Best Life Insurance for Parents

How to secure your family’s financial future

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The best life insurance for parents is a mixture of insurance policies that set them up to protect the financial future of their children along with policies covering their kids. Most parents are going to want to take advantage of whole life policies that can offer coverage for the entire life of an individual. Whole life builds a cash value and the premiums can’t ever increase. 

We’ve put together a list of the best life insurance policies and companies for parents, regardless of your situation. We looked at more than a dozen of the best companies across the country and narrowed the list down to our top six options. We analyzed each of them on several factors such as cost, how easy it is to get the death benefit paid, company reputation, customer reviews, and rider options.

Here's a look at our top providers.

Best Life Insurance for Parents for 2021

Best Overall : Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual

Why We Chose It: Northwestern Mutual is our best overall life insurance for parents because of its extensive coverage and rider options, competitive pricing, and its unique blended coverage. The blended whole life plus option allows you to blend coverage of both term and whole life, letting you cover yourself based on the phase of life you’re entering.

What We Like
  • High ratings for financial strength

  • Term, whole, and universal policies available

  • Financial advisors work to help you find the right coverage

What We Don't Like
  • No online quote option

  • Limited options for term life insurance

In 1859, Northwestern Mutual paid out its first claim of $3,500 for a collision between an ox and a passenger train. In the 160+ years since its founding, it has paid out $4.8 billion in life, disability, and long-term care insurance claims to its policy beneficiaries.

Northwestern Mutual offers some of the most extensive policy riders out there, which is what many parents need. This includes the opportunity to add living benefit riders for things like a chronic illness. The company offers term, whole, and universal policy options and you can get coverage amounts as low as $10,000 or as high as the multi-millions. All of its policy offerings also give you an opportunity to earn dividend payments throughout your life. 

Northwestern Mutual has strong customer reviews and an excellent reputation on platforms like J.D. Power, and AM Best, where the provider has the highest rating of A++. The company offers many resources online, including a calculator to determine your coverage needs, but you’ll need to contact a rep directly to get a quote. 

Read our full Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance review

Best Affordable Option : Transamerica



Why We Picked It: Transamerica is our best affordable life insurance option for parents because the company offers up to $10 million in term life coverage or $2 million for whole life at rates that are typically below the industry average.

What We Like
  • Competitive rates for term life policies

  • A- rating for financial strength

  • Wide range of policies and riders

  • Policies issued up to age 85

What We Don't Like
  • No online quotes available

  • Limited option to submit forms digitally

  • Below-average customer service ratings

Originally founded in 1904 as a bank offering financial services to small merchants and farmers in San Francisco, Transamerica now boasts over 25,000 employees providing life and supplemental health insurance, investments, and retirement services nationwide.  

Transamerica offers a wide range of terms if you’re looking for a term life policy, from 10 to 30 years. It also covers adults up to the age of 80. You can add a number of different riders to your policy, including a child rider, making it a natural option for many parents. Additionally, you can add on riders for disability and potentially get monthly payments of up to $2,000. 

The company offers coverage across all 50 states and the District of Columbia with coverage amounts as low as $25,000, making it a flexible option for parents of all ages. 

Transamerica has a good reputation, overall, ranking well with both customers and on AM Best where their current rating is Excellent (A+). You can use their online tool to explore the various policy offerings and to help you determine the right life insurance policy strategy for your situation. However, you’ll need to speak to an agent directly to obtain a quote. 

Read our full Transamerica Life Insurance review

Best for Young Parents : New York Life

New York Life

 New York Life

Why We Chose It: New York Life is our best life insurance option for young parents because of its high customer rankings, strong dividend payments, and competitive pricing.

What We Like

  • A++ rated for financial strength

  • 175 years in business

  • Financial advisors work to find you the right coverage

What We Don't Like

  • No online quotes available

  • Need to contact an agent for just about any question

Founded in 1841 as Nautilus Mutual Life, New York Life originally sold life, fire, and marine insurance. Now, 175 years later, it is now one of the largest mutual insurers in the U.S. offering life insurance, investment, and wealth management services with nearly $2 billion in dividends paid out to its policyholders every year.   

New York Life offers coverage between $10,000 and several million, depending on your needs. Many coverage options offer living benefits for illness, providing some cash value payments as you go throughout the life of the policy. If you become disabled, you could qualify for a waiver for payment of your premiums. These features provide a nice sense of comfort that you’ll be able to take care of your kids financially if anything goes wrong. 

