While the stereotype is that single mothers are lower wage earners than the general adult population (and there is some statistical validity to that), at least 25 percent of them earn at least $50,000 annually, placing them in the middle class. Also, a recent LIMRA study reveals that “nearly two-thirds of working single mothers owned life insurance, higher than the ownership level for all women (57 percent) in the total population.”

However, Nilufer Ahmed, senior research director, LIMRA Markets Research, says that “of those who are insured, only a third felt that their families would be able to cover expenses well into the future should they die. With about 10 million U.S. single mothers with children under the age of 18 living with them, there is a significant opportunity for companies to help these families obtain adequate levels of life insurance.”

The study revealed a few things about how single mothers think about and work with financial advisors and insurance:

  • Seven in 10 believe that the fees involved in working with financial professionals are too high to be affordable.
  • Meeting face-to-face is by far the most preferred way to purchase life insurance for single mothers.
  • Of the single mothers with life insurance, eight in 10 purchased their policies through face-to-face meetings with insurance agents or brokers, or with other financial professionals.
  • More than half of insured single mothers realize that they are underinsured and should have more coverage.
  • Only a fourth of single mothers say they are likely to purchase additional life insurance in the next 12 months.
  • Other financial priorities have kept single mothers from increasing their life insurance coverage–saving for college education and paying down debt are two of the main reasons given.

LIMRA’s outlines three steps advisors should take to engage single mothers about coverage:

  • Offer to review the policy coverages of their clients and prospects. These policy reviews may result in single mothers buying additional coverage, or purchasing new policies with affordable premiums.
  • Proactively offer financial planning to their clients. This can help customers prioritize their financial goals and manage their income (and debt) to achieve their most important goals. Single mothers may particularly appreciate this since even simple plans can bring some peace of mind.
  • Make it easy for mothers to meet with them. For example, single mothers should feel welcome to bring their children to the office. In other words, financial professionals need to be sensitive to single mothers’ needs.