Life Insurance for Children (A Look at the 4 Best Policies)
Buying life insurance for children is just one of the many ways you can give your child a financially sound future.
One of the biggest benefits is that there is an incredible variety of policies offered by many insurance companies. Most of these can fit any family’s budget.
Buying a life insurance policy for your child when they are very young can help provide a financial nest egg for them as they grow. They will get a good financial head start when they reach young adulthood. It can also provide for children with special needs.
Use the links below to jump down to any particular section.
- The Basics
- Riders vs. Standalone Policies
- 5 Reasons Why Life Insurance for Children Can Help
- How to Buy Life Insurance For Children
- Overview of the 4 Best Companies
- Other Options
- How Abrams Can Help
You can usually buy a policy starting within the first couple weeks from when your child is born and anytime thereafter up to either ages 14 or 17 years of age. Most policies will cover a child up to age 18 or 23.
Yet the coverage doesn’t end there because your child will have the option of assuming ownership of the policy. This allows your children to continue their life insurance coverage at low rates. Even a child rider on your life insurance can be converted into a permanent policy of their own.
We recommend that you buy life insurance for children sooner because premiums are low. Life insurance gets more expensive as you age.
If you want to wait until they’re a little older, that’s okay too. They’re still at a relatively young age compared to when most people start thinking of life insurance. Either way, you are providing your child with life insurance protection while preparing them for their future.
Scroll down for an overview of the 4 best policies offering life insurance for children. These policies are through Gerber Life Insurance Company, Foresters Financial, Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance Company, and National Life Insurance Company.
If you’re still uncertain about whether it’s right to buy life insurance for your children, we are going to take a look at some the most common reasons parents choose to do this.
A Quick Note On Riders Versus Standalone Policies
Some couples wait until they have children to get life insurance on themselves. This opens up the option to simplify the life insurance process by adding a child life insurance rider to one of the parents’ policies.
An insurance rider is an add-on part to a life insurance policy that provides extra coverage.
Like all insurance options, there are pros and cons to child riders. There also companies that specialize in child term riders. Other companies focus on riders for special needs kids.
5 Reasons Why Life Insurance for Children is a Good Idea
A life insurance policy for your children can offer many benefits and advantages as they grow up.
1. Provides Immediate Life Insurance Coverage
Your children will immediately receive life insurance coverage until at least 18 or 23 years old. (The age varies between insurance companies.) When the child policy is about to mature, most policies allow the child to continue coverage regardless of their health or occupation.
Most children are born healthy. Yet one never knows when a health issue such as diabetes or cancer can strike. Serious health issues can happen at any age. Having a policy in place when your child is young guarantees they can continue to have life insurance when they get older.
Your children will likely want to start a family of their own when they grow up. Should they develop a serious health issue when they are young, they may not be able to afford coverage later. Even worse, they could be declined altogether.
2. Life Insurance Policies for Children Cost Almost Nothing
Most life insurance companies provide face amount coverage ranging from $5,000 up to $50,000 for children’s life insurance policies. The cost for these policies can be as low as $4 per month. The premiums will depend on the amount of coverage as well as the age of the child.
The premiums you pay are locked in for the duration. Which means you never have to worry about unexpected premium jumps.
3. Policies Offer a Cash Value Plus Living Benefits
You can provide a financial nest egg for your child when you choose a permanent life insurance policy for them. These are often called whole life or universal life policies.
As you pay the premiums, a certain amount is designated for the cash value accumulation portion which grows and accumulates interest over time.
Another benefit is that the owner of the policy (either you or your child) can borrow against the cash value portion of a permanent life insurance policy. You or your child can then use the borrowed funds in any manner you choose. Keep in mind borrowing against the policy will reduce the death benefits and is subject to interest.)
Many families use these funds as a savings vehicle to pay for:
- College tuition
- Down payment on a house
- Wedding expenses
- Collateral loans
- Buying their first car
If you are 100% sure your child will go to college, a 529 plan is a smart option to save for tuition. If you aren’t sure, then the cash value accumulation gives your child more options for what to do with their future.
