Do Your Children Have Life Insurance?

Updated on June 19, 2012
S.H. asks from Middleton, WI
32 answers

We have seen so many of those Gerber Insurance Policies, and also have several friends who have policies on their children. Do your kids have Life Insurance Policies?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

No. I would hate to think about something terrible happening to my kids, but if it did we would be able to pay for the expenses. And it's not as if they have dependents to take care of.

The other reason would be to do it as an investment for the child (ie, the Gerber plan talks about being worth a certain amount to cash in later). But in my opinion, a better investment for my child's future is a college 529 plan.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

No - you only need life insurance if you have dependents who will suffer financially if you die. Children do not have dependents. You would do better putting the money away for college. None of my insurance agents or my attorney have ever recommended a life insurance policy for my son. My son does have his own health insurance policy - that seems the appropriate insurance against a catastrophic health crisis.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Gerber Life and those like it are a sham--especially the part about "using it as a savings account for college later on."
Whole life insurance is always a bad idea.
If, God forbid, something happened to our child, we can afford his final expenses.
Life insurance, used wisely, is term insurance designed to REPLACE the INCOME of a working adult, if ivested wisely upon receipt. So---20x annual income is pretty much what is recommended for working adults, as I mentioned, to invest so as to REPLACE lost income.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

Absolutely! I took out a $50,000 policy on my son when he was just three weeks old. It is a 15 year pay whole life policy, which means you only pay for 15 years and then the policy is fully paid up for life. It will continue to grow each year as the dividends roll back into the policy. I also bought a GIO rider. That is a guaranteed insurability option so that he can purchase more insurance at different stages in his life without having to show proof of insurability. I am so glad I did, as he has a heart defect that might cause him problems getting life insurance down the road. I also have term life on him through work.

Buying insurance while they are young locks in a lower rate and if you get a whole life policy with a shortened pay term, you can pay it off and never have to worry about it again. I'd research out companies and get quotes. My policy on my son through a major insurance company is far cheaper than the Gerber policies. My dad bought a policy for me at 3 (traditional whole life) and there is no way in the world I could get that much whole life insurance for the premiums I pay, even at age 29. It would be hard to find a term policy for that premium, that's how low the rate is.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Savannah on, dental, vision, but not life.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I can't currently afford it, but it's a good idea. Talk to an insurance professional that you trust that specializes in whole life planning. You want something that can grow with your child, that builds value as they get older and that does not require having health checked to purchase more. My brother in law was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age 14 - it almost killed him. He's ok now, but his insurance costs are through the roof. Gerber's a tiny policy and doesn't have the punch of a true whole life insurance plan.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Absolutely not!

a) whole life insurance is a rip off.
b) financially I will be better off not paying the insurance as it would only be used to pay for funeral expenses.

We only have life ins on Mrs and myself - and that is for the purpose of paying off any outstanding mortgages should one of us pass. Basically - we have enough that the surviving spouse can continue to live in the same house in the same financial situation.

There is no such need to replace income with the kids. Thus, we'll encourage them to get life insurance when they have a family also, so that they protect their family from loss of income.
here's Dave Ramsey's take on whole/cash value insurance policies.

Reading some of the responses - I just want to point out that my wife just recently cashed in her whole life policy that her parents bought when she was a baby. Almost 30 years of "investing" - Let's estimate 20 years of payments at $50 per year is $1,000 spent on insurance.

We got $400 something on the cash out.

That's not to even mention that you could have had in your savings $1,970 at just 3% return if you just put that same money in savings (I used the investment calculator on Dave Ramsey's website).

I'd much rather have cashed out $2k rather than $400. Even buying term would be a better option if you feel you need to protect against funeral expenses

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

No. It's a waste of money. Invest the amount you would spend in a college savings account instead.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I have and have had life insurance policies on each of my children since I got divorced and they were very young.

Now they're all adults and I still carry the policies. It's not that much of an expense and it does give me peace of mind in the horrid idea that anything were to happen to them, I'd at least be able to give them a proper funeral/burial. Same as if they were children and even if they have insurance through their jobs/workplaces - the money would go to paying off debts or caring for loved ones.

Life Insurance is a must, in my opinion at least.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Yes! They each have $25K whole life policies through USAA. They cost us about $5 a month.

By the time they are 18, the policies will be paying for themselves. This will also allow them to increase or add on to the policy for higher amounts.

There are people who don't believe in life insurance for the kids or that you should spend your money or invest it elsewhere. Check into policies and get quotes. You need to do what's right for YOU.

