Complete Guide to Life Insurance Policies for Children

Table of Contents

As a rule, the answer to the question of  “Do I need a life insurance policy?”  is a pretty resounding yes. For most people, life insurance is a smart financial choice. Whether you’re 22 or 62, having a policy in place can be an invaluable piece of financial security.

What if you’re not taking out a policy for yourself or a spouse, or even a business partner, though? What about life insurance policies for children? It might surprise you to learn that in the case of kids, the answer to “Do they need a life insurance policy?” is generally no.

That’s not to say there are never times it might make sense to buy a child’s life insurance policy. Just like other major financial decisions, your individual circumstances play a huge role in what makes sense for you. So, some families might benefit from life insurance policies for their children, but it’s not needed in most cases.

After all, life insurance’s primary purpose is to replace income so that your family is financially secure if you die. The vast majority of children do not bring in a salary, contribute to household bills or have people depending on their income.

Plus, while it’s true that younger people can get better life insurance rates, children’s life insurance policies are whole life insurance.  Whole life insurance is always more expensive than term life insurance.

So when does life insurance for children make sense? When is it a bad idea? What are the alternatives? We’ll tackle all those questions and more in our guide. Be sure to check out the FAQ section at the end of the article for some excellent questions on children and life insurance.

The Basics of Life Insurance for Children

Life insurance policies for children work the same basic way as adult life insurance policies. You’ll pay a monthly or annual premium for a set amount of death benefit. If the insured child passes away, that death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary named on the policy.

However, there are a few important distinctions between child life insurance and adult life insurance. With children’s life insurance plans, a child cannot own their own policy. It has to be an adult that has an insurable interest in the child. This would oftentimes be a parent, legal guardian, or grandparent.

When an adult takes out a life insurance policy on themself, they’re typically both the insured, the policy owner, and payor.

So, for example, let’s say a 34-year-old named Keith takes out a $500,000 term life insurance policy and named his spouse as the beneficiary. Keith is the insured, the policy owner, and is responsible for making the payments.

Since he is the owner of his own policy, he has full control in making any changes allowed by his policy. Keith is also the insured party of his policy. If Keith dies, the $500,000 will be paid out to the beneficiary, which in this case, would be his spouse.

A life insurance policy is a legal contract, and a minor cannot be their own policy owner until they are considered an adult, which with most insurance companies is at age 18.

So, let’s say Keith also takes out a $25,000 children’s whole life insurance policy for his 4-year-old daughter, Olivia. Keith is the policy owner and will be responsible for making the payments for his daughters’ coverage.

Keiths, daughter Oliva, is the insured party. If Olivia were to pass away, Keith or a beneficiary that Keith chose would be the one to receive the $25,000 death benefit. 

Because he is the owner, he is also the only one who can make changes to the policy down the road, such as beneficiary changes and the transferring of ownership to Oliva when she becomes an adult.

Another major difference is the type of policies available. Adults can choose from term life insurance, universal life insurance, or whole life insurance. Policies for children are most commonly sold as a form of whole life policies.

Of course, there are benefits to a whole life policy. The insured child will be covered for the rest of their life, no matter how long that is. Premium payments are often locked in for the contract’s entire life, and whole life insurance policies build a guaranteed cash value. That cash value can be accessed at any time during the child’s life or even when they become an adult.

Managing a Children's Life Insurance Policy

Most children’s life insurance policies will allow you to buy a life insurance policy for a child up to 17, although some companies may have a younger cutoff.

It’s normally a fast and easy process to buy a life insurance policy for a child. You’ll need to fill out an application with some basic information, but the process is generally a lot less intense than the process for adults. Plus, children won’t need to undergo a medical exam to get coverage.

As mentioned, you, the parent, will be the owner of your child’s life insurance policy. Most companies let you transfer the policy over to your child once they reach a specific age, generally age 18.

When your child has reached adult age, it is generally up to you as to if you want to release ownership and payment responsibilities. Since you are the original owner, you may choose to continue to remain the policy owner. You can also choose to release ownership but remain the payor or if coverage is not needed, cancel the coverage entirely for the life insurance policy’s cash value.

