Best Life Insurance for Children

Contributor, Benzinga

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While most people think that life insurance is only available for adults to protect themselves as they age, you can also take out a life insurance policy for someone else, such as your children. If you’re considering taking out a life insurance policy for a child, you’ll need to consider a few factors, as life insurance for children is a little different from life insurance for adults. The type of policies that are available for children are limited, and the best life insurance for children may change depending on the needs of your family. 

Best Life Insurance for Kids

What Is Life Insurance?

Life insurance is a contract between a policyholder and an insurance company. The policyholder pays premiums for their lifetime or a certain term period, and the insurance company then pays a sum of money to the policyholder’s beneficiaries if they pass away while the policy is active. Beneficiaries are chosen by the policyholder to receive the death benefit, which is the sum of money paid out when the insured person dies. Multiple types of life insurance policies are available, and some policies also include a cash component. 

Types of Children’s Life Insurance Explained

There are 2 options for children’s life insurance, each with their own pros and cons. 

Child Rider

Your first option for children’s life insurance is to add a child rider onto your life insurance policy. This feature makes is easy to get your child coverage without having to take an entire policy out for them. You’ll need to fill out information for your child before the rider is approved, but once the child is added as a rider, they are guaranteed insurability. When your child rider expires (if you choose a term policy), you may have the option to convert your child’s rider to their own whole life insurance policy. 

Whole Life Children’s Policy 

Life insurance policies for children that are not riders are whole life policies, which are a type of permanent policy. Permanent life insurance policies last for the entirety of the child’s life as long as premiums are paid. The whole life insurance policy offers the child protection for their entire life. In addition, certain riders can be added on later in life, just like any other life insurance policy. Riders are beneficial in case the child becomes critically ill or terminally ill later in life.

A cash value is accrued on this type of policy as well. The cash value is accrued through the premiums you pay for the policy, and a portion is invested on behalf of the policyholder. If the life insurance policy is purchased while the child is very young, then by the time they reach the age where they can take the policy over, the cash value will have accrued a sizable sum of money. 

Life Insurance Companies for Children Reviews

Most major life insurance companies provide special policies for those under the age of 18. Let’s take a look at some of the best life insurance options available for kids.

Age Requirements
18 – 80
Coverage Amounts
$100K – $10M
Starting Rate
$14.50/month
Application Length
10-15-minutes
Types of Plans
Depends on Carrier
Pros
  • Comparison of multiple policies
  • Unbiased advice from licensed insurance experts
  • Free cost calculator
Cons
  • Quotes from all providers not always available

1. Best Overall: Policygenius

Policygenius is the best option if you want to compare cheap life insurance companies and apply for a policy all in 1 place. It can save you up to 40% with its comparison of top-rated carriers. And because Policygenius is a marketplace, not an insurance company, you can also get unbiased life insurance advice from its licensed experts. 

Use Policygenius’ free cost calculator to help you figure out the amount of coverage you need. There are also solid educational tools if you want to buy a policy on your own.

Age Requirements
18 – 80
Coverage Amounts
$50,000 to $25,000,000
Types of Plans
Depends on Carrier
Pros
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Life insurance needs calculator
  • 4-step process
Cons
  • Limited customer service contact options

2. Cheapest for Kids: Quotacy

Quotacy can help you find the best life insurance policy for your children with its side-by-sidy comparisons. Shop anonymously until you’re ready to buy from any of the highly-rated providers.

Apply online so Quotacy can review your application and match you with a carrier tailored to your health and lifestyle. You will have the chance to review and approve any policy Quotacy sends your way. Then the agency will share the final offer, and you can accept or walk away.

Use Quotacy’s free calculator to get a better idea of how much coverage you should buy.

Pros
  • The 1st month of coverage costs just $1
  • Can buy policies with small premiums and death benefits
  • Globe Life doesn’t require medical exams
  • No waiting period on any of its policies
Cons
  • No policy payouts of more than $100,000; not enough for some families
  • No agents to meet with or face-to-face communications
  • No online application or quote process

3. Best for No-Hassle Coverage: Globe Life

Life insurance coverage for children is simple with Globe Life. Simply choose your benefit amount ($5,000 to $30,000) and enjoy $1 premium for your 1st month. You can quickly sign up for coverage online and your coverage begins immediately without a waiting period.

You won’t need to fill out an invasive medical questionnaire, and there is no medical exam required for you or your child. With a simple application and hassle-free coverage, Globe Life provides an easy way to cover children up to age 23 with an affordable policy. 

