When your children are newborns, you buy baby monitors, car seats and outlet covers, trying your best to stay one step ahead from all the real (and imagined) dangers that threatened your little bundles of joy.
Then, as they grow older, your focus broadens to include schools, social activities and other influencing factors, as you do your best to keep them safe and secure. Your whole goal as a parent is to make sure your children navigate the space between birth and young adulthood as well protected as possible.
But one item might be missing from your “must have” list: life insurance. While parents typically buy life insurance for themselves for the first time, or increase the amount on existing policies when they add new members to their family, they may overlook insuring those new additions with a policy of their own.
It’s true that one function of life insurance is to protect those left behind, such as spouses or dependents, a situation that doesn’t apply when talking about minor children. But there are other reasons why it makes sense to insure your children.
1. The first comes down to dollars-and-cents: It’s far less expensive to insure a child than an adult. If the policy is convertible, meaning it can be converted from a term to a permanent policy, the insured child can theoretically have the policy for life, increasing its value, if desired, while benefiting from the cash value that is accumulating.
2. The second reason has to do with unfortunate events that could affect the long-term health of a child. While we hope and pray that are children will stay healthy, events can transpire over which we have no control. A major illness, a newly developed chronic health problem or even a catastrophic accident with permanent injuries can result in the child being considered uninsurable for life. However, if a life insurance policy was in place, especially one with a guaranteed policy purchase option for additional insurance in the future or the option to convert from term to permanent, the child will continue to be covered, regardless of what happens in terms of his or her physical health.
While it’s true that you may be able to insure your child through a group policy available through your workplace, keep in mind that changes in an employee’s group benefits may take away that option. Overall, only 19 percent of children have individual life insurance, with just 14 percent covered under group life policies, according to LIMRA, and both numbers have shown a significant decline.
Purchasing life insurance for your children is just one more way you can show your love and concern for them, and ensure that they are protected from the consequences of life’s unexpected events.