The timing of this is generally up to you, although some policies might set a transfer age. When your child hits that age, they’ll automatically become the policyholder. For example, the popular baby life insurance coverage offered with Gerber Life will automatically switch ownership to the child when they turn 21.

So, let’s look at Keith and Olivia from the example above. Keith would be the policyholder until Olivia is at least 18. After that, he can decide to transfer the policy to her. Oliva will then have her own policy. She’ll take over the payments and the policy management. She’ll also be able to access the policy’s cash value.

Some children’s life insurance policies allow you to pay the entire amount in 10 or 20 years, referred to as a limited payment plan. With these policies, you can hand over a policy to your adult child that has been completely paid off. They’ll have coverage and access to the cash value when needed, but they won’t need to make any payments.

Looking at the Cost to Insure a Child

The cost of a children’s life insurance policy will depend on a few factors. These include:

  • The age of your child when you take out the policy – Children’s life insurance plans are rather inexpensive. However, the younger your child is, the cheaper the rates will be.
  • Child’s genderMost true children’s life insurance plans offer rates that are based on unisex and not a specific gender. However, some plans will use gender, and as with adults, males will have a higher rate than females.
  • The amount of coverage you take out – You’ll pay more for larger death benefit amounts.
  • Your policy structure – Premiums will be a lot higher if you take out a policy that you agree to pay off in 10 or 20 years than if you take out a policy with lifelong payments. By default, children’s life insurance plans are offered with a premium payment basis, often to age 100 or 121. Most parents choose a level premium plan rather than paying a limited payment structure. 
  • The company you select – It always pays to shop around. You might be able to get better deals from select companies, as shown in the rate table below.

Sample Life Insurance Rates for Kids

$25,000
AgeGerber LifeGlobe LifeMutual of Omaha
0$15.70$8.81$8.50
1$16.30$8.81$8.50
2$16.83$8.81$8.50
3$17.33$8.81$8.50
4$17.91$8.81$8.50
5$18.50$10.51$10.50
6$19.05$10.51$10.50
7$19.71$10.51$10.50
8$20.35$10.51$10.50
9$21.06$10.51$10.50
10$21.75$12.69$12.25
11$22.56$12.69$12.25
12$23.33$12.69$12.25
13$24.19$12.69$12.25
14$24.98$12.69$12.25
15NA$15.10$15.75
16NA$15.10$15.75
17NA$15.10$15.75

*Monthly rates shown in the above table represent the cost of a $25,000 children’s whole life insurance policy with Gerber Life, Globe Life, and Mutual of Omaha. These rates are current as of 03/21/2021.

Children's Life Insurance As An Investment

Whole life policies for adults are often seen as a great savings vehicle since they build cash value as you pay your premiums. Plus, that cash value earns interest, so the longer you have your policy, the more your cash value will be.

Whole life policies for children also build a guaranteed cash value. This can make them seem pretty tempting. After all, your child will not only have lifelong insurance coverage, but they’ll also have a built-in cash value they can borrow against when they are older.

For many parents, this seems like a great way to set up financial security for their children and protect themselves from end-of-life or medical costs should a child pass away. However, this isn’t always the best financial choice if you’re buying a policy solely for cash value growth.

Many families would be much better served to put that same amount of money monthly into a high-yield savings account or money market stock account. These accounts are likely to be worth a lot more by the time you or your child needs to access the funds in them.

To provide you with an example of how much cash value you can expect from a children’s whole life insurance policy, we have put together the following table representing an actual children’s whole life insurance policy with the cash value growth compared to the premium paid each year. 

