Purchasing life insurance for children can help in a variety of situations, including locking in lower rates and guaranteeing that they'll be able to get coverage in the future.  

Parents, grandparents and legal guardians have several options for insuring children:

  • Parents can purchase a standalone whole life or term life insurance policy for their child.
  • Parents can insure children under a rider as a part of their own life insurance policy.

The right type of policy — and whether it's the right choice for you in the first place — depends largely on your goals and budget.  

CNBC Select analyzed many major insurers that offer life insurance for children, considering the financial strength ratings, customer satisfaction ratings, coverage limits, age limits and more to find the best policies to cover children. (See our methodology to see how we picked the best children's life insurance policies.)

Best life insurance for children  

Best overall  

Mutual of Omaha Children's Whole Life Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • App available

    No

  • Policy highlights

    Mutual of Omaha offers children's whole life insurance policies with as few as three health questions and up to $50,000 of coverage. Its whole life insurance policies for children offer the opportunity to add more coverage at certain milestones later in life.

  • Quotes and applications are available online
  • Does not offer term life insurance for children
  • Coverage limits and availability varies by state

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Who's this for? For those looking for a standalone children's whole life insurance policy, Mutual of Omaha offers policies between $5,000 and $50,000. Mutual of Omaha offers coverage with as few as three health questions for simplified underwriting.  

Standout benefits: Mutual of Omaha is highly rated for financial strength and customer satisfaction with an A+ rating from A.M. Best and 801 out of 1,000 from JD Power. Whole life insurance policies are available without needing to take a medical exam.

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Runner-up    

American Family DreamSecure Children's Whole Life Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • App available

    No

  • Policy highlights

    American Family offers high coverage limits on children's whole life insurance policies that can be paid in 10 or 20 years. Policies can grow with children as they hit certain life milestones like marriage or buying a home.

  • High coverage limits starting at $25,000
  • Quotes are available online
  • Not available in all states

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Who's this for? Those looking for whole life insurance policies with higher coverage limits than those offered by other companies will find options through American Family, also known as AmFam.   

Standout benefits: American Family's DreamSecure Children's Whole Life policies can include $25,000, $50,000 or $75,000 of coverage paid in either 10-year or 20-year payment plans. Policies offer the opportunity to buy additional coverage without a medical exam at certain life milestones like marriage or a home purchase.  

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Best for riders

Foresters Financial BrightFuture Children's Whole Life Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • App available

    Yes

  • Policy highlights

    BrightFuture Whole Life Insurance is designed for children up to age 18 and offers two choices for payments. Its children's policy has several included riders and features that could be useful, including coverage for health expenses after a natural disaster and accelerated benefits.

  • Premiums are able to be paid in a 10-year period or up to age 100.
  • Quotes not available online
  • Not available in all states

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Who's this for? Foresters Financial offers whole life insurance policies payable for either 10 years or to age 100 with no medical exam required.  

Standout benefits: Foresters offers a number of riders with no additional premium, including riders for accelerated death benefits for terminal illnesses and for covering family health expenses from a natural disaster.  

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Best children's term life insurance  

Aflac Juvenile Life insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • App available

    Yes

  • Policy highlights

    Aflac offers term and whole life insurance for children between 14 days old and 17 years old. With both types of coverage, the child is able to convert the policy to a permanent life insurance policy with up to double the coverage.

  • One of the few companies that offers term life insurance for children
  • Coverage will ensure future insurability
  • Coverage limited to $30,000 for children's life insurance

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Who's this for? For those looking for life insurance to cover children up to a certain age, children's term life insurance from Aflac can provide the right coverage at a lower cost than whole life insurance.  

Standout benefits: Aflac is one of the few insurers that offers term life insurance for children. Both Aflac's juvenile term and whole life insurance policies can guarantee future insurability. 

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More on our top children's life insurance companies 

Mutual of Omaha 

Mutual of Omaha was established in 1909, and it is highly rated for customer satisfaction and financial strength today. The company has also been featured as one of our top picks for senior life insurance.  

Types of children's life insurance available 

Whole life insurance 

Age limits  

14 days to 17 years 

Coverage limit options 

$5,000 to $50,000  

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American Family  

American Family may be best known for its auto, home, and other types of insurance. But, for those looking for life insurance to cover a child, American Family offers coverage that could be a good fit for many families' needs and budgets.  

Types of children's life insurance available 

Whole life insurance  

Age limits  

Up to age 17  

Coverage limit options 

$25,000, $50,000 or $75,000 for 10- and 20-year payment options  

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Foresters Financial  

Foresters Financial has been offering life insurance policies since 1874. It has a near-average complaint index according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and has an "A" rating for financial strength from A.M. Best.  

Types of children's life insurance available 

Whole life insurance  

Age limits  

Up to age 18  

Coverage limit options 

$5,000 to $75,000 

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Aflac  

Aflac offers a variety of insurance products, including term life insurance and whole life insurance for children. The company is highly rated for financial strength, receiving an A+ rating from A.M. Best.  

Types of children's life insurance available 

Term life insurance and whole life insurance 

Age limits  

14 days to 17 years 

Coverage limit options 

$10,000, $20,000 and $30,000 

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FAQs

Can you get life insurance for your child?  

Parents, legal guardians and grandparents can generally purchase life insurance for a child. Children's life insurance policies are generally small whole life policies (under $50,000) that can turn into adult policies later in life. Children can also be insured under a rider on a parent's life insurance policy.  

What type of life insurance is best for a child? 

The best type of life insurance for a child depends on your situation and your goals. Most standalone child life insurance policies are whole life insurance. With these policies, a policyholder pays fixed premiums in exchange for a fixed death benefit and the opportunity to build cash value. Life insurance for a child can also be purchased as a rider on an adult's life insurance policy and may be cheaper than a standalone policy, and term life insurance policies for children do exist.  

Is child life insurance worth it?  

Two common reasons for getting life insurance for children include guaranteed insurability later in life after medical issues or career choices may reduce their ability to buy coverage, and the possibility to lock in lower premiums. Whether life insurance for a child is the right option for your family depends on your goals and situation. 

Bottom line

Life insurance for children can help ensure that they have affordable coverage when they're older, when medical issues, lifestyle choices, or career paths could make it difficult to qualify. However, getting coverage as a rider on an adult's life insurance policy could be more affordable.

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Why trust CNBC Select? 

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every life insurance review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of life insurance products. To research the best life insurance companies, we compiled over 100 data points on more than a dozen life insurance companies. While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best life insurance companies. 

Our methodology  

To determine the best life insurance companies for children, CNBC Select analyzed dozens of life insurance companies and compared them based on various factors. 

While narrowing down the best life insurance companies, we focused on life insurance companies that offered standalone life insurance policies for children. We considered A.M. Best ratings for financial strength, which measure a company's ability to meet its policy and contract obligations. We also considered customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power's 2022 US Individual Life Insurance Study and complaint index reports from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Finally, we considered the limits for coverage on a child life insurance policy, the minimum and maximum ages of issue and state availability. 

Note that the premiums and policy structures advertised for life insurance companies are subject to fluctuate in accordance with the company's policies.  

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.