Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent Benji Carr

UPDATED: Apr 9, 2022

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The Facts of Life

  • A child rider is an add-on to a life insurance policy that pays out a death benefit if your child, or children, passes away
  • A life insurance rider is an optional coverage feature that you can add to your life insurance policy to help cover life events that your standard policy does not
  • The rider benefit is typically paid in a lump sum or a stream of income

If you have a child ­— or children — a child rider add-on to your life insurance policy will not only benefit you, but it will benefit your child as well.

The good thing about the child rider add-on is that, once purchased, it covers all of your children or future children. You do not need to purchase new, separate riders for each child.

Having a rider helps cover life events that your standard policy does not.

Add a child rider to your term life insurance. Enter your ZIP code and get a free quote today.

What is a life insurance child rider, and what are its benefits?

A child rider is an add-on to a life insurance policy that pays out a death benefit if one or more of your children passes away. This added coverage serves as a safety net, so you can focus on your family instead of worrying about paying for funeral expenses.

There are four major benefits to adding a life insurance child rider to your life insurance policy.

The first major benefit is that there is one flat fee for a rider, and it covers all of your current and future children. No need to purchase a new, separate rider for each child.

Second, the rider protects your children regardless of their health status.

The third benefit is that the rider can be converted to a permanent policy when your child comes of age.

Last but not least, the coverage remains active even if your child gets married.

Questions You May Be Asked When Purchasing a Child Rider

In addition to birthdate, gender, height/weight, and information from the children’s doctor, questions on the form can include the following:

  • Have any children had a driver’s license suspended or revoked within the last five years or been cited for any moving violations or DUIs?
  • Have any children ever been diagnosed with, treated for, or had symptoms of asthma, diabetes, cancer or tumors, or any disorder of the heart or blood vessels, including a heart murmur?
  • Have any children consulted or been examined or treated at a hospital or other medical facility within the last five years?
  • Within the last ten years, have any children used, except as legally prescribed by a physician, tranquilizers, barbiturates, or other sedatives?
  • Have any children received counseling or treatment regarding the use of alcohol or drugs, including attending meetings or becoming members in any self-help group or programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous within the last ten years?
  • Are any children receiving special training because of a physical or mental disability, or are any unable to participate actively at work or school or perform normal activities?

This is only a sample list of questions that may be asked when you add a child rider to your policy. Each insurance company has varying rules and regulations, so the type and number of questions may vary as well.

How does a child rider work?

Bear in mind that every insurance company is different, but, in general, child riders all work in similar ways.

Most insurers allow adults 18 to 65 to add child riders to their term policies. Some companies will require you to be older than 20 or younger than 55 at the time of application. Not every provider will let you add a child rider after your policy is already in force, so it would be best to add the rider when you are buying your policy.

Each company has different restrictions regarding:

  • the maximum death benefit for child riders
  • the maximum age of children covered
  • medical information required for a rider
  • when a child rider expires
  • whether a rider can be converted into child life insurance

While companies will require no medical exam, they may ask medical questions about your child or children like those mentioned above.

Generally, prices are around five dollars a year per $1,000 of coverage and can be added to yearly or monthly rates.

CompanyEligible AgeCoverage AmountAnnual Cost per $1,000Medical Questions
AIG15 days - 18 years$500 - $2,000$5Yes
Banner Life15 days - 18 years$5,000 - $10,000$5.50No
Lincoln Financial15 days - 18 years$1,000 - $15,000$5Yes
Mutual of Omaha15 days - 20 years$1,000 - $10,000$7.20No
Pacific Life15 days - 18 years$1,000 - $10,000$5.50Yes
Protective15 days - 18 years$1,000 - $25,000$6Yes
Prudential15 days - 18 years$10,000 - $25,000$5.15Yes
SBLI15 days - 23 years $1,000 - $25,000$6Yes
Symetra15 days - 18 years$1,000 - $10,000$4.20No
Transamerica15 days - 18 years$1,000 - $99,000$6.00Yes
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What happens when my child rider expires?

Once your child rider expires, you can choose one of two options.

The first option is to convert it into an individual child life insurance policy or just let your coverage run out.

The second option is to have your child apply for his or her own coverage as an adult. Most child riders can be converted into a permanent policy, sometimes at three to five times the amount of the original rider’s coverage.

What is a life insurance rider?

A life insurance rider is an optional coverage feature that you can add to your life insurance policy to help cover life events that your standard policy does not.

Commonly, the rider benefit is payable either as a lump sum or a stream of income per the policy contract. Multiple riders can be attached to a policy at once.

The top five insurance riders are:

  • Waiver of premium coverage
  • Disability coverage
  • Accidental death and dismemberment coverage
  • Term coverage
  • Critical illness and disability coverage

Besides the aforementioned, there are riders for unexpected misfortune and special circumstances as well. Each rider comes at a cost, and depending on an individual’s situation, some may be worth it and some may not.

Things to Remember When Selecting Riders

  • Assess the additional risk coverage that fits you the best.
  • Read all terms and conditions to understand the benefits and exclusions of the riders being considered.
  • Choose a rider coverage period in line with the base life insurance plan coverage period.
  • Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria before choosing a rider.
  • Talk to a trusted insurance agent before you make your final purchase decision. This can help clear up any doubts you may have about the rider’s benefits.

The Bottom Line on Child Riders For Life Insurance Policies

Child riders are add-on coverage options that insure the children of the policyholder. Once the rider has been added on, it will automatically cover any future children. Typically, only children under the age of 18 when the policy is issued can be insured under a child rider.

Child riders guarantee the future insurability of the insured’s children until the conversion period ends. At conversion, parents can transfer ownership to the child or continue to own the rider themselves.

Once you’ve focused on your own financial security with a licensed financial planner, discuss the pros and cons of purchasing additional coverage for your child with your life insurance agent.

Despite the common myth that young people don’t need life insurance , having this option at such a young age is a great way to jump start a young adult’s financial stability.

Find the perfect life insurance riders for you. Enter your ZIP code and compare life insurance quotes today.