Cash Value Growth of Children's Whole Life Insurance Plan

AgePolicy YearAnnual PremiumTotal Premiums PaidCash ValueDeath Benefit
11$102.00$102.00$0.00$25,000
55$102.00$510.00$0.00$25,000
1010$102.00$1,020.00$225.00$25,000
1515$102.00$1,530.00$550.00$25,000
2020$102.00$2,040.00$950.00$25,000
2525$102.00$2,550.00$1,400.00$25,000
3030$102.00$3,060.00$1,975.00$25,000
3535$102.00$3,570.00$2,650.00$25,000
4040$102.00$4,080.00$3,475.00$25,000
4545$102.00$4,590.00$4,425.00$25,000
5050$102.00$5,100.00$5,600.00$25,000
5555$102.00$5,610.00$6,975.00$25,000
6060$102.00$6,120.00$8,600.00$25,000
6565$102.00$6,630.00$10,400.00$25,000
7070$102.00$7,140.00$12,400.00$25,000
7575$102.00$7,650.00$14,500.00$25,000
8080$102.00$8,160.00$16,625.00$25,000
8585$102.00$8,670.00$18,650.00$25,000
9090$102.00$9,180.00$20,350.00$25,000
9595$102.00$9,690.00$21,800.00$25,000
100100$102.00$10,200.00$25,000.00$25,000

*Monthly unisex premium rates current as of 03/22/2021 representing the cost and cash-value growth of a children’s whole life policy with Mutual of Omaha. The rates are based on a newborn child paying an annual premium of $102.00 up to 100 with a death benefit of $25,000. 

Often, a big selling point to children’s life insurance plans is the cash value build-up that can be used when they get older for things such as college expenses. However, when looking at the cash value growth at age 20, the value is only $950.00, which would hardly pay for one semester of college, let alone four years of college.

When we look further into the table, it is not until after age 45 when the cash value becomes greater than the total amount of premiums invested into having the life insurance coverage.

While the premiums are very inexpensive for $25,000 of permanent life insurance coverage, don’t get mislead that these plans are a good choice for cash value growth that can be used in your child’s early years. It will actually take several decades before they can have access to any decent cash value growth.

Considerations For Your Family When Taking Out Children's Life Insurance

Even if they’re not the best savings option, there are times that a children’s life insurance policy is the right move. For example, families who know they have a family history of certain serious medical conditions.

In this case, a child might not be able to get their own policy once they reach adulthood should they become diagnosed with an uninsurable medical condition. So, securing a policy as soon as possible might make a lot of sense. It can protect future insurability.

High-income families might also find children’s life insurance policies beneficial. Parents in this financial situation might be able to pay the policy off completely, giving their child a policy and a cash value savings account all at once. In that way, it can be like passing an investment or asset on to a child once they’re old enough to manage it on their own.

The best way to know if a children’s life insurance policy makes sense for you is to talk with a financial advisor. They can help you look at your income, budget, and assets to decide if it’s a good fit for you.

You can also work with a life insurance agent who specializes in life insurance policies for children. This will give you a good idea of what policies are available to you.

Pros of children's life insuranceCons of children's life insurance
No medical exams Not all children will qualify for coverage
Guaranteed insurability for life Slow growing cash value
Ability to add more coverage laterLow coverage limits
Locked in low ratesLocked into payments for decades
Coverage for the unexpected death of a childMoney might be better spent elsewhere
Cash value that grows with time
Peace of mind

Advantages of Children's Life Insurance

As mentioned above, sometimes taking out life insurance for your kids can be a good financial move. There are several reasons that children’s life insurance is an appealing option for many parents. Some of these advantages include:

No medical exams – Children will never be required to take a medical exam when applying for life insurance coverage. A parent, grandparent, or legal guardian will be responsible for completing the application and answering all the child’s health-related questions. The insured child will not be required to participate in any part of the application process at all. They won’t even be required to sign the application, nor will it require consent from the child.

Guaranteed insurability for your children – One of the biggest draws of children’s life insurance policies is guaranteed insurability. Your child will have coverage for the rest of their life as long as the premiums are paid when due. They’ll never have to worry about applying for coverage or getting turned down.

This means that even if your child develops a serious health condition later in life or takes up a dangerous hobby, high-risk occupation, or both, they’ll still be covered. So, even if Olivia, from our earlier example, develops diabetes or takes up a frequent hobby of sky-diving, it will not affect her coverage from when she was a child. 

Additional coverage can be added – Most children’s life insurance plans offer the option to increase the coverage through a policy rider known as a guaranteed insurability rider.

If offered by the insurance company that you choose to purchase your child’s life insurance coverage with, the guaranteed insurability rider works by allowing the policy owner to increase the amount of the original death benefit when the child reaches certain ages or at certain life events such as getting married or purchasing a home. 

