Life insurance for children is a contract with an insurance company where, as long as premiums are paid, the company will issue a death benefit upon the child's death. Since many life insurance policies for children are whole life insurance policies, which offer a cash value, parents may want to use a life insurance policy as a savings vehicle for college or other expenses.
In some cases, it can make sense for parents to take out a life insurance policy on their child. For example, you might pursue life insurance for your child if they have special needs or have student loans. Purchasing life insurance for your child can also protect their insurability as they get older and keep their premiums low.
If you’ve determined that a life insurance policy for your child is appropriate for your family, we can help you narrow down your options. We evaluated more than two dozen life insurance companies based on affordability, financial strength, customer satisfaction, ease of qualification, and other features.
Read on for our list of the best life insurance policies for children.
Best Life Insurance for Children in 2021
- Best Overall: Mutual of Omaha
- Best for Whole Life Coverage: American Family
- Best for Term Coverage: State Farm
- Best for Convenience: Globe Life
- Best for Long-Term Saving: Gerber Life College Plan
- Best Affordable Option: Foresters
- Best for College Students: Haven
- Best for Special Needs Children: Banner Life
Best Overall : Mutual of Omaha
Why We Chose It: Mutual of Omaha checks all the boxes with affordable policies, great financial strength and customer satisfaction ratings, and an easy online application.
Online quote and application
No medical exam
Locked-in, affordable rates
Guaranteed insurability rider
Coverage amounts limited to $50,000
Mutual of Omaha offers a children’s whole life insurance policy covering ages 14 days to 17 years with benefit amounts ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. It’s easy to get a quote and apply for a policy online, and you can also get help from an agent. Rates are affordable as well: The cost to insure a one-year-old male child with a $25,000 benefit is just $8.50 per month.
Your premiums are guaranteed to never increase, and you can add a guaranteed insurability rider that would allow your child to purchase additional coverage without underwriting at certain life milestones. There’s also a potential cash value that grows over time, which you can borrow against to meet financial needs.
Founded in 1909, Mutual of Omaha now provides coverage nationwide. The company has an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best and ranks fifth in the J.D. Power 2020 Life Insurance Study. Mutual of Omaha also has favorable customer service reviews on Consumer Affairs.
Best for Whole Life Coverage : American Family
Why We Chose It: American Family’s DreamSecure life insurance products for children have higher coverage amounts than what other providers offer along with a flexible plan that lets you add coverage later on.
A variety of coverage options for children
Higher coverage amounts than other policies
Not rated in J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study
Not many customer reviews available online
Not available in all states
American Family offers a whole life insurance policy for children that you can pay in 10 or 20 years for amounts ranging from $25,000 to $75,000. They also have a flexible life insurance policy for higher coverage amounts that allows you to change your premium and add more coverage later on, but you’ll need to talk to an agent for a quote.
The cost to insure a one-year-old male child with a $25,000 death benefit is $20/month paid over 20 years, and the policy accumulates cash value. There’s also a children’s rider available on their whole life policies for adults which provides $15,000 in coverage.
Founded in 1927, American Family offers coverage in 19 states: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. The company has an A financial strength rating from an AM Best and an A+ rating from Fitch.
Best for Term Coverage : State Farm
Why We Chose It: State Farm offers the most attractive family life insurance options with a children’s rider on adult term policies that can be converted to permanent life insurance later.
Excellent financial strength and customer satisfaction ratings
No medical exam required
No separate life insurance policies for children
Coverage amount limited to $20,000
State Farm provides several different affordable term life insurance options. For instance, starting at age 18, you can also purchase up to five times the initial amount of coverage for your child, and at age 25, you can convert the term coverage to a permanent policy for your child. Adding the children’s rider to a 20-year term policy costs $8.70 for $20,000 in coverage, and applies to each child in your family. Newborns in your family will be covered once they reach 15 days of age. The coverage lasts until age 25 or until the insured reaches age 65, whichever happens first. This provides a greater length of coverage than most policies.
You can get a quote online for their term policies, or you may choose to contact an agent.
Founded in 1922, State Farm offers coverage nationwide, with excellent term options for families. The company came in first in J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study and has the highest possible financial strength rating (A++) with AM Best.
Best for Convenience : Globe Life
Why We Chose It: Globe Life offers competitively-priced whole life insurance policies for children with no medical exam, an online quote, and a quick approval process.