Age Requirements
1 – 80
Coverage Amounts
$5,000 to $150,000
Starting Rate
$8/month
Application Length
10 minutes
Types of Plans
Term, Whole. Guaranteed
Pros
  • Several policies to choose from
  • No medical exam required for most of its policies
  • Guaranteed acceptance for those who meet the age qualifications
Cons
  • No mobile app
  • Customer service only by phone

4. Best College Plan: Gerber Life College Plan

Funding a college education can be a major challenge, even for parents who begin saving as soon as their child is born. The Gerber Life College Plan is a life insurance policy that guarantees a set rate of return for your child’s college fund. Unlike other types of investing accounts (like IRAs or 529 college savings plans) the amount of money your Gerber Life plan will return won’t fluctuate depending on the movements of the stock market.

This can make it a safer investment for you and your little one. At the end of the policy’s term, your child will receive a guaranteed payout between $10,000 and $150,000 as long as you stay up to date on your premiums. Gerber Life college payouts are also more flexible than a 529 college account, and can be used for any type of college-related expenses.

Age Requirements
18 – 75
Coverage Amounts
$100,000 to $3,000,000
Starting Rate
$15/month
Types of Plans
Term, Whole, Universal
Pros
  • State Farm website provides easy life insurance quotes and helpful information to guide the process
  • A nationwide network of over 18,000 agents provides access when questions arise
  • Sizable discount on auto policies for customers who also purchase life insurance
Cons
  • Premiums may be higher than some competitors, depending on individual rating considerations
  • Less flexibility in term lengths then some competitors

5. Best for Complete Family Coverage: State Farm

If you’re looking for a single policy to cover your entire family, consider a plan from State Farm. State Farm’s Children’s Term Rider adds up to $20,000 in life insurance coverage for each child in your family. The single rider also applies to children that aren’t born yet, so the policy grows as your family does.

Newborns are covered once they turn 15 days old, and coverage extends until your child turns 25. After this point, you can convert your child’s insurance to permanent coverage, or he or she can choose to purchase their own policy. 

How to Compare Children’s Life Insurance

The best life insurance policy for children will depend on the policyholder. The most important factor for policyholders when they’re purchasing life insurance coverage is the premiums and cost. 

The younger the child is when the policy is purchased, the cheaper it will be. Since age is a factor in the amount you pay for the policy, as the child ages, the cost will likely increase. In addition, as the child ages, their health and lifestyle risks increase, which can increase the cost of your monthly premium. 

While considering the premium and cost, you must decide on the amount of life insurance that the child may need or you think the child may need. The amount of coverage contributes to the cost. You’ll also want to look at the age at which the policy transfers to the child. Some policies allow you to transfer the policy to the child whenever you wish to; however, others have certain ages that require you to transfer the policy to the child at that point. 

If you’re just beginning your search for the right life insurance, collecting a few quotes can help.

While not every provider offers life insurance for children, you can check out different companies and compare plans and offerings here.

Get started securely through Bestow Life Insurance’s website
Disclosure: *excludes New York
Age Requirements
18-59
N/A
1 Minute Review

Bestow offers 2 kinds of life insurance policies: 20-year level term policy or a 10-year level term policy.

Through its policies, you may qualify for up to $1 million in term life insurance. That may seem like a sizeable sum, but if you have a spouse and children, you have to consider the cost of things beyond your mortgage, such as daycare and eventually college, as well as the loss of wages over time.

Bestow uses its proprietary technology to underwrite your insurance policy, so the application process is much faster than with traditional life insurance companies. They’re also backed by Munich Re and North American Company for Life and Health Insurance, 2 A+ rated insurance companies.

Best For
  • People who are looking for short-term life insurance
  • Individuals who don’t want to go through the hassle of having a medical exam or blood work done to get coverage
Pros
  • Plans start at just $8/month
  • Decent coverage options if you need insurance quickly and without hassle
Cons
  • Offers 2 types of plans; does not offer whole or universal life insurance policies
  • The 10- and 20-year plans not available to users under 21 or older than 55
Age Requirements
18 – 100
N/A
1 Minute Review

Northwestern Mutual offers a variety of life insurance policies that are suitable for a wide range of people. Policies are available in all 50 states, although some policies and riders may not be available in every state. The company has strong financial strength ratings and an above-average rating when it comes to consumer complaints. 

To get a quote from Northwestern Mutual, you have to talk to one of its agents. However, you can browse information on its website and use the coverage calculator tool to estimate how much life insurance coverage is recommended for your family.

Best For
  • Affordable term life insurance that can be converted to a permanent life insurance policy later
  • Adding riders to a life insurance policy
Pros
  • Strong financial strength ratings and a low number of consumer complaints
  • Several types of life insurance policies available
  • Offers other financial planning, insurance and investment products and services
Cons
  • Lack of clarity about the product offerings on Northwestern Mutual’s website
  • Can’t get a quote or apply directly for a policy online
get started securely through Fabric Life Insurance’s website
Age Requirements
21 – 60
N/A
1 Minute Review

Fabric offers term life insurance, free digital will creation and other tools to help you better your family’s financial life. They’re the one stop shop for young families looking for financial security.