Choosing to increase the death benefit will increase the overall coverage of the life insurance policy later on. Increasing the death benefit will also result in a higher premium, but there won’t be any additional underwriting requirements or even a medical exam. Approval is guaranteed regardless of any changes in health.

Low rates are locked in – The rule in insurance is that it’s always cheaper to buy a policy when you’re young. That means babies, juveniles, and teenagers will always get the lowest life insurance rates of all, and those rates will be locked in for the rest of their life.

Children’s life insurance rates might be a little more expensive than what many healthy 20 and 30 somethings might see for term life insurance, but keep in mind, children’s plans are whole life insurance plans. In contrast, term insurance is a temporary insurance that will have an end date when coverage will expire, which is the reason for its affordability compared to permanent plans.

Coverage for the unexpected – No one wants to think about a child passing away. However, if an insured child does die, there will be a payable death benefit to cover final expenses like funeral costs and medical bills.

The funds received from a death benefit can also provide a temporary replacement of income during grieving.

Built-in cash value – Like all whole life insurance policies, a children’s life insurance policy will build guaranteed cash value growth. It’s almost like creating a forced saving account for your child with financial protection should the unthinkable occur.

Every time a premium payment is paid to the insurance company, a portion of that payment will be paid towards the insurance cost and another portion deposited into the cash value account.

The longer payments are made throughout the course of having the life insurance coverage, the higher the cash value growth will occur. You or your child will have access to the cash value to borrow against when you need it. The cash value can also be accessed if the life insurance coverage is no longer needed and is surrendered.

Peace of mind – Child life insurance plans are very affordable, and even though some experts may say they are a waste, that shouldn’t matter if they bring you peace of mind. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

Disadvantages of Children's Life Insurance

As we’ve said, children’s life insurance policies aren’t always a great idea. While they have their advantages, there are some drawbacks you should know about. These include:

The cash value grows slowly – If you’re looking for a savings vehicle that will earn high interest and grow quickly over the years, a children’s life insurance policy probably isn’t your best bet. There are multiple types of savings plans and accounts that grow much faster and offer better strategies.

It takes most children’s life insurance policies decades before the cash value is even close to the premiums you’ve put into the life insurance coverage. That means that in the first 40 to 50 years of the policy, the cash value is often worth less than the money you’ve put in. By contrast, a high yield savings account will be worth more than the money you’ve paid into it after the first month.

Coverage limits are low – Adults can take out life insurance policies worth millions of dollars if their income supports it. Benefits for children, however, are limited. Most companies only offer coverage of $25,000, $50,000, or $75,000. So, while your child will be covered for life, the coverage amount is likely not enough for their needs down the road, especially when they start a family of their own and need a million-dollar life insurance policy.

You need to make payments for decades – The policy will only be active if you continue to pay the premiums. While this is true for all life insurance policies regarding children’s policies, you’re generally looking at a much longer commitment. Financial hardships down the road could make it hard to keep up with payments. 

The money could be used on other things – The money you invest into a life insurance policy for your child might be better spent on other things to help your child. While you could argue that all life insurance policies require money you could have spent elsewhere, the simple fact is that a child is much less likely to die and need the policy paid out.

Plus, even your child does tragically pass away, the costs they leave behind could be paid in other ways. All life insurance is a risk calculation. For most adults, the risk of not having a policy is much greater than the risk of having a policy they never use. The same can’t be said for children in most cases.

Top 3 Best Children's Whole Life Insurance Plans for 2021

If buying a life insurance policy for your baby, toddler, pre-teen, or teenager sounds like an excellent decision, then allow us to help you find the best company.

Three life insurance companies instantly rise to the top and have literally designed a whole life insurance policy for kids. Not even adults can apply for the coverage.

These three life insurance companies that you are shortly going to learn about are not only the most popular choices when it comes to life insurance for kids, but they are also responsible for providing the majority of today’s children’s life insurance plans. Therefore considered the best choice for this type of life insurance coverage. 

