Child life insurance

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Child life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance that insures the life of a minor. It is usually purchased to protect a family against the sudden and unexpected costs of a child’s funeral or burial[1] and to secure inexpensive and guaranteed insurance for the lifetime of the child.[2] It offers guaranteed growth of cash value, which some carriers allow to be withdrawn (collapsing the policy) when the child is in their early twenties.[3] Child life insurance policies typically offer the owner the option to purchase, or in some cases obtain additional guaranteed insurance when the child reaches maturity.[4]

Child life insurance policies typically:[5][6]

  • Are issued with face values between $5,000 and $50,000.
  • Are always issued without a required medical examination.
  • Have zero investment and zero interest rate risk associated with cash value growth.
  • Provide insurance coverage for a designated beneficiary.

Child life insurance should not be confused with juvenile life insurance, which is issued with much larger face values (normally $100,000 - $10,000,000) and is generally purchased for college savings, lifetime savings, estate planning and guaranteed insurability.[7]

Child life insurance has been criticized for causing a motive for murder of insured children. 45 coroners have stated that child life insurance is a motive to murder.[8] The Friendly Societies Act 1875 provided for payments on the death of children to pay the expenses of their burial. The coroner, Mr Braxton Hicks, wrote a letter to the Times in 1889 denouncing the practice of insuring children's lives because the insurances act as a temptation to the parents to neglect them, or feed them with improper food, and sometimes even to kill them.[9]


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  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-03. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
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  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-01. Retrieved 2010-11-05.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-03-01. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Infantile Insurance". Times [London, England]. 14 Feb 1889. p. 13 – via The Times Digital Archive.