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Life Insurance Policies for Children? Break the Taboo

By Ryan Hurlbert on December 18th, 2009

Talking about life insurance for children is taboo for many people. It makes most parents uncomfortable to contemplate the unthinkable: the death of their child. Here are some common reactions to the thought of life insurance policies for children:

"It feels creepy buying a life insurance policy for my child."

"I would feel guilty about getting money if my child died."

"This is too morbid; I can't contemplate the death of my kids."

Benefits of Whole Life Insurance for Children

However, there are some very good reasons to consider a whole life insurance policy for your child--reasons that may let you see beyond the creepiness and that give real benefits to your child in his or her life. A permanent life insurance policy provides your child with:

  • Guaranteed access to affordable life insurance
  • Access to cash value of the policy
  • Benefits that can be increased to match needs

Afforable Life Insurance at Standard Rates

You just don't know what health issues your children may face, even if your family history shows no susceptibility to disease. This uncertainty is especially true for adopted children, where family medical history may be incomplete or unknown. Your children face health risks that didn't exist when you were their age, and they may develop conditions that will make life insurance unavailable or unaffordable for them as adults. As children, they can qualify for standard rates on a whole life, or permanent, policy.

By purchasing a permanent life insurance policy with a guaranteed insurability rider now, your child will be able to purchase additional coverage later at their current rating without having to provide proof of insurability. This is important, because many diseases or conditions that develop as a person gets older make additional life insurance unaffordable or unobtainable. No matter what health conditions develop later in life, a guaranteed insurability rider means your child cannot be denied additional coverage.

Cash Value Benefit of Whole Life Coverage

Whole life policies build cash value over time, and your child may choose to take a loan against that cash value or surrender the policy to pay for large expenses such as tuition, a down payment on a home, or a wedding. By purchasing whole life coverage now, you are making sure that the policy's value is there for them when they need it.

In the worst-case event, the death benefit of a whole life insurance policy can be used to allow a parent to take all the time off they need to grieve, establish a scholarship or other legacy fund in memory of the child, or to benefit a charity in the child's name. Designating a philanthropic use for the death benefit can alleviate some of the unsettling feelings you may be experiencing.

Flexibility in Whole Life Policy Terms

There are many different types of whole life insurance policies to choose from. A standard policy will have a low monthly payment, and your child can take over making premium payments once they are grown and making an income. A "20-pay" life policy will be paid off in 20 years, so if you start when your child is very young, your adult child can take the coverage with them and not have to pay a single penny in premium.

Online Life Insurance Quotes

Providing your child with a policy that can't be cancelled and grants guaranteed access to the coverage they will need in the future is responsible parenting, regardless of your own uneasiness. Speak with an insurance agent to discuss the possibilities. Rates and plans vary, so obtain several whole life insurance quotes online that you can compare. Your agent can help you decide the best policy and coverage level for your child's needs.


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