Mutual of Omaha

Company: Mutual of Omaha

AM Best Rating: A+ (Superior)

Policy Name: Children’s Whole Life

Product Type: Non-participating Whole Life Insurance

Premium Payments: Pay to age 100

Issue Ages: 14 days to 17 years

Minimum Amount: $5,000

Maximum Amount: $50,000

Rates: Unisex

Medical Exam Requirements: No medical exam required

Health Questions: 2

Policy Riders:

  • Guaranteed Insurability Rider – Allows for the purchase of additional death benefit coverage without having to provide proof of insurability. Option to add coverage will come into effect when the child reaches age 25, 30, 35, and 40. It can also come in effect if the child gets married, has a child of their own, or purchase a home. (Included at no additional cost)
  • Death of Policy Owner Waiver of Premium Rider – This rider waives premiums for a 90-day period if the policy owner passes away. (Included at no additional cost)

State Availability: All states except NY & WA

Mutual of Omaha Children's Whole Life Monthly Rates

Ages$10,000$15,000$20,000$25,000$30,000$35,000$40,000$45,000$50,000
0-4$4.00$5.50$7.00$8.50$10.00$11.50$13.00$14.50$16.00
5-9$4.80$6.70$8.60$10.50$12.40$14.30$16.20$18.10$20.00
10-14$5.50$7.75$10.00$12.25$14.50$16.75$19.00$21.25$23.50
15-17$6.90$9.85$12.80$15.75$18.70$21.65$24.60$27.55$30.50

Gerber

Company: Gerber Life Insurance

AM Best Rating: A (Excellent)

Policy Name: The Grow-Up Plan

Product Type: Non-participating Whole Life Insurance

Premium Payments: Payments to age 121 (Single payment option also available)

Issue Ages: 14 days to 14 years

Minimum Amount: $10,000

Maximum Amount: $50,000

Rates: Unisex

Medical Exam Requirements: No medical exam required

Health Questions: 2

Policy Riders: 

  • Guaranteed Purchase Option (GPO) – Allows for the insured child, as an adult to purchase additional life insurance coverage up to four times without proof of insurability. Options to purchase additional coverage becomes available at ages 21, 25, 30, 35, 40, or upon getting married or having a child. A $50,000 child life insurance policy can become $500,000 with Gerber’s automatic double-in coverage feature along with the use of the Guaranteed Purchase Option. (Included at no additional cost)
  • Payment Protection Option Rider (PPO) – Waives all premium payments if the policy owner becomes totally disabled or dies prior to the insured child’s 21st birthday. (Available at an additional cost) 

State Availability: All states

Gerber Life Grow-Up Plan Monthly Rates

Ages$10,000$15,000$20,000$25,000$30,000$35,000$40,000$45,000$50,000
0$6.53$9.80$13.06$15.70$18.84$21.98$25.12$28.26$31.40
1$6.79$10.19$13.58$16.30$19.56$22.82$26.08$29.34$32.60
2$7.00$10.50$14.00$16.83$20.19$23.56$26.92$30.29$33.65
3$7.22$10.84$14.45$17.33$20.80$24.27$27.73$31.20$34.67
4$7.45$11.18$14.91$17.91$21.49$25.07$28.65$32.24$35.82
5$7.68$11.52$15.36$18.50$22.21$25.91$29.61$33.31$37.01
6$7.93$11.89$15.86$19.05$22.86$26.66$30.47$34.28$38.09
7$8.19$12.28$16.37$19.71$23.66$27.60$31.54$35.48$39.43
8$8.47$12.70$16.94$20.35$24.42$28.48$32.55$36.62$40.69
9$8.76$13.13$17.51$21.06$25.28$29.49$33.70$37.91$42.13
10$9.05$13.58$18.10$21.75$26.10$30.45$34.80$39.15$43.50
11$9.38$14.06$18.75$22.56$27.08$31.59$36.10$40.61$45.13
12$9.70$14.55$19.40$23.33$27.99$32.66$37.32$41.99$46.65
13$10.05$15.07$20.09$24.19$29.03$33.87$38.71$43.55$48.38
14$10.38$15.58$20.77$24.98$29.98$34.98$39.97$44.97$49.97

Globe Life

Company: Globe Life

AM Best Rating: A (Excellent)