New York Life is highly reviewed by both customers and AM Best, where it has received the highest ranking of A++ or Superior. You’ll need to talk to an agent to get a quote on a policy but once you’re signed up, you’ll be able to access all the details of your policy online. 

Read our full New York Life Insurance review

Best for Older Parents : Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

Why We Chose It: Mutual of Omaha is our best life insurance option for older parents because it has one of the strongest reputations for covering older policyholders and it offers some of the best and most diverse whole life policy options. In fact, you can get covered up to the age of 85.

What We Like

  • High ratings for financial strength

  • Online quotes available

  • Policies available up to age 85

  • Excellent customer service ratings

What We Don't Like

  • Medical exam required for some policies

  • Some policies must be purchased through an agent

  • Limited riders available

Mutual of Omaha was founded in 1909 and was one of the first companies to provide disability insurance to non-professional workers. Today, the company offers term and whole life insurance as well as supplemental Medicare coverage with affordable premiums.

Mutual of Omaha makes it easy to get coverage for yourself, your spouse, and your children all in one place, with whole life policies up to $50,000 or up to $25,000 if you’re buying online. You can also add on a number of riders, including covering your children as an add-on to your policy, up to your child’s 20th birthday. 

Mutual of Omaha also offers a disability waiver of premium and an accidental death benefit rider. This helps parents prepare for the unexpected, regardless of what life brings. You can also receive discounts on several items from gym memberships to home mortgages through its mutual perks program. 

Mutual of Omaha has an A+ (Superior) rating at AM Best and is routinely ranked in the top insurance providers in the country via J.D. Power. Through the latter, customers highly rank Mutual of Omaha for their ease of coverage and speed to pay death benefits. The provider is one of the most well-known providers nationwide (if not the most recognized), for covering you as you age. 

Read our full Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance review

Best for Covering Children : Globe Life

Globe Life

 Globe Life

Why We Chose It: Globe Life is our best option for covering children because of their strong family coverage options and fast issuance.

What We Like
  • High ratings for financial strength

  • Family option covers both parents and children

  • Excellent customer service ratings

What We Don't Like
  • No online quotes available

  • Limited riders available 

Founded in 1900, Globe life offers life, supplemental health, and children’s life insurance to over 16 million policyholders, more than any other life insurance company in the U.S. excluding reinsurance companies. 

Globe Life offers both term and whole life policies for adults, as well as a whole life policy for children. It also offers a family option that can cover both you and your children on the same policy. Its offerings are more limited than all other options on this list and should be considered specifically by parents that want to cover more than just themselves. Coverage amounts are between $5,000 and $100,000. Globe Life does not offer a wide variety of riders to add-on to your policy, unlike our other best options. 

Its simplified underwriting is ideal for families who aren’t likely to have any complications during their life insurance application because you can just get your coverage issued quickly instead of going through an unnecessary process. Instead of a potentially lengthy medical exam, you’ll just submit a medical questionnaire, getting either accepted or rejected based on how you answer its questions. 

Globe Life holds strong customer reviews through J.D. Power and the BBB. Customers love how easy it is to get approved and how quickly they can get issuance. The provider doesn’t offer online quotes but you will get an online tool to manage your policy after you’ve been approved. AM Best downgraded Globe Life from A+ (Superior) to A (Excellent) in 2020 but it still is a solid option for the right policyholder. 

Read our full Globe Life Insurance review

Best for Term Policies : State Farm

State Farm Insurance

 State Farm Insurance

Why We Chose It: State Farm is our best life insurance option for term policies because of its great return of premium with cash value and it offers over 100 life insurance products across whole life, term, and universal.

What We Like
  • Online quotes for some policies available

  • A++ rated for financial strength

  • Customizable policies with multiple riders

  • Bundled insurance discounts

What We Don't Like
  • No online quotes for some policies

  • Limited no medical exam policies

  • Not available in all states

Originally founded in 1922 as an auto insurance company, State Farm now offers home, health, life, disability, and liability insurance as well as a variety of banking and investment products. You can also combine your home and car insurance with State Farm, making it a one-stop-shop for all your insurance needs. 

Through State Farm you can select 10-, 20-, or 30-year terms. Once you’re approved, you can add a spouse or child to your policy and convert to a permanent life policy without taking any additional medical exams, which is a huge benefit if you’re wanting to keep your family’s options open. The maximum amount of coverage is $50,000.

