felt unable to, talk about the real need for and more importantly the reality of not having protection.

Nothing will ever replace mum in the eyes of the child. But real financial support, when everything else is sad and scary, will make an enormous difference. It maintains some sort of normality in a topsy-turvy world. For Dad at least, it’ll ensure that emotional stress isn’t accompanied by financial strain.

Have you spoken to all your ‘mum’ clients about family protection? Have you given them the chance to say ‘no’? If your clients think they don’t need it, tell them about Heidi’s story. Don’t allow your clients to pass up the opportunity of protection. With millions of kids giving their mum a card and present soon, talk to your ‘mum’ clients and make sure they give their children the most important gift of all, should the unexpected happen to their beloved hero.

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For protection queries contact Steve Berry, Protection Manager at