Policy Name: Young American Plan

Product Type: Non-participating Whole Life Insurance

Premium Payments: Payments to age 100

Issue Ages: Newborn to 24 years

Minimum Amount: $5,000

Maximum Amount: $30,000

Rates: Unisex

Medical Exam Requirements: No medical exam required

Policy Riders: No riders available

State Availability: All states

Globe Life Young American Plan Monthly Rates

Ages$5,000$10,000$15,000$20,000$25,000$30,000
0-4$2.17$3.83$5.49$7.15$8.81$10.47
5-9$2.47$4.48$6.49$8.50$10.51$12.52
10-14$3.01$5.43$7.85$10.27$12.69$15.11
15-19$3.62$6.49$9.36$12.23$15.10$17.97
20-24$4.44$7.98$11.52$15.06$18.60$22.14

Reputable Children Whole Life Insurance Companies

Mutual of Omaha, Gerber Life, and Globe Life are three life insurance companies that offer a whole life insurance policy specifically designed for kids only. However, they are not the only companies that can provide insurance policies for children. Multiple life insurance companies offer adult whole life insurance plans that children can also apply for.

The below table offers insight into other highly reputable life insurance companies that offer whole life insurance coverage for adults with a juvenile underwriting option.

Each one of these plans provides a fixed premium payment that is guaranteed for the policy’s life, guaranteed cash value growth, and is backed by a company with a minimum AM Best rating of an A or better.

CompanyAM BestPlan NameIssue AgesBenefit AmountsPremium Payments
American AmicableAFamily Solution0-17$5,000 - $35,000To age 100
ANICOASignature Whole Life0-17$10,000+To age 121
AssurityA-Whole Life15 days to age 17$10,000+To age 121
Cincinnati LifeA+Guaranteed Whole Life0-17$10,000 - $99,999To age 121
ForestersABright Future0-17$5,000 - $75,000To age 100
Physicians MutualAJuvenile Whole Life Insurance14 days to age 12$5,000 or $10,000To age 100
ProtectiveA+Non-Par Whole Life0-17$1,000 - $99,999To age 100
SagicorA-Sage Whole Life0-15$25,000 - $99,999To age 100
SBLIAFlex Whole Life15 days to age 14$25,000+To age 121
TransamericaALifetime Whole Life15 days to age 18$1,000 - $99,000To age 121

Best Alternatives to a Children's Whole Life Insurance Policy - Child Term Rider

There are many alternatives to taking out a life insurance policy for a child. The right route for you depends on why you’re looking to take out a life insurance policy for your child in the first place.

For instance, if you’re concerned about paying for a possible funeral or end-of-life expenses but don’t need a permanent plan or cash value growth, your smartest bet might be to add your child to your existing life insurance policy or a new policy if you require life insurance coverage yourself.

Many adult life insurance plans, such as term life insurance, offer a policy rider known as a child term insurance rider or CIR for short. With a child term rider, you can add all your children and any future children to your personal coverage as a rider. Choosing this option not only provides every child in your family with their own term life insurance coverage until they reach 25, but it is affordable.

How does a child term insurance rider work?

The child term insurance rider is purchased in units. A single unit represents $1,000 of death benefit coverage. The number of units available for purchase on a child rider can vary. Most companies will offer coverage ranging from 1-50 units, equivalent to a maximum of $50,000 of death benefit coverage.

Children are not required to take a medical exam as a child rider. Eligibility is generally based on answers to few health questions for each child listed as a rider.

Every child listed on the parent’s life insurance policy will be provided with their own individual term life insurance coverage until they reach their 25th birthday. With most child term riders, when a child reaches 25, the insurance company will offer the option for the child to convert their child term rider into their own permanent life insurance policy if they choose to convert.

As an added benefit, most companies will multiple the amount received on the child rider by five times the coverage, and there will also be no medical underwriting requirements required. Coverage is guaranteed approval.

Adding this rider will up your premiums, but it will be less expensive than taking out a separate policy, and every child is covered under one cost, not separate charges for each child. It’s a smart and budget-friendly way to get more out of your existing policy.

