Should You Buy Life Insurance for Children?


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Life insurance policies are available for children and are often marketed as paying out a death benefit if the child were to pass away as well as potentially providing a savings vehicle for the insured.

It’s a lot more comfortable to contemplate these policies funding, say, a child’s education than handling expenses at the time of death. But both are facets of these products. In addition, these policies can help prove a child’s insurability later in life. Let’s take a closer look if this coverage might be right for your family.

What Is Child Life Insurance?

Life insurance for children is similar to a policy for an adult. If premiums are paid regularly, then there’s the guarantee of a death benefit if the child dies. A parent, legal guardian, or grandparent takes out the policy (making them the policyholder). This person can be the beneficiary who would receive the death benefit, if applicable, but they don’t have to be.

Before getting into more detail about policies for children, here’s a brief overview of the two types of life insurance: term and permanent. Each is available for children as well as adults.

Term Life Insurance

As the name implies, term life insurance comes with a pre-determined term, often 10, 20, or 30 years. If the insured person dies within that time frame, then a death benefit is paid out to beneficiaries (people designated to receive those funds). At the end of the term, the policy may be able to be renewed, allowed to lapse, or converted into permanent life insurance. If the insured is still alive at the end of the term (and we hope they are), there is not a refund of the premiums paid. The service was there waiting but wasn’t tapped.

For a child, this would typically be an add-on to a parent’s insurance policy. It would be a death benefit-only policy, but it might be able to be converted into an adult policy when the insured reaches adulthood.

Permanent Life Insurance

Unlike a term policy, permanent life insurance doesn’t expire as long as premiums are paid. Whenever the insured dies, a death benefit is paid. These plans also involve a savings vehicle, in which part of the premiums paid go into a cash account which can later be tapped or borrowed against. Premiums are typically higher than term life insurance (often several multiples of the term life insurance price).

When getting this kind of policy for a child, yes, there’s the death benefit for a worst-case scenario, but there’s also a component that builds a savings account, which is like a gift to the child. When the insured individual reaches adulthood (typically at 18 or 21 years of age, these policies often allow the now-adult to either take the policy’s cash value or continue payments and coverage.

How Does Life Insurance for Children Work?

The adult who plans to take out the policy will fill out an application. There isn’t a medical exam involved like there can be for adults, which streamlines the process.

Life insurance policies for children are often permanent life policies, meaning coverage can last their entire lives if premiums are kept up.  Premiums stay the same over the lifetime of the policy, and part of the premium is invested and becomes a cash value that can be withdrawn during the child’s life. These are usually whole life policies, meaning the cash earns a fixed rate of interest.

Check the parameters of a policy that you’re considering buying. Many allow you to buy one for a child who is 17 years old or younger, although some policies won’t go up to age 17. The policyholder commonly transfers the policy to the child when they become adults, but this can be done at any time and some policies automatically transfer into the child’s name at a designated time.

For term life insurance for kids, an option is to add a rider (an optional add-on) to your own term life insurance policy. This can be an affordable option, and one rider may cover all of your children in incremental amounts. The child would be insured to adulthood, at which point the policy would lapse or could be extended by the now-grown child, if they assume paying the premium.

When Does Life Insurance for Kids Make Sense?

Here are four reasons why you might decide to buy life insurance for kids include:

  • Investment purposes
  • Because of health issues or concerns
  • To enhance future insurability
  • In case the worst happens

Here’s more about each.

Investment Purposes

As premiums are paid, the cash value of a whole life policy (a kind of permanent insurance) gradually increases. When your child takes over the life insurance policy, they can surrender — or cancel — it and collect the cash value.

They might choose to use it as collateral for a loan. Or they could keep paying for the policy, which will continue to increase the cash value. If this is your primary motivation, you may want to consider whether this goal is better served by another vehicle, such as a 529 savings account for college costs).

Health Issues or Concerns

If a child is born with health issues or your family has a significant, genetically determined health condition, having a life insurance policy may give you more of a sense of security.

Enhance Insurability

When purchasing a life insurance policy for a child, you are ensuring they have some insurance if they have a major health-altering diagnosis during the term of the insurance. There may be the possibility of extending this coverage.

The Worst Happens

Nobody likes to think about losing a child. If this traumatic event does occur, life insurance will help to cover funeral expenses without being subject to income tax. This can help to eliminate the financial worry of funeral costs and allow you to grieve without this concern. The policy may also cover therapy in this worst-case scenario and/or loss of wages if you were to take a leave of absence from work in the aftermath of this situation.

Benefits of Child Life Insurance

What you’ve just read outlines some of the reasons why it can make sense to buy life insurance for kids. It can serve as an investment vehicle; provide security if health is a concern; boost future insurability, and cover expenses if the worst situation happens.

Here are some other benefits to consider:

  • Life insurance for children tends to be very affordable. The younger a child is when you purchase the policy, the lower the premium.
  • With whole and term life insurance, premiums remain the same, guaranteed, as long as payments continue being made.
  • With a guaranteed insurability rider on the policy, more coverage can be purchased for that child without the need to answer health questions. This is true even when they’re adults depending on the policy type.
  • If the child later accesses the cash value in the policy, they can use the money for their own unique needs — whether that’s for college tuition, a wedding, a car, or house.

How Much Is Life Insurance for Children?

Premiums are based upon the amount of the policy and the age of the child when the policy is first taken out. In some cases, this may be as young as birth or 14 days. Price varies based on gender.