Its return of premium term option offers level premiums on either 20- or 30-year terms. This coverage allows you to borrow money from the value of your policy, which is a good additional feature. Just keep in mind that unpaid “loans” from your policy will net less death benefit. 

State Farm has a strong customer ranking at J.D. Power and has a superior rating of A++ at AM Best, ranking amongst the best insurance companies nationwide. Customers love the bundling options and the ability to have a single agent who handles all of their insurance.

Read our full State Farm Life Insurance review

Compare Providers

Life Insurance Company Why We Picked It
Northwestern Mutual Extensive and affordable coverage
Transamerica Competitive rates for term life policies
New York Life Dividend payments and competitive pricing
Mutual of Omaha Policies available up to age 85
Globe Life Family option covers both parents and children
State Farm Return of premium term option with cash value

Final Verdict

Northwestern Mutual is our best overall life insurance for parents because of their generous rider, competitive pricing, and option to blend term and whole life coverage based on your needs.

In terms of affordability, Transamerica offers lower rates than many other providers for up to $10 million in term life coverage or as low as $25,000, making it a flexible choice for parents of all ages.

New York Life’s strong dividend payments and competitive pricing make it the best for young parents while older parents will enjoy Mutual of Omaha’s diverse whole life policy options and coverage up to the age of 85.

Globe Life is our top choice for covering children due to its simplified underwriting and family option which can cover both you and your children on the same policy.

Finally, we chose State Farm as the best option for term policies because of its great return of premium with cash value and ability to convert policies to permanent plans with no medical exams.


What is Life Insurance for Parents? 

Life insurance for parents falls into two different categories. First, it consists of life insurance that covers adults with children who want to protect the financial future of their offspring in the event something happens to them. The second type is for is parents who want to get life insurance coverage for their own children to cover the costs of accidental deaths. 

What Is Universal Life Insurance and Should I Buy It? 

Universal life insurance is a form of permanent insurance, like whole life insurance, that will cover you for your entire life as long as you pay your premiums and fulfill any other policy requirements for maintaining coverage. 

Like whole life insurance, universal life insurance builds a cash value that you can borrow against over the lifetime of your policy. With a universal life insurance policy, however, you can adjust your premiums and death benefit to suit your needs. In contrast, whole life insurance has fixed premiums and death benefits.

Because you can adjust the schedule of your premium payments, universal life insurance is a good choice for anyone who has long term savings goals or anticipates changing needs. Parents could benefit from choosing higher death benefits for their children when they’re younger and lowering the death benefits when they are older and more financially stable.        

Who Needs to Get Life Insurance? 

Anyone with children or family members who could suffer financially when they die should have life insurance. Parents are one of the prime candidates for life insurance since they have children who cannot take care of themselves on their own. 

Married couples should also have individual life policies to help replace the income of one spouse when they die as well as to help cover funeral expenses. Parents can also use the cash value of permanent insurance policies to cover expenses for their children or their growing family.           

Can I Buy Life Insurance for My Parents? 

Most insurance companies will allow you to purchase insurance for another person like a parent based on two conditions. The first is that you can prove your parents are an “insurable interest.” That simply means that their death would cause financial hardship for you, the policyholder. The second condition is that you must have consent from the person for which you want to purchase a policy.

Because most term life policies end at age 85, you may need to choose a permanent life insurance policy for your parents. When considering how much coverage you need, consider the cost of funeral expenses, paying off any remaining debts or medical bills they may have, and even the expense of moving the surviving parent.           

What Is the Minimum Age for Life Insurance?

There isn’t a minimum age for someone to be covered by a life insurance policy but different providers will have varying rules for covering you. Most life insurance policies require a medical exam but some will only require a medical questionnaire in addition to filling out an application for coverage, which are the only requirements. Some policies covering children will require the child to be alive for a minimum of 2–3 weeks before coverage can begin so that any potential risk from birth is known. 

How We Chose the Best Life Insurance for Parents

We researched more than a dozen of the best life insurance companies across the country and looked at a variety of attributes that are important to parents. We analyzed each for cost, reputation, financial ratings, customer reviews, and total coverage options and then narrowed that list down to our top six providers.

All of our top choices offered a variety of coverage for parents from reputable companies at affordable prices.