Life Insurance Companies that offer a Child Term Rider

ProviderIssue AgesAvailable CoverageMedical QuestionsCoverage ExpiresConversion Option
AIG15 days to age 18$500 - $25,000RequiredChild age 25 or Parent turns age 65Not available
ANICO15 days to age 18$1,000 - $25,000RequiredChild age 25 or Parent turns age 65Yes up to 5x rider amount
Assurity15 days to age 18$1,000 - $25,000RequiredChild age 25Yes up to 5x rider amount
Banner Life15 days to age 18$5,000 or $10,000 ($20,000 if both parents are applying)Not RequiredChild age 25 or Parent turns age 65Yes
Cincinnati Life15 days to age 18$10,000 or $20,000RequiredChild age 25Yes up to 5x rider amount
Foresters16 days to age 18$10,000 - $25,000RequiredChild age 25Yes up to 5x rider amount
Lincoln Financial15 days to age 18$1,000 - $15,000RequiredChild age 25 or Parent turns age 65Yes up to 5x rider amount
Mutual of Omaha15 days to age 20$1,000 - $10,000RequiredChild age 23 or Parent turns age 65Yes
Nationwide15 days to age 17$5,000 - $25,000RequiredChild age 22 or Parent turns age 65Yes
North American15 days to age 20$5,000 - $25,000RequiredChild age 23 or Parent turns age 65Yes up to 5x rider amount but not to exceed $50,000
Pacific Life15 days to age 18$1,000 - $10,000RequiredChild age 25 or Parent turns age 65Yes up to 5x rider amount
Principal15 days to age 17$5,000 - $25,000Not RequiredChild age 25 or Parent turns age 65Yes up to 3x rider amount but not to exceed $25,000
Protective15 days to age 18$1,000 - $20,000RequiredChild age 25Yes up to 5x rider amount
Prudential14 days to age 17$10,000 - $100,000RequiredChild age 25 or Parent turns age 75Yes up to 5x rider amount
Sagicor15 days to age 19$2,000 - $20,000RequiredChild age 25Yes up to 5x rider amount
SBLI15 days to age 22$10,000 - $25,000RequiredChild age 25 or Parent turns age 65Yes up to 5x rider amount
Transamerica15 days to age 20$1,000 - $99,000RequiredChild age 23 or Parent turns age 65Yes

Other Non-Life Insurance Alternatives

What if you’re looking at the savings side of life insurance? In that case, you have several options. You can look into savings accounts of all kinds, including high-yield savings accounts and investment accounts. Some popular choices include:

Custodial accounts – With a custodial account, you can put money into savings or investments. A custodial account lets you build a nest egg and choose your own investment options. This means the account has the potential to grow at whatever pace you set. When your child turns 18 or 21, the account will be waiting for them.

Child IRA’s – An IRA savings account is a great way to get a head start on savings. Plus, when your child starts earning money of their own, they can add it to the IRA and grow it further.

A 529 college plan – 529 plans are designed to help save for college. So if that’s your biggest concern, this is your best bet. Plus, 529 accounts have tax benefits that make them even more appealing.

Naming them beneficiary – Naming your child the beneficiary on your life insurance policy is a great way to make sure they’ll be financially covered if you’re no longer around to support them. While not a savings plan like some other options, naming your child as the beneficiary on your account does provide them with financial security.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Life Insurance For Children

It’s understandable if you’re still not sure whether a children’s life insurance policy makes sense in your situation. Read on for answers to come questions about taking out a life insurance policy for your kids.

Can anyone take out a children's life insurance policy?

No. While children’s life insurance policies are generally pretty simple and straightforward to get, there are some things you need to be aware of.

First, the children you take out a policy on will generally need to be in your care, at the very least part-time. You can take out a policy on a biological child, adopted child, stepchild, grandchild, or a child you’re the guardian of in most cases.

You can’t take out a policy on a child who is never in your care and whose death would not cause you direct financial stress. So, you’ll need to show that a child’s funeral or other final expenses would fall, at least in part, to you if the child were to die. In most cases, this isn’t an issue, but you should be aware of it.

Additionally, there might be requirements you’ll need to meet before you can take out a life insurance policy on a child. Some companies require that parents have their own policies before they approve a child’s life insurance policy. Your policy will generally have to be for at least as much as the policy for your child.

