Best Life Insurance for Children in January 2024

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Updated: May 22, 2024

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Buying life insurance for children can be a proactive way to secure their future financial stability. It ensures that, in the event of an unforeseen tragedy, financial support will be available for expenses like funeral costs or counseling. Securing a policy at a young age can also lock in lower premiums and guarantee insurability, regardless of future health changes, providing a financial safety net that can be beneficial throughout a child's life.

Mutual of Omaha is the best overall life insurance company for children, earning a MoneyGeek score of 96. State Farm received the highest rating among companies offering a child rider.

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Why Trust MoneyGeek? We analyzed life insurance companies based on customer satisfaction, financial stability reports, product offerings and more to determine the best life insurance companies for children.

Best Life Insurance Company for Children

With a MoneyGeek score of 96 out of 100, Mutual of Omaha stands out as a leading provider in the life insurance market for children.

This company offers both standalone life insurance for children and term life child riders, showcasing its commitment to providing versatile and comprehensive options for young policyholders.

How was this MoneyGeek score calculated?

Best for Children: Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha



A+ AM Best rating ensures financial reliability


Diverse product offerings cater to varied needs, including standalone child policies


Long-standing industry presence with 114 years of experience



No 24/7 online chat support for immediate assistance


Limited to no mobile app for customer convenience


Mutual of Omaha provides a range of products, including term life, whole life and universal life insurance, ensuring that customers have access to diverse options that suit their individual needs and circumstances.
With its impressive history spanning 114 years, the company has also established itself as a premier provider of children's life insurance. The company's commitment to financial stability, customer satisfaction and a streamlined buying process is evident in its high MoneyGeek score.

One of Mutual of Omaha's standout offerings is its Children's Whole Life Insurance, designed for those from 14 days old to age 17. This type of policy is not only a thoughtful way to ensure lifelong protection for children and grandchildren but also comes with the guarantee of never-increasing premiums.

The Dependent Children’s Rider, which can be added to a base policy, further exemplifies the insurer's dedication to offering tailored solutions for young family members. This rider allows for coverage extension to all unmarried dependent children in the household. It includes automatic inclusion for children born or adopted after the issue of the rider.

Best Life Insurance Company for a Child Rider

State Farm is a top-tier choice for those seeking child riders. It received a MoneyGeek score of 99, the highest among companies offering child riders.

Best for a Child Rider: State Farm

State Farm



A++ AM Best rating signifies superior financial stability


Comprehensive product range with diverse policy options


Over a century of experience in the insurance industry



No 24/7 online chat support for immediate queries


Limited rider coverage amount for each child


State Farm offers competitive life insurance solutions for families with kids.

The insurer's Children's Term Rider is particularly noteworthy, offering flexible and comprehensive coverage for children up to age 25 or until the policyholder turns 65. This rider can be conveniently converted to permanent insurance, ensuring long-term security for the child, regardless of future health changes.

The option to purchase up to five times the amount of coverage on the child's 18th birthday adds another layer of adaptability and foresight to their offerings.

State Farm's dedication to financial stability, customer satisfaction and a diverse range of products, evident in its notable MoneyGeek score, positions it as an excellent choice for families seeking secure and flexible insurance coverage for their children.

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How Does a Life Insurance Policy for Your Child Work?

A life insurance policy for children is typically a whole life policy, a form of permanent life insurance designed to last their lifetime. Premiums, cash value and the death benefit are guaranteed. The cash value will accumulate throughout the policy's duration and can be accessed in the future.

Whole life insurance differs from term life insurance, which offers level premiums and death benefits for a certain number of years and does not build cash value. While whole life insurance is more expensive, buying it for a child can be a cost-effective approach to life insurance compared to waiting until they are old enough to buy their own term life policy.

How Does the Whole Life Cash Account Work?

One advantage of whole life over term insurance is the inclusion of a cash value account within the policy. After covering insurance costs and fees, the remaining premium is directed into a cash value savings account.