No waiting period
Quick online quotes and approvals
Excellent customer satisfaction ratings
Limited to $30,000 in coverage
More complaints than average
It’s easy to get a custom quote in minutes on the Globe Life website or speak to an agent, and Globe Life is known for fast approvals. There’s no waiting period either, so full coverage starts the first day. And it’s easy to manage your policy online, making Globe Life a top choice for convenience.
Rates are affordable as well: The cost to insure a one-year-old child with a $25,000 benefit is $8.81 per month, after the first-month introductory rate of $1. Rates are locked-in for life. Coverage amounts range from $5,000 to $30,000 for children and only go up to $100,000 for adults.
Globe Life was founded in 1951 and issues policies in all states. The company ranked second in J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study and has an A financial strength rating with A.M. Best. However, Globe Life had more than twice the average number of complaints for a company of its size in 2019, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
Best for Long-Term Saving : Gerber Life College Plan
Why We Chose It: The Gerber Life College Plan is an endowment life insurance policy that combines adult life insurance with a college savings component for your child, and your child is guaranteed to receive a payout at the end of the term.
Provides a guaranteed payout plus adult life insurance
Online quotes available
Lesser returns than a 529 plan
Customer service reviews are difficult to find
If you want a guaranteed payout when your child reaches college age, the Gerber Life College Plan is one option for long-term saving. While it won’t yield as high of returns as a tax-advantaged 529 plan, you might prefer the guaranteed payout if you’re risk-averse. For a 35-year-old father of a one-year-old child, the estimated premium is $40/month for 17 years, which results in a guaranteed $10,000 payout for your child. The full benefit amount will also be paid if you die before the policy matures. And since life insurance isn’t included in financial aid calculations, the benefit won’t reduce the amount of aid available to your child.
It’s easy to get a quote and apply for coverage online, or you can call an agent for more information.
The provider has been around since 1967 and issues life insurance policies nationwide. While there are few customer service reviews available online for Gerber Life, the company has a lower-than-average number of complaints for a company of its size, according to the NAIC, and an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best.
Best Affordable Option : Foresters
Why We Chose It: Foresters offers affordable rates for children’s whole life insurance that are comparable to Mutual of Omaha’s rates plus several attractive riders at no additional cost.
Three riders available at no additional premium
Option to increase benefit without underwriting at certain milestones
No online quotes
$75,000 maximum coverage amount
The Foresters BrightFuture Children’s Whole Life Insurance Policy is very affordable, especially considering all the included benefits. While you can’t get a quote online, you can call an agent for a free quote. The estimated cost to insure a one-year-old child with a $20,000 death benefit is just under $8/month. Death benefits range from $5,000 to $75,000.
You can also add three riders at no additional cost:
- Accelerated Death Benefit Rider, which provides a payout for terminal illness
- Common Carrier Accidental Death Benefit Rider, which pays an additional benefit if the insured dies on a bus or train
- Family Health Benefit Rider, which provides a benefit for certain natural disasters
In addition, insuring your child with Foresters gives them access to member benefits such as financial counseling, academic scholarships, and discounted legal services. There’s also a built-in Guaranteed Insurability Rider, which allows your child to adjust the death benefit at certain milestones without underwriting.
Founded in 1898 and headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Foresters issues policies nationwide. The company has had an A financial strength rating with AM Best for the past 20 years. Customer service reviews are difficult to find, but the provider hasn’t had any complaints in the past three years, according to the NAIC.
Best for College Students : Haven
Why We Chose It: Haven offers some of the most affordable rates in the industry on term policies for applicants as young as 18, making it a great option for college students with student loans.
Easy online quote and application
Affordable term policies
Great customer service reviews
No whole life policies
Not available for children under 18
May require a medical exam
Haven is one of the few insurance providers to offer term policies to adults as young as 18, and their rates are affordable. An 18-year-old male nonsmoker would pay between about $8 and $11 per month for a 10-year, $100,000 policy. In most states, a Haven Life Plus membership is included, which provides several attractive benefits for college students, including a free fitness app subscription and discounts at CVS MinuteClinic. Term policies also come with an accelerated death benefit.
You can get a quote and apply online or talk to an agent via live chat or phone. While a medical exam is typically required for Haven’s term life policies, college students age 20 and older can elect to get Haven Simple without a medical exam.
Haven launched in 2014 but is owned by MassMutual, which has been around since 1851 and has an A++ financial strength rating with AM Best.
