Life insurance is especially important if you’re a parent since it enables you to protect and provide for your family even after your death. Many parents may be interested in taking advantage of whole life policies that can offer coverage for an individual's entire life. Whole life insurance policies build a cash value, and the premiums can’t ever increase.
The best life insurance policies for parents help to protect the financial future of their children. 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 are our top picks for life insurance policies for parents.
Best Overall : Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual is our best overall life insurance for parents because of its extensive coverage and rider options, competitive pricing, and 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.
High ratings for financial strength
Term, whole, and universal policies available
Financial advisors work to help you find the right coverage
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. More than 160 years later, the company has grown into a giant paying out billions in claims and dividends each year.
Northwestern Mutual offers some of the most extensive policy riders out there, which 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 allow you to earn dividend payments throughout your life.
Northwestern Mutual has strong customer reviews and an excellent reputation on platforms like J.D. Power. J.D. Power ranked Northwestern Mutual fourth out of 23 companies in its 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study. The provider has the highest possible financial strength rating from AM Best: 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
Transamerica is our best affordable life insurance option for parents because the company offers up to $10 million in term life coverage rates that are typically below the industry average. Additionally, competitive whole life, universal life, and final expenses policies are also available.
Competitive rates for term life policies
A rating for financial strength
Wide range of policies and riders
Policies issued up to age 85
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 26,000 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 a rider for disability income and get monthly payments if you become disabled.
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 scored below average in J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study. AM Best has given Transamerica and its parent company Aegon an A (Excellent) rating. 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. Quotes for final expense and term policies are available online. For quotes on other products, you will need to talk to an agent.
Read our full Transamerica Life Insurance review
Best for Young Parents : New York Life
New York Life is our best life insurance option for young parents because of its high customer rankings and strong dividend payments.
A++ rated for financial strength
In business since 1845 — more than 175 years
Financial advisors work to find you the right coverage
No online quotes available
Need to contact an agent for just about any question
New York Life was founded in 1845 and is still going strong today. More than 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 $1.8 billion in dividends paid out to its policyholders in 2021.
New York Life offers coverage between $25,000 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 policy's life. A waiver of premium rider is available to protect you in the case of disability. 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 rated by customers, scoring well above average in J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study. AM Best has given the company its highest rating for financial strength: A++ (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 is our best life insurance option for older parents. It has one of the strongest reputations for covering older policyholders and offers some of the best and most diverse whole life policy options. In fact, you can get covered up to the age of 85.
High ratings for financial strength
Online quotes available
Policies available up to age 85
Excellent customer service ratings
Medical exam required for some policies
Some policies must be purchased through an agent
Mutual of Omaha was founded in 1909 in Nebraska. Today, the company offers term and whole life insurance and 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 $40,000 or up to $25,000 if you’re buying online. You can also add on several riders, including covering your children until they are 23-years-old, as an add-on to your policy. You can purchase this rider up until the children are age 20.
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. Through its mutual perks program, you can also receive discounts on several items, from gym memberships to home mortgages.
Mutual of Omaha has an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best. J.D. Power ranked Mutual of Omaha fifth out of 23 insurers and gave the company a very strong score in its 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study. Through the latter, customers rank Mutual of Omaha highly for their ease of coverage and speed to pay death benefits. The provider is one of the most well-known providers nationwide for covering you as you age.
Read our full Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance review
Best for Covering Children : Globe Life
Globe Life is our best option for covering children because of their strong family coverage options and fast issuance.
High ratings for financial strength
Family option covers both parents and children
Excellent customer service ratings
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 get your coverage issued quickly instead of going through an unnecessary process. Instead of a potentially lengthy medical exam, you’ll submit a medical questionnaire, getting either accepted or rejected based on how you answer its questions.
Globe Life was ranked second out of 23 insurers and scored very highly for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study. Customers love how easy it is to get approved and how quickly they can get issuance. The provider offers online quotes for many policy types, and 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 rating.
Read our full Globe Life Insurance review
Best for Term Policies : State Farm
State Farm is our best life insurance option for term policies because of its great return of premium with cash value. Additionally, it offers many types of term, whole, and universal life policies and around 100 insurance and financial services products company-wide.
Online quotes for some policies available
A++ rated for financial strength
Customizable policies with multiple riders
Bundled insurance discounts
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 and 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.
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 was ranked first out of 23 life insurers in J.D. Power's 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study. AM Best has given State Farm its highest financial strength rating of A++ (Superior). 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
Life insurance is an important investment for parents. A strong life insurance policy can help you ensure that your family is provided for if anything happens to you. It can also enable you to protect your assets and pass your wealth to the next generation. Our top pick for life insurance for parents is Northwestern Mutual.
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. Northwestern Mutual also has excellent customer satisfaction and financial stability ratings and features an online policy quote calculator so that you can estimate your plan’s cost.
Compare the Best Life Insurance for Parents
|Company||AM Best Rating||Coverage Capactiy||Issue Ages||Policies Offered|
|Northwestern Mutual Best Overall||A++||Not stated||Up to 80||Term life, whole life, universal life|
|Transamerica Best Affordable Option||A||$10,000,000||Up to 85||Term life, whole life, indexed universal life, final expense|
|New York Life Best for Young Parents||A++||$2,000,000 and up||Up to 90||Term life, whole life, universal life|
|Mutual of Omaha Best for Older Parents||A+||$1,000,000 and up||Up to 85||Term life, children’s whole life, whole life, guaranteed issue whole life, universal life|
|Globe Life Best for Covering Children||A||$100,000||Up to 80||Whole life, children's whole life, term life, final expense, family life|
|State Farm Best for Term Policies||A++||$1,000,000 and up||Up to 80||Term life, whole life, universal life, survivorship life, joint life|
Frequently Asked Questions
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 parents who want to get life insurance coverage for their own children to cover 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. However, with a universal life insurance policy, 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 independently.
Married couples should also have individual life policies to help replace the income of one spouse when they die and 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"—meaning 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 as the insured reaches a certain advanced age, 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.
We researched more than a dozen of the best life insurance companies across the country and looked at various 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.