Whole life gives them money they could borrow against in the future as the policy actually starts growing.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I was just going to say what Amanda H. said! We have a policy on our daughter with and Additional Purchase Benefit (APB) attached. That means that she is guaranteed the ability to buy additional life insurance (I think up to $125K) later in life even if she has a medical condition that would normally prevent her ability to obtain life insurance.

We look at it more as insuring her ability to insure herself for her family, than insuring her for us. Even with that, we pay less than $10 per month for her policy, which seems worth it to us. I would definitely do my research with different companies to find the best one for your needs.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Yes, each of my children have two life insurance policies both of which can be later used for college if desired.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

Yes, just a small 10,000 policy , plus I think 2 thousand from the life insurance my job offers at no cost.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Yes - mine is through work and is about $2 a month. It would provide $10K per child if ever needed so that would cover a funeral. If I didn't have it through work, I would pay about $5 per month for a similar rider on our own term life policies.

The Gerber plans and other whole life policies are a waste of money. Something to cover funeral expenses for a couple of bucks a month is a good investment but for real investing, there are much better products for children than insurance.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

yes, we have life insurance for our kids, through my work. We never did get it anywhere else like Gerber. I think its important, because, God forbid if something were to happen, funerals are very expensive.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

You should.
My parents had it on me and my sis.
When my sis died of cancer, well, it helped with all of her med bills.
I didnt have it for my kids.
My kids have it now tho, on their own. I think the army taught them that it would be a good thing for them to do.
You can buy policies for cheap while they are young and they can continue with them when they are older and even use them to borrow money off of if you have the right type, cant remember if it's term or whole life. But policies are really reasonable when you buy them for youngsters, and it's a good gift for them as they age and can keep up the premiums on their own.
I was lame and let mine lapse during my divorce from my ex. Wish I could do THAT over.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

The only reason to have life insurance on a child is, God forbid, s/he dies and you can't afford a funeral.
Otherwise, invest your money elsewhere!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

We have a rider on our policies no matter how many children we have, they are all covered up to 20,000.

Don't buy whole life policies, they are really a waste of money.

ETA: I believe the cost of adding this rider to our life policies was about $26.00 a year. Look into adding them onto your existing life insurance policies (if you have them.) Also, the reason we added this rider instead of planning to "afford" our children's funneral, is because we'd probably use up all of our savings during the mourning process since neither of us would be working after such a heart breaking experience. So, I think the $26.00 a year is worth the peace of mind.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

We have (and have had for years) a policy on me (SAHM) because my husband would need to hire someone to do everything I do, if I were not here. A full time nanny, basically. My husband works shift work and weekends, and sometimes overnight. Not M-F, 9-5.

We have a more recent policy on my husband (we switched some things and took out a newer policy in him replacing an older one). When we took out this policy, we dropped the one that included coverage on dependent children. So we added a rider for each of the kids on the newer policy.
I think it is for around $15k on each child.
Enough to cover funeral costs and possible some residual medical costs if there were a tragedy.

These are NOT through Gerber. I think you can get better coverage, more cheaply than through them. If you currently have a policy on yourself or your spouse, ask about adding a rider for your kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

They sure do! I used to work at an insurance company so I know a lot about the cost of insurance. The thing is, they will need it someday and insurance is never cheaper than it is today. What I mean is it goes up more and more by age. My kids policies are super cheap, we pay quarterly on them, about $50 for each kid. They each have about $25,000 worth of permanent insurance. Our policies are 20 pay policies, which means we pay on them for 20 years, and then they are paid up for life. They are also the kind that build cash value, so when the kids are grown they could eventually cash them out instead of keeping the insurance. I think of it more like an investment than like my kids are going to die or something. I would not go through Gerber personally, call you car insurance company or I went through my old work, Western and Southern. They only sell health and life and have tons of options.
Just ask to see the price on buying for your kids, versus buying the same policy for yourself, and you will understand why its good to buy it now. I have asthma and get rated higher for my policies, I wish my parents had bought me some when I was little.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

