How to get life insurance for your children
Child life insurance is designed to support parents financially should their child pass away, and to ensure their child’s insurability later in life. These policies can be used to cover funeral plans, time spent away from work (as a supplement to any insufficient bereavement leave), medical bills, and other costs which arise from the death of a child.
We’ll guide you through what these policies are, how they work, and your options, so you can decide if a top life insurance policy for your child is right for you and your family.
What is life insurance for children?
Child life insurance provides you as parents with financial support should the unthinkable happen. There are three main forms that this type of insurance can take:
Term life insurance for children.
For small monthly premiums - usually around £5 per month - you can take out a child term policy which covers your child for a short period of around 5 - 10 years, or until they reach adulthood (the exact age at which this is set depends on the insurer). During this time, if the insured child dies, you’ll receive a lump sum payout.
Life assurance for children.
You can also take out a life assurance policy for your child, which carries through to adulthood and provides them with coverage for their entire life. These policies ensure your child always has life cover, regardless of any conditions they may develop in later life which would inhibit their chances of being able to find a policy.
Child life assurance policies are reasonably rare, and you will have to pay high premiums for an indefinite period of time so there is usually a better option and more cost-effective option.
The most common form of child life insurance is a child rider policy, which is when child life insurance is attached to your own regular life cover policy. During your policy (or until your child reaches adulthood - whichever comes first), if your child passes away you’ll receive a cash lump sum. You can also find policies that include critical illness cover for your children. This is explained further below.
Usually, you’ll pay a set fee to add your child to your policy, regardless of the specific life insurance policy you’ve taken out. The age which is considered adulthood varies from company to company, but ranges from 16 - 23 years old.
It’s worth noting that with all life insurance for children policies, the coverage for your child is usually limited to around £25,000, or 50% of your adult insurance policy - whichever figure is lower.
Can I insure all my children with one policy?
Yes, when you add your children as a rider onto your life cover policy, you’ll pay a flat rate fee regardless of how many children you wish to insure.
Who is eligible?
You can take out a policy for your biological child, legally adopted child, or step-child. To be eligible your children must be below the maximum coverage age, which can range from 16-23 years old, depending on the policy.
You may find it difficult to take out life insurance for your child if they have any pre-existing conditions, however life insurers often don’t make this information very obvious, so it’s worth contacting reading our in-depth reviews to find out exactly what each policy covers.
Pros and cons of life insurance for children
Whenever you take out a new policy it’s important to weigh up the positives and negatives. Read below to find out if life insurance for children is right for your family. Here’s a quick list of the main things you’ll want to consider:
- By taking out a policy in childhood, it's easier to get life insurance for your child when they reach adulthood, as they can convert their children’s policy to an adult one at that time.
- With most child life insurance policies, the premiums are cheap and start from as little as £5 per month. While premiums for child’s life assurance (whole of life policies) are considerably higher.
- There's a flexibility of choice: you can either take out a policy specifically for your child, or add them to an already existing policy for a small hike in premiums.
- These policies can be used to cover funeral plans, medical bills, and any other costs which arise from the death of a child. Often bereavement leave is insufficient, and so a life cover payout can help bridge the gap, protecting you financially while you take time off work to grieve.
- Your money may be able to be invested more wisely. As life insurance for children has limited payout rates, it may be more beneficial to simply save money monthly and put it aside, or invest it in other ways.
- Children are dependents, so if they pass there’s isn’t a financial burden the same way there is for an adult. Therefore life insurance for children can be considered unnecessary.
- The coverage for your child is limited (usually to around £25,000).
Family life cover vs child life insurance
A family policy covers all the adults in your immediate family under one single policy. However, it doesn’t automatically include your children. There is often the option of adding a child life insurance policy to a term family policy or adding your child on as a rider - so if you’re looking to get all adults and children in your family covered by a policy, these are worth checking out.
What about critical illness cover for my child?
While it’s not possible to get a stand alone children’s critical illness cover, many adult life cover and critical illness policies have a children’s critical illness cover included; these policies pay out a lump sum should your child get diagnosed with any critical illnesses (specific conditions will be outlined in the policy). Children’s critical illness cover can also offer further benefits such as:
A child accident hospitalisation benefit.If your child is hospitalised for a specified number of days, many covers provide an additional payout to help you cope financially. A child funeral benefit.If your child passes away, some critical illness covers will provide an additional payout to assist with funeral costs. A childcare benefit.Should you, as the parent, make a critical illness claim, some critical illness covers will pay out an extra benefit to fund childcare while you’re ill. A family accommodation benefit.Many policies will offer an additional benefit to help cover accommodation costs for you while your child is in the hospital so it’s easy to be nearby.
How long will my child be covered for?
Your child can remain on a child life insurance policy up to the ages of 16 - 23 years old, depending on the age at which your provider defines as the start of adulthood for insurance purposes.
Once your child reaches adulthood, they will have the option to renew and convert their child life insurance policy into an adult policy. Renewing your child life insurance in adulthood can be a cheaper way of securing coverage than just purchasing a new policy outright.
How much does life insurance for children cost?
It depends on the provider, and the type of child life insurance you opt for. Depending on whether you choose to take out a separate policy, or add your child as a rider to your insurance plan, your monthly premiums will vary.
However, child life insurance premiums will usually cost you roughly £5 per month. While many adult life insurers often boast premiums far lower than you’ll ever be quoted, with life insurance for children you will most likely end up paying a similar amount to what is advertised.
How much coverage does it offer?
The amount of coverage you take out for your child is up to you, but most companies cap their coverage at £25,000- £50,000. If your child’s policy is attached to yours as a rider, you’ll have a similar limit on their coverage. In this instance, many providers cap their child coverage at 50% of the parent’s policy cover.
Are payouts tax-free?
Yes, your child life insurance payout will not be taxable. The payout for a child life insurance policy will never exceed the minimum requirement to qualify for inheritance tax.
Should I take out life insurance for children?
Fortunately the chance of you ever cashing in on this insurance is very low, and for this reason it’s worth considering if a child’s life insurance is your best option.
Often even if your child hasn’t passed away, there can considerable costs associated with serious illness. In this situation, critical illness cover for your child can be beneficial in covering accommodation fees, medical bills, and time taken off work during this difficult time.
However, child life insurance policies are helpful in bridging the gap between the insufficient bereavement cover your employer offers, and the real costs of losing a loved one.
If you take out life insurance for your child, for a small monthly premium, you have the security of knowing that you have financial protection to fall back on should the worst happen.
Where can I get a life insurance quote for my child?
We can help you with that. Read through our reviews of the best children’s life insurance policies and providers around, and we’ll guide you towards a great policy to suit your needs.
If you’ve read through everything you need and want to get a quote in minutes, click the button below and we’ll help you find what you’re looking for.