4. Double the Coverage Amounts
When the policy matures then your child has the option of assuming ownership. Most policies allow your children to automatically double the amount of coverage. This means if you bought a $20,000 or $50,000 dollar policy, your child can automatically increase their coverage to $40,000 or $100,000.
The additional coverage amounts will allow your children to build the cash value into a larger amount. At the same time, they can increase their life insurance coverage for their own families.
5. Provides for Funeral Expenses and Grieving Time
Although nobody wants to contemplate the death of any child for any reason, tragedies happen. Having a life insurance policy on your children allows you to cover the funeral costs.
A policy will help to provide additional financial resources to cover other outstanding bills such as medical bills not covered by your health insurance.
A policy also provides a financial buffer to allow you to focus on grieving.
How to Buy Life Insurance for Children
Life insurance policies for children are now available through many companies. Whether you are a new parent or grandparent, you can give your child a great head start to help them build their future right now.
However, there are strategies to make sure it’s the right plan for your family.
Life insurance policies for children all vary somewhat in terms of coverage restrictions, underwriting, and particularly the cost – all of which can vary significantly from company to company.
Wither so many different policies available, we always advise talking to an independent life insurance agent. Like the ones you can find here at Abrams Insurance Solutions.
Independent life insurance agents work for you and not the life insurance companies. We know which companies are more flexible for your child’s particular needs.
Independent life insurance agents have access to dozens of life insurance companies. This allows us to perform the comparison shopping for you which will save you time and money.
Our agents will help you find the most suitable policy. We also promise to make sure it’s the most affordable life insurance policy for your family.
Applications for children’s policies can be completed over the phone and there are no medical exams necessary.
If you have any questions on life insurance for children, then call Abrams Insurance Solutions today at 858-703-6178. We are happy to answer any questions you have.
Overview of the 4 Best Companies Offering Life Insurance for Children
We are proud to offer access to the 4 best life insurance companies offering life insurance for children. These are:
- Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance – Children’s Whole Life Insurance
- Foresters Financial – BrightFuture
- Gerber Life Insurance – The Grow-Up Plan
- National Life Insurance Company – Indexed Universal Life Insurance
Out of our analysis of the dozens of options for children’s life insurance, these four stick out in their quality of plan as well as their pricing.
In summary, Mutual of Omaha is the least expensive. Gerber doubles the death benefit at age 18 for no additional cost. National Life offers a tax-free income stream and other benefits.
1. Mutual of Omaha Children’s Whole Life Insurance
Mutual of Omaha offers a smart choice in life insurance for children. The children’s policy they offer is also a whole life policy.
Children’s Whole Life Policy Benefit Highlights
The main benefits of the Mutual of Omaha plan include the following:
- Face amounts from $5,000 – $50,000
- Available for children between 14 days old and 17 years old
- Whole life policy maturing at age 100
- Rates are guaranteed to never increase with age
- No medical exam required
- No decrease in benefits
- Provides a cash value accumulation which grows over time
- Allows for additional coverage to be purchased without having to provide any evidence of insurability
- Provides a variety of easy to manage payment options
Guaranteed Insurability Rider
While the policy is in force, you have the option of purchasing an additional whole life policy on the insured at the time of several life events/ages, without evidence of insurability. This means you can add additional coverage on your child regardless of any future changes in his or her health or a new medical condition.
The life events to add additional coverage include:
- Ages 25, 30, 35 and 40
- Birth or adoption of a child
- Home purchase
- You can elect to use the rider up to 5 times: mixing and matching birthdays and life events. The rider will not be discontinued if a life event or birthday passes.
Waiver of Premium Due to Death of Owner Rider
Mutual of Omaha will waive the premiums and all riders on this policy for one day-day period if the owner dies while the policy is in force. This rider is not available in the state of Massachusetts.
Mutual of Omaha Children’s Whole Life Monthly Rates:
2. Foresters Financial BrightFuture
Foresters offers a whole life policy that increases the benefits at various milestones in your child’s life. BrightFuture includes several free riders and a cash value accumulation.
Foresters includes a unique charity benefit provision. They will pay out an additional amount to a charity of the insured’s choice in their name at the same time they pay out the claim. The amount donated in honor of the insured equals 1% of the face amount.