Best for Special Needs Children : Banner Life
Why We Chose It: Banner Life is one of the few insurance providers to offer a child rider with conversion options and without medical questions about the child.
No medical underwriting for children
Superior financial strength ratings
No separate whole life policies for children
Maximum benefit is $10,000
Banner Life will cover any child with a $10,000 death benefit for just $55 annually when you add the children’s rider to your adult life insurance policy. The rider covers all children in your family, including stepchildren and adopted children, until age 25 (or until the insured reaches age 65). At that point, you’ll have the option to convert to a permanent life plan. The children’s rider is available in all states except Maryland and New York.
You can get a term life insurance quote online with Banner Life, or you can contact an agent by phone. The cost of the children’s rider stays the same regardless of the insured’s health.
Banner Life was founded in 1949. The company isn’t rated by J.D. Power, and there aren’t many customer service reviews available online. However, the provider has had very few complaints in the last few years, well below the average for a company of its size, according to the NAIC. Banner Life also has an A+ financial strength rating with AM Best.
In most cases, we don’t recommend taking out an individual life insurance policy on your child, since there are better investment vehicles available, and most adults can get affordable policies once they have dependents and income to protect. However, if you’re extremely risk-averse and want to protect your child under any circumstances, any one of these policies could be a good choice. Whether you purchase a children’s rider or a whole life insurance policy for your child, do the math to make sure the return is significant enough for your family.
Of all the providers of life insurance for children, Mutual of Omaha stood out to us because of its easy online application, affordable policies, and excellent financial strength and customer satisfaction ratings. The guaranteed insurability rider also helps your child add coverage without underwriting later on.
|Provider||Why We Picked It||Policy Type||Cost||Financial Strength (A.M. Best)|
|Mutual of Omaha||Affordable rates and excellent customer satisfaction||Whole life insurance||$8.50/month for a one-year-old child with a $25,000 benefit||A+|
|American Family||High coverage amounts available||Whole life insurance, children’s rider||$20/month over 20 years for a one-year-old child with a $25,000 benefit||A|
|State Farm||Top rated for customer satisfaction||Children’s rider||$8.70/month for a $20,000 benefit for each child||A++|
|Globe Life||Convenient online application and fast approval||Whole life insurance||$8.81/month for a one-year-old child with a $25,000 benefit||A+|
|Gerber Life College Plan||Guaranteed benefit at college age||Endowment life insurance policy||$40/month for 17 years for a guaranteed $10,000 benefit||A+|
|Foresters||Affordable policies with included riders||Whole life insurance||Less than $8/month for a one-year-old child with a $20,000 death benefit||A|
|Haven||Affordable policies for college students||Term life insurance||A 10-year term policy costs $8–$11/month for an 18-year-old male with a $100,000 benefit||A++|
|Banner Life||No medical underwriting for children’s rider||Children’s rider||$55/year for a $10,000 benefit||A+|
Can You Insure Just a Child?
It’s possible to insure a child with a whole life insurance policy that will pay a benefit if they die and protect their insurability for the future. Mutual of Omaha, Foresters, Globe Life, and American Family all offer whole life insurance policies for children. We weren’t able to find a provider issuing term policies to children under the age of 18. But it’s usually more cost-effective to add a children’s rider to an adult life insurance policy than to purchase a separate policy for a child.
Do You Need Life Insurance for a Child?
Life insurance is generally intended to cover your income and debts so that your dependents aren’t left with expenses and no income. Since children don’t have income, debts, or dependants, it’s not necessary to get life insurance for a child. However, some parents may consider getting a life insurance policy for a child to protect their insurability. Buying life insurance for your child now means they’ll be able to get an affordable policy even if they’re diagnosed with a health condition later.
What Is the Best Life Insurance for a Child?
The best life insurance provider for your child will depend on your future financial needs and your child’s current health status. That said, our top choice for the best life insurance for children is Mutual of Omaha. They offer affordable rates and a variety of options for parents.
How We Chose the Best Life Insurance for Children
We evaluated more than two dozen life insurance companies to find those that offered life insurance policies or riders for children. We chose the best eight companies based on affordability, financial strength, customer satisfaction, ease of qualification, and other available features. Preference was also given to providers that would allow children to increase their coverage later on.
All of the companies we chose offered affordable rates, had great financial strength ratings with AM Best, and offered attractive features that made their policies a good choice for children.