Over time, this account accrues with a modest interest rate (which varies by company and product) and can eventually be utilized in several ways. The cash value can be taken out as a loan, used to supplement retirement income, employed to pay policy premiums or withdrawn. While the cash value can be accessed for any purpose, withdrawing funds will reduce the death benefit owed to your beneficiary unless the amount is repaid before your death.

What Is a Guaranteed Option to Add Coverage?

Depending on the life insurance product and carrier, a guaranteed insurability option rider may be a free add-on or purchased separately.

This guaranteed option allows you to buy more life insurance at specific events or ages without requiring a medical exam or health questions. For example, milestone birthdays, such as your 21st, and significant life events like marriage or the birth of a child will activate the guaranteed option. You can buy up to a certain amount defined by your specific policy without proving insurability.

Should Parents Consider a Rider on Their Term Life Policy?

Adding a children’s term rider to a parent’s term or permanent life insurance policy is usually more cost-effective than buying a whole life insurance policy for a child.

Though rider details and cost vary by carrier, most children’s term riders cover all children born and adopted into the family for one fee. At a certain age, the child or parent can convert the rider coverage amount into a permanent life insurance policy for each child. If you want to cover your children but don’t want to pay for a separate life insurance policy, consider adding a children’s term rider to your new or existing policy.

How Can You Buy Life Insurance for Your Child?

Buying life insurance for kids is usually a straightforward process. When looking to buy a life insurance policy for children, you may have questions about what information is needed or what health factors are considered. These common questions are answered below.

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    What Information Is Needed?

    For most children's life insurance policies, only a few pieces of information are needed. The child's full name, date of birth and social security number are usually all that's necessary.

    Some life insurance policies for kids ask a few health questions, which may include:

    • Has your child been diagnosed or treated for a chronic medical condition?
    • Has your child been diagnosed or treated for a heart/circulatory system disease, developmental disorder or congenital disability?

    If there are health questions and you can answer "no" to them, there should be no problem getting approved. If not, a guaranteed whole life insurance policy without health questions may be the best option.

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    Does Your Child Have to Approve?

    No, your child does not have to approve the life insurance policy because they are a minor. If a grandparent purchases life insurance for their grandchild, one or both parents will usually have to sign a consent form agreeing to the purchase and provide access to their medical records, if needed.

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    Is There a Waiting Period?

    No, generally, there is no waiting period on a child's life insurance policy. If they pass after the policy becomes effective, the beneficiary receives the full death benefit. All life insurance policies include a suicide clause. If the insured dies by suicide in the first two years of the policy, the beneficiary will not receive the death benefit.

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    Is There an Age Limit?

    Yes, most children’s life insurance policies can start at 14 or 15 days old, with coverage available for purchase until the child reaches their 18th birthday. With a whole life policy, coverage is guaranteed for life unless you discontinue payment or cancel the policy.

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    Is the Child’s Health a Factor?

    Health is a factor with simplified issue whole life insurance for children, but not with guaranteed issue whole life insurance for kids. Neither policy requires a medical exam, but a simplified issue whole life application asks two to three health questions about the child to determine eligibility. A guaranteed issue whole life policy typically does not involve any health questions. A children's term rider added to a parent's or grandparent's policy usually doesn't require health questions, either.

When Does It Make Sense to Buy Life Insurance for Your Kids?

No parent or grandparent wants to think about the death of their child or grandchild. Unfortunately, it is a reality for some.

Children's life insurance can pay for medical bills and funeral expenses incurred if the child were to get sick or injured and pass away. Generally, it only makes sense to buy life insurance for kids if they are at higher risk of a genetic or hereditary condition that could prevent them from getting life insurance when they are older.

Most children's life insurance policies ask few health questions or have none at all, and few require a medical exam. If you are concerned about your child's future insurability, it may make sense to buy coverage when they're younger and presumed to be the healthiest.