- Available from 15-days-old to age 17
- Benefits range from $5,000 to $75,000
- Same rates for boys and girls
- No underwriting
- 10-pay option available
- Charity benefit provision
Sample Monthly Rates
The rate chart below shows the monthly rates you might pay for a child at varying ages and benefit amounts.
Underwriting is simple for BrightFuture. The application asks two health questions. If you answer “no” to all of them, your child will qualify for coverage.
- Has the proposed insured ever been diagnosed with, received or been advised to receive treatment, medical care, or surgical care, or been prescribed medication, or investigated for:
- A) A type of heart disease, birth defect, Down’s Syndrome, autism, a mental disorder or developmental problems?
- B) A form of cancer, leukemia, Cystic Fibrosis, chronic lung disease (excluding asthma), spinal atrophy, muscular dystrophy or diabetes?
- C) A terminal illness or end-stage disease?
- Within the past 5 years (60 months), has the proposed insured had a diagnostic test, been advised to get surgery, a medical procedure or a lab test (excluding tests related to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)), or been referred to a doctor or medical specialist, any of which has not yet been started or completed or for which the results are not yet known?
Rider availability varies between states. All of these should be available to most families unless your state has specific rider restrictions.
Guaranteed Insurability Rider – allows your child to purchase more life insurance at various points in their life. These are:
- Age 25
- Age 28
- Age 31
- Age 34
- Age 37
- Age 40
- Birth or adoption of a child
This option expires on the certificate anniversary when your child reaches 40-years old. At each opportunity, they can increase their death benefit by either $50,000 or their benefit amount – whichever is lower.
Common Carrier Accidental Death Rider – doubles the death benefit if the insured passes within 180 days (resulting from) an accident as a passenger on a common carrier. The insurance industry defines a common carrier as any type of paid-for mass transportation: buses, trains, taxis, etc.
Family Health Benefit Rider – provides up to $650 per person toward any emergency room visit as a result of any of the following:
- Struck by lightning
- Volcanic eruption
It limits benefits to a $5,000-lifetime family maximum. Anyone in the insured’s immediate family can use it.
Accelerated Death Benefit Rider – allows the owner to use up to 95% of the death benefits while still living in the event of an illness terminal within 12 months. This rider will terminate after being used once.
3. Gerber Life Insurance – The Grow-Up Plan
Gerber is a well-known company that has been providing quality baby food for American children for generations.
It stands to reason that they would also be one of the top companies to offer premium quality life insurance for children. You may have even seen their commercials for it on TV.
The Grow-Up Plan is whole life insurance. This is a type of permanent life insurance which not only provides life insurance protections but additionally provides a cash value accumulation feature. The cash value grows based on your premium payments as well as interest growth.
The adult who buys the coverage will remain the policy owner until the child reaches age 21. At that point, the child will then become the policy owner. Your child will then have the choice of keeping the policy, taking a loan against the cash value if needed, or requesting a payout.
If a financial need occurs while the adult owner still holds the policy, they also have the same options.
Gerber Grow-Up Plan Highlights
- Gerber Grow-Up Plan life insurance offers face value coverage for your child or grandchild (it can also be purchased by legal guardians) ranging from $5,000 – $50,000
- Policy coverage is up to age 21
- Offers affordable premiums which never increase
- Coverage can be purchased for a child starting at 14 days old to 14 years old
- Coverage automatically doubles at age 18 without any increase in premium
Sample Monthly Premium Rates for Gerber Grow-Up Plan Life Insurance
Sample rates shown are for healthy children. Other coverage amounts and rates available. Rates shown do not include PPO Rider.
Guaranteed Future Insurability for Your Child
When your child becomes the adult owner of the policy, they will have up to 4 opportunities to buy additional insurance. This availability occurs at age 21, 25, 35, and 40 years of age.
Each new policy can be as high as the face value of the policy when they turned 18. For example, let’s say your child has a policy worth $50,000 when they turned 18 years old. If they take advantage of the first opportunity, their policy will automatically double to $100,000. The 4 opportunities to buy additional coverage means they could eventually have a $400,000 policy.
