Forty-eight per cent have no life insurance, whilst 59 per cent of childless adults are in the same position.
Medical expenses come even lower down the list of priorities, with only 18 per cent having plans in place.
Children also reduce focus on saving for a pension, the survey found – 56 per cent of parents have financial plans in place for retirement, compared to 67 per cent of childless adults.
“The fact that such large numbers of households are not planning ahead is leaving families greatly exposed to unforeseen events,” said HSBC’s Christine Foyster.
“Protecting the household’s financial assets during parents’ working lives will not only ensure that families can cope if circumstances change, but should also be seen as an important part of preparing for retirement.”