Fabric offers 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 year term options and coverage ranging from $100,000 to $5 million.

Fabric offers highly reviewed online customer service through its app and website and has the highest TrustPilot rating in its class.

Best For
  • No exam required for most
  • Those who want to avoid the hassle of insurance salesmen
  • New or expecting parents looking for a broader suite of financial tools
Pros
  • Affordable premiums
  • Free digital will creation
  • Free app with helpful tools for parents
  • Apply and see your rate in less than 10 minutes
Cons
  • No term life coverage in New York or Montana
  • Can’t increase coverage after purchasing
Age Requirements
18 – 80
N/A
1 Minute Review

With more than 12 million active customers, Transamerica Corp. is one of the biggest names in the life insurance industry. Transamerica offers a wide array of life insurance products — everything from term to a variety of permanent life insurance products, including whole, universal and variable life.

Transamerica life insurance policies are available to anyone ages 18 to 80, with coverage starting at just $25,000 and going as high as $10 million. In addition to term and permanent life insurance policies, Transamerica offers final expense insurance and any number of riders to help customers customize their policies.

Best For
  • Coverage with chronic conditions
  • High benefit policies
  • Smokers
Pros
  • Term life policy quotes and purchase available online
  • Wide array of products
  • Comprehensive online resources
  • No medical exam required for many term policies
Cons
  • Below-average scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and J.D. Powers
  • Policies purchased through agents only
  • Disproportionate number of customer complaints
get started securely through Ladder’s website
Disclosure: Ladder Insurance Services, LLC (Cal. license # 0K22568; Ark. license # 3000140372) offers term life insurance policies: (i) in New York, on behalf of Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York, New York, NY (policy form # MN-26); and (ii) in all other states and the District of Columbia on behalf of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Minneapolis, MN (policy form # ICC20P-AZ100 and # P-AZ100). Only Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York is authorized to issue life insurance in the state of New York. Insurance policy prices, coverages, features, terms, benefits, exclusions, limitations and available discounts vary among these insurers and are subject to qualifications. Each insurer is solely responsible for any claims and has financial responsibility for its own products.
Age Requirements
20 – 60
N/A
1 Minute Review

Ladder offers policies with no hidden fees, on-the-spot underwriting and a streamlined website. Coverage ranges from $100,000 to $8 million and you can adjust your coverage over time as needs change.

You can choose a 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30-year term. Ladder also offers up to $3 million in coverage without a medical exam — just answer a few health questions and complete the application to get an instant decision.

Ladder doesn’t impose policy, cancellation or processing fees and you can cancel at any time. Take three steps to get Ladder insurance:

  1. You can apply for life insurance coverage with Ladder right now via the online application.
  2. Find out whether you’re instantly approved.
  3. Accept your offer — including affordable prices and no hidden fees.

Its price lock guarantee ensures your premium won’t increase as your health changes and you age. Policies in New York are issued by Allianz Life Insurance Company of New York and in the other states and DC by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. You can receive a refund within the 1st 30 days if you’re unhappy with your coverage and you can cancel at any time.

 

Best For
  • Term life insurance
  • Online application
  • Policyholders between 20 to 60 years of age
Pros
  • Up to $8 million in coverage
  • Price lock guarantee
  • No policy fees
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Adjustable coverage
Cons
  • No policy riders
  • Term life insurance only

How to Buy Children’s Life Insurance

The basic process to buy life insurance is to determine how much coverage you want, consider what you need the policy for, decide what riders to choose, compare different policies and insurers and figure out the payment plan for the premiums. 

The process to buy children’s life insurance is the same, only you’re deciding these factors for the child instead of for yourself. If you are buying a child rider, you’ll need to first consult with the insurance company that issued your policy or buy a new policy. The process is generally less extensive for a child because most adults must undergo a medical exam to get a policy, while no medical exam is required for children.   

Cost of Life Insurance for Children

Like almost every other type of insurance, the specific price you’ll pay for your child’s insurance may vary depending on a wide range of factors. Your child’s age, health and your home location may all influence the price you’ll pay for coverage. This makes it especially important to get a few quotes from competing companies before you choose the right coverage for your little one. 

AgeCoverage AmountCompanyMonthly Premium Quote
1$5,000
Gerber Grow-Up Plan
$3.40
1$10,000
Gerber Grow-Up Plan
$6.79
1$15,000
Gerber Grow-Up Plan
$10.19
1$25,000
Gerber Grow-Up Plan
$16.30
1$50,000
Gerber Grow-Up Plan
$32.60

Whole Life vs. Term Life

There are 2 major types of life insurance coverage: whole life and term life. Let’s take a look at the differences between them and how you can choose which type of insurance best fits your needs. 

Whole Life 

Most life insurance policies for children are sold as whole life policies. As the name suggests, a whole life policy protects your child from the day you sign onto a policy until the day they die in most circumstances.