Payment Protection Option (PPO) Rider
The Gerber Grow-Up Plan also offers a payment protection rider for an additional minor cost. This rider will provide coverage for all premium payments should the owner of the policy become disabled or die before the child’s 21st birthday. The PPO Rider is available for those owners who are between 18 and 50 years old. The child must be no older than age 18 as of their last birthday.
4. National Life Insurance Company
There are several companies that offer Indexed Universal Life Insurance policies for children. This type of policy provides a death benefit and tax-free cash that your child can use when they are older. It’s a great way to transfer wealth or to help your kids get a head start with their finances.
This policy requires a little larger premium, but you (actually your kids) will get much more out of this policy than the other 2 mentioned above.
Example for a 2-year-old:
Let’s say you have a 2-year-old child and want to save $75/month for that child’s benefit. You could start a life insurance policy with a $134,000 death benefit. When the child is earning their own income and ready, you can transfer ownership and funding of the policy to the child. Let’s say that the child continues to fund the life insurance with $75/month until the child retires at age 65.
This life insurance policy will provide the following benefits to your child:
- The death benefit could increase to:
- $212,245 @ age 35
- $354,273 @ age 45
- $499,851 @ age 55
- $797,335 @ age 65
- This is a great way to make sure that your child is insurable throughout his or her life. If an accident or illness occurs and your child cannot qualify for coverage in the future – they already have this policy in place.
- From age 66 to age 95, your child can take $56,000/year tax-free from the policy
- This is $1,680,000 tax-free over 30 years
- At age 95, the death benefit is still $552,983 to your child’s heirs
- This policy also provides $675,506+ in cash if the child is diagnosed with a terminal, chronic or critical illness. These are known as Living Benefits.
- Using Living Benefits may reduce some of the other policy features. With so many flexible benefits, it’s an incredible safety net to put in place for your child.
One thing to keep in mind is that parents need to have twice the life insurance in place as their child. Therefore, if you are putting a $134,000 policy on a child, both parents must have a minimum of $268,000 of life insurance in-force on each parent. If a single parent, then that parent will need at least $268,000 of coverage.
This strategy can be used for any age child. Even for a 15 – 18 year old, this type of policy will provide benefits as mentioned above. The amount of benefits will depend on the amount of premium paid into the policy.
We always recommend that the parents are properly insured before putting this type of policy on a child. Curious how much life insurance you need? Use our life insurance needs calculator to see the recommended amount of coverage for your situation.
As parents, we personally use this type of policy to supplement our retirement savings. This provides tax-free distributions, protection from stock market risk, accessibility to cash, and provides a life insurance death benefit.
To learn more about this option, we have a free video course that teaches how to build tax-free wealth with life insurance. Sign up for the video course here.
Other Life Insurance Options for Children
There are other approaches in how you can buy life insurance for children. Many companies offer a Children’s Term Rider which you attach to your own policy. A term rider provides death benefits only. It will not include a cash value accumulation feature.
If your children have a serious health issue, we can still get them approved with a children’s term rider. We have helped many parents with a rider when their child could not qualify for other policies.
Other companies also offer a children’s rider which consists of a permanent life insurance policy. You can buy this as either a whole life policy rider or a guaranteed universal life rider.
The next step in protecting your children is considering the pros and cons of setting up a living trust for your life insurance. That ensures your life insurance benefits do not get tied up in court for years with your children having nothing to live on.
How Abrams Insurance Solutions Can Help You Find Affordable Life Insurance for Children
Our independent life insurance agents have access to over 70 of the most progressive insurance companies in the industry. Every family that has children wants to protect them. Life insurance for children is a great way to give your child a good start to their adult lives.
Yet we also know how difficult it can be to find the right coverage at a great price. We can help you find the perfect coverage for your children. Our experience has given us insight into all the different underwriting requirements and coverage options available. Our agents will spend their time performing the comparison shopping for you, saving you time as well as money.
We won’t stop shopping the market until we find you the best policy at the lowest rates.
Do you have questions about life insurance for children that we didn’t answer? Give us a call at 858-703-6178 and we will point you in the right direction.