Yes. I am able to carry a small life insurance through my employer. I have $10k in coverage for 3 kids for about $2 a month.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I have insurance for all 3 of my kids through my work plan. I have always had it at al of my jobs. I need to look into something that won't change...and I do almost everything like that through USAA.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Yes, we have small policies on each of our kids. They are connected to our policies. I think it is like $5 - $10 per month. Our agent recommended them when we changed ours after the kids were born. At first I didnt want to do it, because the thought of even having something happen to one of them was disturbing, but as she pointed out things do happen and the last thing we would want to worry about is how we would pay for it, ect. because when a parent loses a child they are devestated in alot of times don't return to work for a long period of time. Thus they lose income. So in essence the policy helps out financially. Hope what I am trying to say makes sense, my brain is working backwards today. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Yes we have a small one if God forbid something should happen, we can give them a nice funeral etc.


answers from Sherman on

yes 2 of the kids have life insurance the new baby hasnt been added yet, its through the state if oklahoma, my husbands work offers a family plan which includes me and the kids for a couple dollars a month, we got this before the baby was here and havent had a chance to add the baby..

now i was against it when he asked me to fill it out but i wasnt able to have life insurance without adding everyone, i am on the fence with children needing it, i dont feel its right to have life insurance on my babies, but at the same time if something happen to them or all of us at the same time, i want to know that everything was taken care of... im not sure about the gerber i see it but i agree it could be a scam.

if you want insurance i would go with someone local in your home town..i also dont agree the life insurance its self is a rip off, ive seen it used when and it helped out..



answers from Milwaukee on

I would not do Gerber, but I would suggest contacting Matrix Direct and getting a quote for life insurance on yourself and your children.
I would suggest a term life policy as it is cheap and you want to insure yourself and your children while you have not been diagnosis with any diseases that would make you or them uninsurable. You would also what to have expenses covered in the event of their death. The premium (Monthly cost) will be lower based on your health and if you are not a smoker, the term sometimes also lowers when you have children.


answers from Spokane on

Yes, my kids have life insurance plans through a private insurance company. Just small plans that only cost us $15/month but I will continue to increase until they are adults then turn it over to them and then all they have to do is maintain it.



answers from New York on

Kids dont 'technically' need life insurance, but we have it as a rider on our family policy it was pennies no matter how many kids as we had. Life insurance is to take the financial burden off your family should the 'supporter' pass away suddenly. I had Gerber for my kids when they were younger but it is a waste of money, you pour all the money into it and get hardly nothing in return. Whole life in general is a waste of money, very low rate of return and many rules to go with it, stick with term life. The rate of return on Gerber and many others is horrible you would do better in the stock market. Insurance agents often sell it as a 'college' plan, again you'd make more money investing that monthly payment yourself in the stock market.

The rider I have covers each of my kids for $10,000 and these days thats not much for a funeral.



answers from Wausau on

We have child-riders on my husband's life insurance policy. It is only $6 per year for $10,000 in coverage.

(To compare, the Gerber plan is $72 per year for $10,000. Gerber makes it sound like a good investment for the future - is isn't.)

The reason we have it is if the unthinkable happens, we won't also have financial stress trying to pay for arrangements.

If you and your husband do not have policies, look into that first. If something happens to a worker, that income is gone. If something happens to the primary caregiver, the worker has to pay for childcare and such. (Get term, not whole/universal.)



answers from Dallas on

Both of my kids have life insurance through my husband's work. It isn't a lot. I think it would be enough to cover funeral costs in the unimaginable instance where something horrible would happen but since they don't have any debt or assets really that is all you need.



answers from Omaha on

My mom got it when each of my kids were born and though we hoped to never have to use it, in 2008 my 15 year old son was killed by a 12 year old "friend" playing with a gun. We was able to use it to pay for his funeral. We never want to think of our kids dying before us but the sad fact is it does happen! I also loss my daughter in 1998, but she was only 2 weeks old and so the policy didn't cover her funeral, I don't think it goes into affect until they are like 6-8 weeks, and it was hard enough planning the funeral let alone trying to figure out how we was going to pay for it!



answers from Seattle on

Not currently, ex quit paying, but we used to. Not gerber, but through our life insurance company. I wanted it to be minimal (the idea of profiting from my sons death disgusted me) BUT I was talked into (rightly) of seriously upping it.

So the family law person worked out the amounts needed for all funeral expenses (including headstones which run into thousands and thousands- like 5-20k), medical expenses for myself in trust (I would expect to lose my mind in grief, like most parents), and a trust to see that the mortgage is paid, bills are paid, etc. for a 12mo period so that I/we didn't end up homeless and jobless and unable to afford inpatient or outpatient psychiatric care while grieving. It was a significant amount. It was also all tied up in trusts and oversight except for the very initial funeral expenses.

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