Can my son or daughter get life insurance with a pre-existing health condition?

Children’s life insurance plans are not guaranteed acceptance, and there are pre-existing health conditions that could disqualify a child from getting a life insurance policy. Since a child is not required to take a medical exam, approval is often based on the answers to the application’s medical questions.

The health questions on the application tend to be limited to two questions that revolve around whether or not the child applicant has been diagnosed with a severe chronic health condition or a high-risk disease.

If your child has been diagnosed with a health condition, we recommend working with an agent to shop your child’s medical condition with the different providers. Every life insurance company underwrites pre-existing conditions differently, so just because one may not be able to approve coverage doesn’t mean that another won’t be able to.

Can a child get term life insurance?

Term insurance plans are generally reserved for adult applicants as they have tend to have a minimum age requirement of 18 or older. Many term insurance plans also have a minimum death benefit amount that starts at $100,000, which in most cases is more than what a child needs in life insurance coverage in the eyes of an insurance company.

Therefore, most life insurance companies offer the child term insurance rider as an alternative. The child rider offers term life insurance protection at child-like coverage amounts on mom or dad’s own life insurance policy.

How much will it cost to add a child term rider?

Like adult term life insurance rates, a child term rider’s cost will vary from company to company. However, the cost is based on the total amount of units of coverage requested. Remember, every single unit is equivalent to $1,000 of death benefit protection.

The price of a single unit of coverage can range from as low as $3.00 to as high as $7.00 annually, which will be added to the parent’s cost of their term life insurance coverage.

Best of all, regardless of the number of children added to the term insurance plan as a child rider, there is only one cost to pay, regardless of the number of children added to the plan.

What information is needed to apply?

Child life insurance applications are often short, consisting of one to two pages. Parents, legal guardians, or grandparents will need to be prepared to provide the following information when completing a life insurance application on their child or grandchild:

  • Childs information (name, gender, date of birth)
  • Policyowners information (name, address, date of birth, and contact information)
  • Beneficiary information (name, contact information, and relationship to the child)
  • Health questions on the child
  • Payment information (banking or credit card if preferred)

When applying for a children’s life insurance policy, the entire application coverage should not take but a few minutes to complete.

How long does it take for approval to be determined?

Most children’s life insurance applications can be approved within 24-72 hours upon completion. The only time a delay may occur is if a child applicant has a medical condition that needs additional information to determine eligibility for coverage.

Do all kids need life insurance coverage?

No. In fact, most kids probably don’t. However, there are times it makes sense. One of the most common is a family history of a genetic condition. There are two reasons for this.

The first is that it might actually be very difficult for that child to find coverage later in life. With a children’s policy, they’ll get to keep their coverage for life. So no matter how their health has deteriorated, they won’t be turned down.

The second is that, unfortunately, children with certain genetic illnesses are more likely to pass away during childhood. In this case, the money from the life insurance policy could be a significant help to the family.

Submit a question

Have a question about children’s life insurance policies? Fill out the below form. We will send you an answer to your question and add it to the list of frequently asked questions to help other visitors that may have the question.

Final Word

Most families don’t need to take out life insurance policies for children. Most of the benefits of life insurance policies for children can be found in other policies and savings products.

One of the best alternatives to a children’s life insurance policy is to add a child rider to your own life insurance policy. If you’re in the market for a term policy to add a child rider to, you’re in the right place.

Use our convenient form today to see rates from top companies that don’t require a medical exam. At No Medical Exam Quotes, we make it easy to shop for the coverage you and your family need

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Jeffrey Manola - Life Insurance Expert

Jeffrey Manola - Life Insurance Expert

Jeffrey Manola is the founder of No Medical Exam Quotes, an online insurance broker with a strong focus on helping people shop for the perfect life insurance policy. Jeffrey is both a licensed life insurance expert and content creator for the website. Before becoming a licensed life insurance agent, he served in the United States Marine Corps. He transitioned from serving his country to helping families find affordable life insurance coverage since 2009. No Medical Exam Quotes is licensed to offer life insurance coverage in all 50 U.S. States.

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