Long divorced, reasonably amiable with non-working ex sharing care of children half and half with me. If anything happened to her health, I'd not know what to do -- I couldn't afford a fulltime nanny and couldn't afford to stop working to do fulltime care myself.
Does anyone know if it's legal/ok/possible etc to insure her ability to be a child carer, i.e. death and disability insurance, even though we are divorced? Plainly insurance could never make a new Mum, but it would mean peace of mind.
It is certainly possible and it is legal. You might find it prohibitively expensive though, not because she is your ex, but because this sort of cover can be expensive anyway.
They key is to find cover that does what you want. Top end type of policy is called (unattractively) Permanent Health Insurance or PHI. There will be a maximum cover level beyond which insurers will not go. Because they want to retain an incentive for your ex to carry on as present. More modern types of policy and particularly those designed for “house-persons” will pay if the insured (your ex) is unable to perform certain Activities of Daily Living or ADLs. You will need to consider these carefully as it is not unusual for policies of this type to only pay out if there are multiple failures i.e. you ex cannot perform two, three or more ADLs. You may decide that there cover provided is only a real last resort and therefore possible not worth the expense.
There are cheaper types of policy, typically accident and sickness policies, but they are usually cheaper because they are less likely to pay out, or at least only payout in truly disastrous circumstances.
Even if you can find tolerable cover, it is likely that there will be a “waiting-period” on the policy. This means that it will not pay out at all for there first several weeks, if your ex were ill or injured.
Sorry to put such a downer on this thought. I do believe that there is a real need for this type of cover but the cost may just be too high.