We spend so much time talking about the reasons adults need life insurance (income protection, covering funeral costs and so on) that it’s easy to forget why it may be a good idea for you to insure your children as well.
When we think about it, we reason that our kids aren’t contributing to the household budget—in fact, anyone with kids knows that raising them takes a lot out of that budget! But getting a permanent life insurance policy for a child can offer financial advantages for them later in life (in addition to the death benefit).
So before you find yourself caught up in internet debates over how to get your baby to sleep or what kind of diapers to use (or if you’ve already been through that and are dreading the next round of parenting arguments), here are five things to know about buying life insurance for your child:
1. Life insurance policies “grow up” too. A great reason to invest in juvenile life insurance is to ensure that your children are covered from the get-go, and as they get older, may be able to take advantage of riders that allow them to expand their coverage at a guaranteed rate without any question about their respective health. People’s health changes, including children’s, and having a policy in place can ensure they’ll have the coverage they need, despite health changes.
2. It creates a sensible foundation: While there are tax-advantaged vehicles for saving for retirement and college, that’s not necessarily the case for other major expenses that young adults face such as automobile down payments, weddings and first home purchases. The cash value of a policy can be borrowed from—understanding, of course, that it reduces or eliminates the death benefit if not repaid—for these expenses.
3. Not sold on getting them their own policy? Add them to yours. Check to see whether easily affordable riders on your own life insurance policy are available to cover the kids.
4. Don’t buy the first policy that crosses your mailbox, either: The same marketing clearinghouses that make sure you get every single updates on your pregnancy week by week are also making your contact information available to firms that market life insurance. Be sure to compare prices, and it’s always helpful to talk to an insurance professional or advisor who can help you navigate through choices before committing to a policy.
5. The safety net is there. We all want to see our kids grow up happy, healthy and strong. But if the worst happens, as was the case for the Koonsman family, (you can watch their story here) then juvenile life insurance can help provide a buffer—covering funeral expenses, sure, but also allowing parents to take time off, care for their other children, and allow everyone to grieve as needed. And as the Koonsman’s story shows, they were also able to keep their daughter Hope’s memory alive by establishing a scholarship in her name.