Yet, if your family generally enjoys good health, has no history of uninsurable health issues and you can comfortably cover medical expenses and funeral costs in the event of the unthinkable, purchasing life insurance for your children may not be necessary.

Pros & Cons of Buying Life Insurance for Children

If you’re considering purchasing a life insurance policy for children, weigh the pros and cons to decide if it’s the best choice for your situation.


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    Funeral Funds

    Though the chances of a child's death are low, it isn't impossible. A children's whole life insurance policy can pay for funeral expenses and other costs. However, a children's term rider on a parent's or grandparent's policy can do the same and often is much cheaper than a separate life insurance policy for children.

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    Guaranteed Insurability

    Many children’s life insurance policies offer a guaranteed insurability rider at no cost. Even if you have to pay for it, it usually costs pennies a day. This option locks in your child’s insurability for at least the amount of coverage in the policy and often a multiple of that amount. If your child increases their coverage, there are no health questions or medical exams for the additional coverage amount.

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    Locked-In Rates for Life

    When you buy whole life insurance, rates are guaranteed to never increase, and the death benefit will never decrease for the life of the policy as long as premiums are paid. Life insurance rates are the cheapest for children, especially newborns, so locking in the low rate now will ensure your child will pay the most affordable rates for permanent coverage over their lifetime.

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    Cash Value

    After the insurance costs and fees are paid, the rest of the premium goes toward the cash value. Over time, the cash value grows tax-deferred and can be accessed for any reason through a loan or withdrawal. Cash value is sometimes used to pay for college instead of taking out student loans with potentially high interest. However, you should speak with a financial advisor to discuss the implications of this strategy. Drawing out more than the premiums paid may risk policy lapsing or expose you to potential income taxes.


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    Low Coverage Amounts

    Most children's life insurance policies are capped at $50,000, though some, like Foresters', offer up to $75,000 in coverage. Most children will need to buy more life insurance when they reach adulthood, especially if they plan to get married and have their own children.

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    Lifetime Commitment

    Children’s life insurance is a lifetime commitment of payments unless you buy a limited-pay whole life policy. The cash value can be used to pay future premiums, but this will lower the amount your child has available later in life. Plus, the money spent on life insurance decreases the amount available to support your child throughout their young life.

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    Better Investment Solutions Elsewhere

    Though children’s whole life builds cash value, it has a low rate of return compared to other investments, like a 529 college savings plan. You will almost always get a much better rate of return investing the money directly than funding a whole life insurance policy for kids, which comes with fees and interest rates set by the provider.

Alternative Investments & Scenarios

Life insurance for children is usually only a wise investment if their future insurability is a risk because of their family health history. Otherwise, children’s life insurance is usually not the best investment. With high fees and limited cash value growth, investing money for your child’s future in a standalone account will yield better returns much sooner than the slow growth that comes with whole life insurance for kids. Here are a few alternatives to consider instead:

529 College Savings Plan

These plans can only be used for education expenses, but the most significant advantage is that funds can be withdrawn tax-free.

Custodial Account

A parent or grandparent can create a custodial account to invest savings for a child. When the child turns 18 or 21, the account can be transferred to them. Funds can be withdrawn as long as they benefit the minor.


A child with income can open an IRA savings account to begin saving for retirement.

Frequently Asked Questions About Life Insurance for Kids

We answered some of the most commonly asked questions about life insurance for kids.

Should you buy life insurance for your child?
What is the best life insurance company to insure your child?

About Mandy Sleight

Mandy Sleight headshot

Mandy Sleight is a licensed property, casualty, life and health insurance agent with 20 years of experience in the industry. She has worked for major insurance companies like State Farm and Nationwide, and most recently as the Operations Coordinator for a startup employee benefits company.

Sleight holds a business administration and management degree from the University of Baltimore and a master's in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University. She uses her vast knowledge of insurance and personal finance to create easy-to-understand and engaging content to help readers make smarter choices with their budgets and finances.