Unfortunately, our industry appears to be overlooking the disability income protection needs of millions of people.
Most Americans readily can tell you the approximate value of their car or their house. They also do a fair job of estimating the future cost of sending a child through four years of college and of what they’ll need for their retirement nest egg. Unfortunately, few have a good idea of their financial value to their loved ones.
Many insurers now believe that Human Life Value is the proper measurement of this value. It incorporates not only the financial value of a person at death–the value of one’s estate–but also the individual’s financial contributions over an entire career had he or she not died.
For a person working outside the home, it is easy to calculate the economic value to the household. Just take a person’s annual income, multiply it by the number of years the individual plans to work and account for increases in inflation or raises. Simple.
But what is the Human Life Value of a stay-at-home mother (or a stay-at-home father)? No income, so nothing, right?
It is said that the hardest and most underpaid profession in the world is that of the stay-at-home spouse. Yet, culturally, we don’t reward these individuals by assigning economic value to the work they do. No W-2 at year-end means no recognizable economic contribution. The stay-at-home spouse is considered priceless in many ways, but few couples really know–or protect–the financial value of that spouse.