Coverage amounts are typically much lower than for a policy that insures an adult. After all, the goal here isn’t to replace the loss of earning power. Instead, the limits usually range from $10,000 to $100,000, but some companies may allow more than $100,000. At the time of writing this post, a child who is four years old or younger can often be insured for a $10,000 policy for under $5 a month, and a $50,000 one for under $20 a month.

Prices increase incrementally as the child ages. By the time that they’re ages 15 to 17, a $10,000 policy may be closer to $8 per month and a $50,000 one about $35 monthly.

The Takeaway

Child life insurance allows parents, legal guardians, and grandparents to apply and pay for a policy on behalf of a child. While a child doesn’t have earning power you are seeking to protect, there are benefits to this kind of policy, including creating a savings vehicle for the child. Take a careful look at the insurance options and your family’s financial goals to determine if this is the best path for you.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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    A good launching pad for researching how much car insurance you need is to check what your state requires by law. Only two states do not require a car owner to carry some amount of insurance: New Hampshire and Virginia. If you live elsewhere, find out how much and what types of coverage a policyholder must have. Typically, there are options available. Once you’ve found this information, consider it the bare minimum to purchase.

    As you dig into the topic, you’ll hear a lot of different terms used to describe the various kinds of coverage that are offered. Let’s take a closer look here.

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    Most states require drivers to carry auto liability insurance. What it does: It helps pay the cost of damages to others involved in an accident if it’s determined you were at fault. Let’s say you were to cause an accident, whether that means rear-ending a car or backing into your neighbor’s fence while pulling out of a shared driveway. Your insurance would pay for the other driver’s repairs, medical bills, lost wages, and other related costs. What it wouldn’t pay for: Your costs or the costs relating to passengers in your car.

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    If you’re seriously injured in an accident caused by a driver who doesn’t carry liability car insurance, uninsured motorist coverage could help you and your passengers avoid paying some scary-high medical bills.

    Let’s take a quick look at some terms you may see if you shop for this kind of coverage.

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    Uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD)

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    Car insurance is an important layer of protection; it helps safeguard your financial wellbeing in the case of an accident. Given how much most Americans drive – around 14,000 miles or more a year – it’s likely a valuable investment.

    There can be serious penalties for driving a car without valid insurance. Let’s take a look at a few scenarios: If an officer pulls you over and you can’t prove you have the minimum coverage required in your state, you could get a ticket. Your license could be suspended. What’s more, the officer might have your car towed away from the scene.

    That’s a relatively minor inconvenience. Consider that if you’re in a car accident, the penalties for driving without insurance could be far more significant. If you caused the incident, you may be held personally responsible for paying any damages to others involved; one recent report found the average bodily injury claim totaled more than $20,000. 

    And even if you didn’t cause the accident, the amount you can recover from the at-fault driver may be restricted.

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    That’s why it can help to know what your state and your lender might require as a starting point. Keep in mind that having car insurance isn’t just about getting your car — or someone else’s — fixed or replaced. (Although that — and the fact that it’s illegal to not have insurance — may be motivation enough to at least get basic car insurance coverage.)

    Having the appropriate levels of coverage can also help you protect all your other assets — your home, business, savings, etc. — if you’re in a catastrophic accident and the other parties involved decide to sue you to pay their bills. And let us emphasize: Your state’s minimum liability requirements may not be enough to cover those costs — and you could end up paying the difference out of pocket, which could have a huge impact on your finances.


    To get a ballpark figure in mind, consider these numbers. 


    Your insurance company will probably offer several coverage options, and you may be able to build a policy around what you need based on your lifestyle. For example, if your car is paid off and worth only a few thousand dollars, you may choose to opt out of collision insurance in order to get more liability coverage.


    Your deductible is the amount you might have to pay out personally before your insurance company begins paying any damages. Let’s say your car insurance policy has a $500 deductible, and you hit a guardrail on the highway when you swerve to avoid a collision. If the damage was $2,500, you would pay the $500 deductible and your insurer would pay for the other $2,000 in repairs. (Worth noting: You may have two different deductibles when you hold an auto insurance policy — one for comprehensive coverage and one for collision.)

    Just as with your health insurance, your insurance company will likely offer you a lower premium if you choose to go with a higher deductible ($1,000 instead of $500, for example). Also, you typically pay this deductible every time you file a claim. It’s not like the situation with some health insurance policies, in which you satisfy a deductible once a year.

    If you have savings or some other source of money you could use for repairs, you might be able to go with a higher deductible and save on your insurance payments. But if you aren’t sure where the money would come from in a pinch, it may make sense to opt for a lower deductible.


    As you assess how much coverage to get, here’s some good news: Buying twice as much liability coverage won’t necessarily double the price of your premium. You may be able to manage more coverage than you think. Before settling for a bare-bones policy, it can help to check on what it might cost to increase your coverage. This information is often easily available online, via calculator tools, rather than by spending time on the phone with a salesperson.

    Some insurers reward safe drivers or “good drivers” with lower premiums. If you have a clean driving record, free of accidents and claims, you are a low risk for your insurer and they may extend you a discount.

    Another way to save: Bundling car and home insurance is another way to cut costs. Look for any discounts or packages that would help you save.

    Buying car insurance is an important step in protecting yourself in case of an accident or theft. It’s not just about repairing or replacing your vehicle. It’s also about ensuring that medical fees and lost wages are protected – and securing your assets if there were ever a lawsuit filed against you. 

    These are potentially life-altering situations, so it’s worth spending a bit of time on the few key steps that will help you get the right coverage at the right price. It begins with knowing what your state or your car-loan lender requires. Then, you’ll review the different kinds of policies and premiums available. Put these pieces together, and you’ll find the insurance that best suits your needs and budget.

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    Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.



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