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TheStreet Open House

The Mother's Day Index 2014: Inequality Edition

But some of the tasks aren't reflected. Forty percent of parents surveyed also volunteer at school, and 24 percent coach a team.

"Both parents should be insured, including moms and dads who don't work outside the home," says Insure.com consumer analyst Penny Gusner. "Besides replacing lost income, life insurance also can be used to pay for the services a parent provides the family, such as child care."

To calculate how much life insurance to buy, consider all that a parent does for the family and how much it would cost to replace what that parent provides.

"Don't assume your in-laws or own parents will pick up the slack if one of you passes away," Gusner says.

They might not have the physical capability or time to assume that responsibility, no matter how devoted they are to their grandchildren.

Getting adequate coverage

Mothers tend to be underinsured. About 57 percent of women have life insurance - roughly the same portion as men -- either through a group policy at work or an individual policy they own, according to data from LIMRA, a global research and consulting group. But married couples are less likely to buy individual coverage for wives than husbands, and the amount of coverage purchased for women is about 69 percent of men's coverage.

Two-thirds of single moms have life insurance, but among women with coverage, only one-third of single moms say their families could cover expenses over a significant length of time should they die, according to LIMRA.

Calculating how much to purchase depends on a family's circumstances. Besides paying funeral and other final expenses, loved ones can use life insurance proceeds to replace lost wages, help pay off a mortgage, pay for the kids' college education and assist with the daily expenses of running a household.

Best gifts: Mother knows best

If you're wondering what to get Mom for Mother's Day, simple gifts, time spent with family, and maybe a little pampering are the way to go, according to an Insure.com survey.

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