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L&G – Swerving the money missteps: Blended families twice as likely to take out protection insurance

by | May 21, 2024

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  • 2.2 million households in the UK are made up of blended families 
  • New research has found that step-parents are twice as likely (56%) to take out insurance to protect their families should the worst happen 
  • However, household changes that come with rebuilding a family can bring money worries – half of all blended families do not feel secure and are less likely to have savings set aside 

The number of blended families in the UK is on the rise, as social changes see people embracing different living situations and co-parenting with both former and current partners. 

2.2 million households across the country are now made up of blended families. However, new research from Legal & General has found that blended families face unique challenges, particularly when it comes to their money as they try to balance complex arrangements and incomes that are sometimes stretched across multiple households.

According to one step-parent: 

 
 

“When I moved in with my new husband, we each had a son from a previous relationship, and then had two more sons together. As you can imagine, with four boys in and out of the household, money can be tight at times. We have to be really mindful with budgeting to keep things fair, especially as the kids are so competitive. My stepson lives most of the time with his mum, so we make an effort to spend as equally as we can across all the kids, but it takes some planning.

“One of my sons is autistic, and I had to stop working to become his full-time carer, meaning we’re currently relying on a single income. However, we’re always thinking about the future, especially after our experiences of breaking up with previous partners, so we’ve built up a significant rainy-day fund and do our best to ensure there’s money put aside to treat the kids to days out.”

More blended families have protection in place 

 

Levels of protection insurance among parents of blended families are higher than average for the rest of the UK. 

Those in blended families are a quarter (26%) more likely to have taken out protection insurance when they remarried and reevaluated their finances, and over twice (56%) as likely to have taken out protection insurance when they became a step-parent.

Step-parents have greater concerns about their financial future 

 
 

However, while blended families might be more likely to have insurance in place, starting over and building a new household does have a significant impact on their financial reserves. 

Parents of blended families are 35% less likely to have a rainy-day fund in place and are 61% less likely to regularly put money into savings and investments. One in five parents of blended families said the end of their previous relationship had a direct impact on the fact they no longer had savings. 

This can lead parents to worry about their security, with half of all blended families concerned for their financial future as a result (45%). 

 

Paula Llewellyn, Chief Marketing Officer & Managing Director (Direct), Legal & General Retail:

“Creating a new family structure is often a wonderful, happy time but can also bring challenges. Families are often trying to find a new way that works for them, and how you manage your money is just one part of that. It’s not always easy, from figuring out how financial support for children is split with parents who might be outside the home, to agreeing how expenses are paid for with your new partner but it’s all part and parcel of the next big adventure.

“Our research shows that while the parents of blended families might face some financial struggles, they are also more likely to have protection in place. Protection insurance, which provides a safety-net when the worst happens, seems to be more front-of-mind for these families perhaps because people are more aware of the impact that a significant change in circumstances can have. For parents looking to get to grips with the changes in their finances, Legal & General has resources available.

 
 

“It’s important that our industry understand and embrace the changing needs of families, making sure that appropriate products and services are available. The route to family building isn’t “one size fits all”, and we need to adapt and ensure products are flexible, and customers understand their options. No matter their family set up, people should feel empowered and informed when it comes to managing their money.”

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