What Is a Child Term Rider in Life Insurance?

This rider can cover multiple children under your life insurance policy, typically for an additional fee.
Robin Hartill, CFP®
By Robin Hartill, CFP® 
Edited by Katia Iervasi Reviewed by Tony Steuer

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What is a child term rider?

A child term rider is a life insurance policy add-on that pays a sum of money if your child dies while the policy is in force. This life insurance rider typically covers all children in the family, including biological children, legally adopted kids and stepchildren. Child term riders are often available for both term life insurance and permanent life insurance policies.

The payout is typically capped at low amounts, such as $25,000 or less. Though the sum is relatively small, it can help grieving parents with funeral expenses, medical bills and loss of income due to taking time off from work following a tragic loss.

Child term riders usually start providing coverage once the child is 15 days old. Depending on the policy, coverage ends between the ages of 18 and 25 or when the child gets married. Most policies don’t require your child to go through the life insurance underwriting process or take a medical exam, but you may have to answer basic health-related questions.

Adding a child term rider tends to increase the monthly premium you pay by just a few dollars. The rider usually costs the same no matter how many children are covered. It’s significantly cheaper than buying a stand-alone life insurance policy for children, but the death benefit is generally smaller.

Many carriers allow you to convert the rider into a stand-alone permanent policy once the child reaches a specific age, though you can expect to pay more for this feature. The amount of coverage you can convert varies. For example, your insurer might limit you to a policy worth up to five times the life insurance face value of the original rider.

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