You won't find a life insurance policy at the top of a child's wish list. However, unlike another toy or latest fashion trend, life insurance won't be something they'll outgrow. And while there are many who may feel that gifting a life insurance policy to a baby or grandchild is inappropriate or even unnecessary, it can in fact make good economic sense and be a loving way to invest in their future.
Buying life insurance for a healthy baby or grandchild can be very affordable. And with a permanent* policy, the cash value that grows over time can provide funds that can be borrowed against or withdrawn as the child grows into an adult. It's money that can be used to help prepare for the future such as paying for college or even a down payment on a first home. Moreover, as the child matures, he or she may have the option of buying additional life insurance in the future, providing protection for their own family.
Understanding the life insurance requirements
Life insurance companies won't allow you to take out a child life insurance policy on just anyone you want. As a general rule, you can only take out life insurance on someone that you have an insurable interest in such as a relative, domestic partner, or business associate.
To take out a life policy on a minor, you'll be required to provide their name, date of birth, address, Social Security Number, and information on how you're related. And although a medical exam might not be required initially, you'll typically need to provide some basic health information on the child.**
If you are a grandparent
Since grandparents are generally considered extended caregivers, many states will allow you to buy life insurance for your grandchild without the parent's consent or knowledge. You can name yourself, the child's parents, or even another family member (such as a sibling) as a beneficiary. However, rules may vary by carrier.
If you're considering the gift of a life insurance policy, talk to a qualified insurance professional who can help you select the policy that can give your baby or grandchild a healthy financial start.
*Provided required premium payments are timely made.
**Underwriting requirements will differ between life insurance companies.