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Best Children’s Life Insurance Companies of 2022

Protective wins with multiple policies for kids and good ratings

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Life insurance is commonly thought of as something that only pertains to adults. However, it can also be valuable for children. There are two main ways to get life insurance for your kids—as a term rider on your existing life insurance policy, or through a separate policy in your child’s name.

To help you find the best children’s life insurance, we evaluated 21 of our highest-ranked life insurance companies to determine which offer the most (and best) options for children’s life insurance. Then, we compared those companies based on standout features, like financial strength and living benefits options.

For reference, all our best children’s life insurance companies offer a child term rider and standalone children’s life insurance policies.

Best Children’s Life Insurance Companies of 2022

Best Overall : Protective


Protective Life

Protective Life

  • AM Best Rating: A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • High coverage limits

  • Multiple policies available for kids

  • Good third-party ratings

Cons
  • Rated below average for customer satisfaction

Why We Chose It

Based on our review of 21 of our top-ranked life insurance carriers, we named Protective the best company overall for children’s life insurance. It has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best and received few complaints, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

The company offers a variety of different types of life insurance for children, including its Non-Participating Whole Llife Insurance policy, its ProClassic Legacy UL (universal life) policy, and its Index Choice UL policies. All are available to children under 18. 

Also, you can add a child term rider to your existing Protective life insurance policy. The rider covers biological and adopted children, and stepchildren ages 15 days to 18 years old. After the child turns 25, they can convert the rider into a permanent policy that provides up to five times the rider’s face value without taking a medical exam.

Best for Customer Satisfaction : Nationwide


Nationwide

Nationwide

  • AM Best Rating: A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Highly rated for customer satisfaction

  • Very few complaints

  • Several children’s policies available

Cons
  • Average-priced term policies

Why We Chose It

Nationwide is the best children’s life insurance provider for customer satisfaction. J.D. Power rated Nationwide second out of 21 providers for overall customer satisfaction, with a score of 813 out of 1,000 (the industry average is 776 out of 1,000). The company also has fewer complaints than expected for its size, according to the NAIC.

Through Nationwide, you can purchase children’s life insurance as a whole life insurance policy or a universal life insurance policy. In addition, Nationwide offers a child term rider for kids as young as 15 days old and provides coverage until age 22 or until the child is married, whichever comes first. Once they become an adult, they're eligible to convert the rider to their own permanent policy.

However, if you're looking for the cheapest term coverage, compare quotes with other providers. Based on our review of 32 life insurers offering term quotes, Nationwide's premiums came in about average for $250,000 30-year term policies across multiple age groups.

Learn more in our Nationwide review.

Best for Online Application : Mutual of Omaha


Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

  • AM Best Rating: A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Wide selection of living benefits riders

  • Online quote and application for children’s whole life

  • Excellent financial strength

Cons
  • No term or universal life coverage for children

  • Low coverage limits for term rider

Why We Chose It

Out of the top children’s life insurance companies we reviewed, Mutual of Omaha is the best provider for an online application process for children’s coverage. You can get a quote and apply directly online from the company’s website—all without needing to contact an agent.

Mutual of Omaha’s children’s whole life policy is available for ages 14 days to 17 years old, and you can purchase $5,000 to $50,000 in coverage. Mutual of Omaha doesn’t sell children’s term life or universal life policies, but you can add a dependent child rider to your existing Mutual of Omaha term or UL policy. This rider covers eligible kids ages 15 days through 20 years old and provides coverage until the child turns 23 or the policyholder turns 65, whichever comes first.

The dependent child rider will provide up to $10,000 in coverage and is convertible after the child’s 23rd birthday for up to five times the face value of the rider. However, Mutual of Omaha’s maximum child term rider face value is the lowest out of the providers in this list. 

Learn more in our Mutual of Omaha review.

Best for Most Policy Types : Penn Mutual


Penn Mutual

Penn Mutual

  • AM Best Rating: A+
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Many different policy types available

  • Offers term life insurance for kids

  • Child term rider with up to $25,000 in coverage

  • Whole-life policies are eligible for dividends

Cons
  • Limited information on the website

  • No online quotes

Why We Chose It

Looking at all the best children’s life insurance companies we reviewed, Penn Mutual has the widest selection of policies. You can purchase a standalone term, whole, universal, indexed universal, or variable universal life policies for your eligible children. Plus, some whole life policies are eligible for dividends. It’s also the only company in this list that offers term life insurance for kids (one-year term only).

If you purchase life insurance from Penn Mutual, you can add a term rider to your policy for children ages 0-17. It can provide up to $25,000 in coverage for each of your eligible children up to age 23. After the child’s 23rd birthday, they have the option to convert the rider into a permanent policy without taking a medical exam. The maximum face value of the converted policy is five times the rider’s coverage amount.

However, we found that the company’s online capabilities are limited. You can’t get a quote or apply online, and policy details are limited. You’ll need to work with an agent throughout the purchase process.

Best for Financial Stability : State Farm


State Farm Insurance

 State Farm Insurance

  • AM Best Rating: A++
  • Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Superior financial strength

  • Highest customer satisfaction rating from J.D. Power

  • Very few customer complaints

Cons
  • No online application

  • Doesn’t offer child’s term life insurance

Why We Chose It

Of the best children’s life insurance companies, State Farm has the highest financial strength rating from AM Best. It boasts an A++ (Superior) grade, which means that AM Best deems that it has a superior financial ability to honor its insurance obligations, such as paying claims. 

