Adult life insurance is one of the most popular in the U.S. According to statistics, in 2020, 54% of Americans had life insurance coverage. But who's paying attention to child life insurance?
Your child also needs life insurance. However, there is little to no information for parents and guardians surrounding children's life insurance, the available options, and why it's advisable to get a plan.
That's despite buying life insurance for your child coming with benefits such as guaranteed coverage, peace of mind, low premiums, and excellent cash value for future opportunities in their adulthood.
Here's all you need to know about your child's life insurance.
What is Child Life Insurance?
Child life insurance is similar to adult life insurance in that it's a contract between an insurance company and the insured to avail a certain amount of funds in the event of their untimely death. In this case, the child's guardian or parent pays monthly premiums in return for the promise that the insurance company will pay a death benefit if the child passes on.
The difference between adult life insurance and child life insurance lies in who the policyholder is. With adult life insurance, the insured person is typically the policyholder. However, for children's life insurance, the policyholder is the child's parent, grandparent, or legal guardian.
In most cases, the policyholder is also the beneficiary who receives the payment if the insured child dies.
The key differences between a child life insurance and an adult life insurance policy include:
The parent, grandparent, or legal guardian owns the policy
You can buy life insurance for children as young as 14 days old
No medical exam or health questionnaire is necessary for the application
The only policies available are permanent ones, most commonly whole life insurance
Permanent life insurance covers the entire life of the policyholder at a stable rate, as long as premiums are consistently paid
You can add child life insurance coverage to your term life insurance as an optional rider, with the option of upgrading to a permanent policy at an additional cost
Children's life insurance policies are often whole life insurance policies, giving the child lifelong coverage as long as the premiums are paid. These premiums are usually guaranteed and don't increase with time. Most children's life insurance also allows a portion of the premium to go toward building cash value, which the child can access when alive for any financial reason.
Why Should You Consider Children's Life Insurance?
Raising a child is expensive. According to statistics, it can cost up to $233,610 to raise a child until 18. That is not counting the emotional toil needed to support the child's growth.
Considering that and more, securing your child's future insurability should be important to you.
Since most children's life insurance policies are whole life insurance, you are guaranteed your child's future insurability as long as premiums are consistently paid. Your child can buy additional coverage at a later age despite their current occupation or health.
When Should You Buy Life Insurance for Your Child?
Children become eligible for life insurance at 14 or 15 days old. As long as you're above this threshold, you still have the window to buy child life insurance for your toddler until they reach their teens, typically 14 years old.
Other insurance companies offer higher age limits, setting the ceiling at 17 years for children's whole life policy. If you're adding the child as an optional child rider in your term life insurance policy, some companies allow an upper threshold of up to 25 years.
How Easy Is It to Buy Child Life Insurance?
Children's life insurance is relatively easy to buy compared to an adult life insurance policy. You only have to fill out the application form without requiring any life insurance medical exam, as needed for adults.
Most insurance companies offer online applications with a quick response time.
Once you've bought life insurance for your child, you can remain as the policyholder until the child hits a certain age threshold, where you can transfer ownership of the policy to them. Therefore, they become responsible for paying the premium and maintaining their plan.
Typically, parents, grandparents, or legal guardians can transfer ownership of a child's life insurance policy to the child after they become a legal adult. Some companies automatically make the transfer once the child hits 21 years.
Benefits of Child Life Insurance
Child life insurance packs several benefits for the policyholder and the child. These include:
Children can develop health conditions that can make them ineligible for insurance coverage. However, with children's life insurance, changes in their health condition will not affect their life insurance policy by either making them ineligible or forcing costly premiums on their policy.
Great Cash Value for Future Opportunities
Whole life insurance offers cash value, a smart benefit that you and your child can access later in life for financial use, such as paying a down payment for a house, college fees, or other expenses like retirement.
Children enjoy some of the lowest life insurance premiums. Therefore, getting your child whole life insurance allows you to lock in on these low premiums for the life of the insurance.
Funds for Funeral Expenses
Child mortality rates are typically very low. Therefore, buying child life insurance to protect primarily against heft funeral expenses is not a good idea. However, in the saddening event of your child passing on, their life insurance policy can help foot the funeral costs and allow the family time off work to mourn their loved one.
Whole life insurance for children is a subset of permanent life insurance. The policy covers your child for life as long as the premiums are paid consistently. Therefore, when your child becomes an adult, they can easily transition their whole life child insurance policy into an adult life insurance policy and continue paying the affordable premiums.
Get Your Child's Life Insurance from a Reputable Company
Child life insurance is an excellent policy that packs a ton of benefits for you as the policyholder and your child. Before committing to a plan, contact a reputable insurance company and learn your options for your child's life insurance policy.