Your insurance provider can’t cancel your whole life policy if your child gets sick, becomes disabled or gets into an accident. The only circumstance under which your insurance provider can cancel your coverage is if you elect to end your policy or if you miss your monthly payments. Payments are due every month, and many whole life policies include terms that say that your insurance company cannot change your monthly payment.

When your child turns 18, you may choose to transfer ownership of the policy over to him or her. In this instance, your child would need to keep making payments to maintain coverage. Anyone with a “vested financial interest” in a child can purchase a policy for him or her — typically, that means parents, grandparents or other direct relatives.

When you choose a whole life policy, your child is guaranteed a death benefit. The death benefit your child will receive will depend on the policy’s terms you’ll choose when you sign you’re your original policy. Standard whole life insurance policies include death benefits between $5,000 and $1 million.

This guaranteed payment means that whole life insurance is significantly more expensive than term life insurance policies. However, whole life insurance policies also include a cash benefit portion that may help you recapture a portion of what you spend in premiums. 

Each month, a small percentage of the money you pay to your insurance company is put in a savings account that earns interest. You or your child (depending on who owns the policy) can access this money in a number of ways. You can borrow against the money in the account, you can withdraw it directly or you can borrow it as a loan with a low APR. However, this money can only be accessed while your child is alive — upon death you don’t receive both the death benefit and the savings account balance. You only receive the death benefit and the money in the savings account goes back to the insurance company. 

Term Life

Term life insurance policies are much more straightforward than whole life policies. When you sign onto a term life insurance policy, you’ll choose both a death benefit and a policy term. Most terms range 5–30 years. During your policy term, you’ll make payments to your insurance company to keep your coverage current.

If the policyholder dies during the duration of the policy’s term, you receive the death benefit laid out in the original terms of the policy. If the policyholder outlives the term, the life insurance company will close the policy and you won’t receive a payout. Because no payout is guaranteed (as with a whole life policy) term life insurance policies are significantly more affordable. Term life insurance policies also don’t include a cash portion.

Most life insurance companies won’t sell a term insurance policy specifically for a minor. However, you might be able to add your children to your term life insurance policy as the parent with an addendum called a “rider.” A rider is an extension of your policy that adds inclusions that aren’t written into standard policy terms.

For a few extra dollars per month, you may be able to add 1 child rider to your term life insurance policy that protects your child on your policy. Some select life insurance companies may also offer term policies up until your child turns 18. 

3 Reasons to Buy Life Insurance for Children

No parent wants to think about the possibility of outliving their child. However, purchasing your child a life insurance policy comes with a number of benefits that can help secure a better financial future for them when they turn 18.

Let’s take a look at 3 benefits you’ll receive when you purchase a life insurance policy for your child:  

  • Better insurability later in life. If your child becomes seriously ill or disabled later in life, buying life insurance can be prohibitively expensive. Buying a whole life insurance policy now means that your child will always have coverage, so long as your premiums are paid. 
  • Cash value. If you choose a whole life insurance policy, your policy will accrue a cash value as your child ages. Many policies (like the Gerber Life College Plan) include a guaranteed benefit by the time your child reaches a certain age for major expenses like education or buying a home.
  • Peace of mind. Losing a child is one of the most painful and traumatizing things a parent can go through. With a low-cost life insurance policy, you can ensure that you’ll have money to cover funeral and living expenses while you heal from your loss if something does happen to your child. 

Find a Good Life Insurance Policy for Children

Like almost every other type of insurance, every insurance company uses its own formula to calculate how much each policyholder will pay for insurance. It’s possible to find the exact level of coverage from 10 different insurance companies at 10 different price points. This is why it’s especially important to shop around before you choose an insurance policy.

Get at least 5 quotes from competing insurance providers before you select a policy to ensure that you aren’t overpaying for your coverage. Start with our recommended providers and comparison services to find a life insurance policy for your child today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Can I get life insurance for my child?

1
Can I get life insurance for my child?
asked
A
1

Yes, you can take out a whole life insurance policy for your child. Some providers offer this option while others don’t.

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Q

What coverage amount should you have for a child?

1
What coverage amount should you have for a child?
asked
A
1

You want to get enough coverage to ensure financial stability for your child if you’re shopping for a whole life policy, which could look different for everyone. It’s hard to know what your child may need down the line but focus on what you are able to give now and build from there. For many, optimal protection ranges from $25,000 to $50,000.

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Q

What are the best life insurance companies for children?

1
What are the best life insurance companies for children?
asked
A
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Benzinga recommends Quotacy, Globe Life and Gerber Life.

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See also:

Methodology

Benzinga crafted a specific methodology to rank life insurance. To see a comprehensive breakdown of our methodology, please visit our Life Insurance Methodology page.