In addition to its excellent financial stability, State Farm stands out for customer satisfaction. In J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, State Farm ranked the highest for customer satisfaction out of 21 major life insurance companies.

In terms of children’s life insurance policies, State Farm offers standalone whole or universal life insurance policy for kids, plus a child term rider you can add to your own State Farm life insurance policy. 

The child term rider covers children up to age 25, or until the policyholder turns 65, whichever comes first. You can get up to $20,000 in coverage for each eligible child, and when the term ends, the child has the option to convert the rider into a permanent policy. The maximum convertible coverage limit is five times the face value of the rider.

Learn more in our State Farm review.

Final Verdict 

Which company you should choose for life insurance for your children will depend. Do you want to purchase a standalone policy for them or would you prefer to buy your own policy and add coverage for your children via a children’s term rider? In the former scenario, it may be important to consider max coverage amounts. For instance, Protective, Nationwide, and Penn Mutual all offer standalone children’s policies with coverage amounts into the millions. Plus Penn Mutual has the widest array of policy types available for children (of the providers in this list).

If you’re interested in a children’s term rider on your own policy, it’s most important to choose a company that best suits your individual life insurance needs. For instance, if customer service is a top priority, see if State Farm or Nationwide have what you need. And if you’re interested in term coverage for yourself, consider Protective as it also takes the top spot in our review of the best term life insurance companies

And if you’d like to be able to customize your policy with riders such as living benefits, Nationwide and Mutual of Omaha are two to consider. Mutual of Omaha is also an excellent option if you need a small policy for a child and would like to be able to apply online. 

What Is Child Life Insurance?

Child life insurance is any life insurance policy that covers a child. It works similarly to an adult’s life insurance policy in that a death benefit is available if the insured child dies. In addition, permanent children’s life insurance policies can accumulate cash value.

Most child life insurance policies do not require a medical exam to get approved. Instead, the child's acceptance is determined based on their age and any pre-existing medical conditions.

Because most children’s life insurance policies are issued as permanent coverage, (such as whole life or universal life), the policy will remain in force for the child’s lifetime. 

What Is a Children’s Term Rider?

A children’s term rider is an endorsement that can be added to your own life insurance policy. The rider will provide a small amount of coverage for your eligible children, including biological and adopted children, and stepchildren. In our review of children’s term riders, most carriers limited coverage to no more than $25,000. If your child passes away before the term expires, you will receive a death benefit. 

When the term expires, the child often has the option to convert the rider into a permanent life insurance policy, without taking a medical exam. Most insurance companies will issue a permanent policy with up to five times the rider’s face value.

Before you add this rider to your life insurance policy, it’s a good idea to compare children's term riders from several companies. Each rider is slightly different in terms of the issue ages, convertibility, and maximum face value amounts.

Should I get life insurance for my child?

Children’s life insurance can be a good investment for some families. It provides financial peace of mind, and it guarantees your child’s insurability for the future. Because life insurance rates increase with age, children’s life insurance can be a good option if you want your child to have lifetime protection at a low cost.

However, children’s life insurance also has its downsides. Term rider coverage limits tend to be low, and as the child gets older and reaches adulthood, the death benefit is unlikely to offer enough coverage. If your child can’t convert the term policy into a permanent policy, the money paid toward premiums might be better off in an emergency fund or a college fund for your child.

Ultimately, the choice to purchase children’s life insurance is a personal one. Before you take out a policy on your child or grandchild, give yourself time to consider the benefits and drawbacks, and decide if a life insurance policy makes sense for your child.  

How We Chose the Best Life Insurance Companies

We developed a comprehensive life insurance methodology to put together our review of the best life insurance companies for children. To start, we researched what parents and guardians want from life insurance companies, and for that, we looked to third-party consumer studies, including J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Life Insurance New Business Study and the 2021 Insurance Barometer Study by Life Happens and LIMRA.

We then gathered more than 50 data points on 91 life insurance companies, including ratings for the following factors:

  • Financial strength
  • Cost
  • Policy types and features
  • Available riders
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer complaints
  • Years in business
  • Online tools
  • No-exam options

We gave preference to companies with top ratings from AM Best, a customer complaint rate that was lower than expected, and a robust suite of products and resources. In particular, we valued online quoting and application tools, transparent pricing, and children’s options. We gave companies a boost in their rating if customer service was accessible via features like live chat, too. To rank the companies we researched, we applied the following weights to each customer-focused category:

  • Customer education, application, and online service features: 32%
  • Policy types, features, and riders: 29% 
  • Financial stability: 17% 
  • Customer satisfaction ratings: 15%
  • Cost: 8%

From this list, we chose the top 21 scoring life insurance companies to review for children’s life insurance. We delved into product specifics, including which policies each company offers to children, whether children’s term riders are available for adult policies, and the conditions of those riders. We also considered whether companies offer online quotes or an online application for children’s life insurance. Using this research, we determined which of our highest scoring companies are the best companies for children’s policies.

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