Life Insurance

Best Life Insurance for Children

Best Life Insurance for Children

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Child life insurance is typically a whole life policy, meaning it includes a cash value account that increases in value as your child grows up. You can also provide life insurance for a child by adding a child life rider to your existing term or permanent life insurance policy. Many companies offer child life insurance policies, but if you are looking for the most affordable provider, we recommend beginning your search with Mutual of Omaha, as it offers the best rates among the insurers we have analyzed.


Should I buy whole life insurance for my child?

Child whole life insurance can be used as a savings vehicle, to provide guaranteed insurability if your son or daughter becomes ill, and to cover final burial expenses for your children. These types of insurance policies can be bought at any point of a child's life — from newborn years until a teenager.

If you're concerned that your child may become ill or disabled, and you want to guarantee their ability to buy life insurance when they're older, a child whole life policy can be a good investment. However, there can be better options to provide financial security for your children, and we would not recommend a child policy as a savings vehicle.

Child whole life as a savings product

Child and juvenile life insurance is primarily sold as a savings vehicle, and companies highlight that your child could use the policy's cash value later on in life for expenses like college. Each time you pay premiums, a portion of the money goes into the policy's cash value account, which has a guaranteed interest rate, causing these savings to grow over time.

However, whole life insurance comes with a variety of fees that can mitigate that rate of return, and only a small amount of the premium is put toward the policy cash value each month. If you want to invest money to fund your child's education or future, we instead recommend using a savings account like a 529 plan. These have fewer fees and can provide greater financial help for your children.

Guaranteed insurability

Another reason you might consider child life insurance is that the plan protects your child's insurability for their life. If a child develops medical problems or is disabled early in life, it can be hard for them to qualify for life insurance coverage once they become an adult. By buying life insurance for your child, you would have some coverage for the child and lock in his or her ability to purchase additional coverage later on in life, which can be crucial if they have a disability. However, if your child is healthy, then purchasing child life insurance may not be necessary, as most young adults have no issues acquiring life insurance coverage.

Final expenses

In the event of your child passing away, the death benefit of child life insurance could be used to pay for their funeral expenses. The odds of a child dying are very small, so we would instead recommend starting an emergency fund to cover expenses in case of a crisis. This option provides additional flexibility, as the money can be used for a variety of emergency costs.

However, if your family wouldn't be able to save enough to cover the burial expenses if one of your children died — funeral costs typically begin at $1,000 to $3,000 — a child life insurance policy may be a good consideration. Though we'd recommend first researching what support your state and county provide to cover final expenses.

Should I buy a child rider on life insurance?

If you have term or permanent life insurance, a child rider can be added to your current policy at an additional monthly premium and provides similar coverage to a stand-alone child life insurance policy. The juvenile would not be required to undergo a medical exam, although some insurance providers do require a medical questionnaire to be filled out to determine eligibility and pricing. Additionally, the rider will cover all current and future children in your family for the same monthly cost.

When compared to a traditional child whole life policy, the rider is much cheaper, in part because it does not have a cash value account. Furthermore, in the case your children become sick, some life insurance companies allow the child rider to be converted to a typical child whole life policy so that you could lock in your kids' insurability. However, the new policy face value is typically limited to five times the original amount. For these reasons, if you are looking to buy insurance coverage for your child, we recommend purchasing the child life rider over individual policies for your kids.

Below we have outlined coverage details for child term riders from the largest life insurance companies. Note that almost every life insurer offers a child rider that can be added to a term life insurance plan.

Mutual of Omaha
Protective Life Insurance
Age Availability15 days to 20 years15 days to 18 years15 days to 18 years
Minimum Coverage$1,000$1,000$500
Maximum Coverage$10,000$20,000$25,000
Expiration Age23 years old25 years old25 years old
Monthly Cost$6.00$4.29$4.17

Monthly costs are based on a child life insurance rider with $10,000 in coverage.

Best child life insurance companies

If you want to purchase a stand-alone child whole life insurance policy, the best insurer will typically be the cheapest one — most companies provide the same whole life benefits and policy features.

We would recommend beginning your search with Mutual of Omaha, as it offers the lowest rates among insurers we sampled. However, an even cheaper alternative would be to add a child rider to your own life insurance policy, assuming you already have coverage — child riders are offered by almost every life insurance provider.

Child Whole Life Insurance Quotes

As you can see, for a child whole life insurance policy, Mutual of Omaha offers the best rates, while Protective and Gerber's Grow-Up Plan have monthly premiums that are significantly higher. In the table below, we have taken the same sampled policies and broken down each based upon its availability and range of potential face values.

Gerber Life Insurance
Mutual of Omaha
Globe Life
Protective Life Insurance
Age Availability14 days to 14 years old14 days to 17 years old14 days to 14 years old30 days to 23 years old14 days to 17 years old
Minimum Coverage$5,000$5,000$5,000$5,000$10,000
Maximum Coverage$50,000$50,000$50,000$20,000$10,000

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