Best Life Insurance for Children: 5 Policies That Cover Kids in January 2023

American Family and Mutual of Omaha top our list of the best life insurance policies for kids in 2023.
Katia Iervasi
By Katia Iervasi 
Edited by Lisa Green

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As a parent, grandparent or legal guardian, buying life insurance for children is one way to guarantee coverage for them later in life.

Our list of the best life insurance for kids includes companies that offer standalone life insurance policies for children — not child riders, which you typically attach to an existing policy. It’s worth noting that child riders can sometimes be converted to standalone, permanent policies at a later date. 

To refine the list, we assessed age eligibility, coverage amounts available, and the ease of getting a quote and purchasing a policy. We also looked at additional features, like the ability to top up the policy when the child grows up and reaches major milestones such as marriage or parenthood.

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Best life insurance for children in January 2023

All of the life insurance companies listed below scored at least 3 out of 5 stars. While life insurance policies for kids aren’t an everyday purchase, it’s important to compare life insurance quotes from a few companies before making a decision.

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Available to children from 0 to 17 years old.

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Available to children from 14 days to 17 years old.

3.0

NerdWallet rating 

Available to children 14 days to 17 years old.

3.0

NerdWallet rating 

Available to children up to 14 years old.

3.0

NerdWallet rating 

Available to children up to 18 years old.

Note: With some insurers, a newborn may need to reach a certain age, such as 14 days old, before becoming eligible for coverage.

NerdWallet rates insurers at the company level, not the policy level. This means our star rating reflects the company as a whole, and not its child life insurance policy specifically.

How we ranked the top life insurers

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on consumer experience, complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. Within the consumer experience category, we consider ease of communication and website transparency, which looks at the depth of policy details available online. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Best life insurance for children: Pros and cons

Learn more about our top picks for life insurance for kids in 2023 by reading the brief summaries below and checking out our comprehensive reviews.

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Best for flexible payment structures
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American Family

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
AmFam offers a range of payment options and high coverage amounts, but you need to apply through an agent.
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Financial strength rating

Strong

Online purchase

Yes

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam
Best for flexible payment structures
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on Policygenius

American Family

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
AmFam offers a range of payment options and high coverage amounts, but you need to apply through an agent.

Financial strength rating

Strong

Online purchase

Yes

NAIC complaints

Fewer than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam

Overview: Along with its high coverage levels, American Family Life Insurance Company — also known as AmFam — stands out for its flexible payment options that allow you to pay off the policy sooner. You can choose a 10-year or 20-year payment plan, with the latter having more affordable life insurance rates. Regardless of which plan you pick, the premiums are locked in.

The policy has a built-in guaranteed purchase option benefit rider, which lets you increase the coverage at certain ages when the child experiences major life events, like getting married, buying a house or becoming a parent. American Family doesn’t require a life insurance medical exam at any of those times.

Policy name: DreamSecure Children’s Whole Life.

Policy type: Whole life insurance.

Coverage amount: $25,000, $50,000 or $75,000.

Read the full review: American Family insurance review


Best for boosting coverage over time
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Mutual of Omaha

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Mutual of Omaha gives policyholders more opportunities to top up their coverage. However, its child policies aren't available in Washington.
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Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

Yes

NAIC complaints

Close to expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam
Best for boosting coverage over time
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on Policygenius

Mutual of Omaha

3.5

NerdWallet rating 
Mutual of Omaha gives policyholders more opportunities to top up their coverage. However, its child policies aren't available in Washington.

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

Yes

NAIC complaints

Close to expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam

Overview: Mutual of Omaha’s policy offers simplified life insurance underwriting, which means you only have to answer three health questions about the child or grandchild you’re hoping to cover. The maximum coverage amount is relatively high at $50,000, and you can buy over the phone if you’d like to speak to an agent or online.

As with most children’s whole life policies, you have the option to buy additional whole life coverage when the child is an adult and gets married, purchases a home or has a child of their own, without their needing to take a medical exam. Mutual of Omaha stands out for also allowing you to buy more coverage at specific birthdays: 25, 30, 35 and 40.

If the policy owner dies within two years of taking out the policy, Mutual of Omaha will waive premiums and the cost of other life insurance riders for 90 days.

Policy name: Children’s Whole Life Insurance.

Policy type: Whole life insurance.

Coverage amount: $5,000 to $50,000.


Best for policy options
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Aflac

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
Aflac offers a choice between term and whole life insurance for children, which is unusual. But coverage is capped at low amounts.
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on Policygenius

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

More than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam
Best for policy options
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on Policygenius

Aflac

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
Aflac offers a choice between term and whole life insurance for children, which is unusual. But coverage is capped at low amounts.

Financial strength rating

Exceptional

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

More than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam

Overview: Aflac is unique for offering a choice in policies: whole life insurance or term life insurance. Both policies are available for children 14 days to 17 years old, in coverage amounts ranging from $10,000 to $30,000. The insurer doesn’t offer online quotes, so you’ll need to contact an Aflac advisor to get an idea of cost and apply for coverage.

Like all permanent policies, the whole life option provides lifelong coverage — even if the child develops health conditions later in life. Aflac’s term life policy covers the child until their 25th birthday. At that stage, the young adult can convert the existing coverage to a whole life policy worth up to double the face amount without taking a medical exam.

Policy name: Juvenile Whole Life Insurance and Juvenile Term Life Insurance.

Policy type: Whole life insurance and term life insurance.

Coverage amount: $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000.

Read the full review: Aflac life insurance review


Best for generous coverage amounts
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Gerber

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
Gerber's coverage automatically doubles when the child reaches 18 years old, on the policy’s anniversary. However, the company has a high complaint ratio.
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on Policygenius

Financial strength rating

Strong

Online purchase

Yes

NAIC complaints

More than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam
Best for generous coverage amounts
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on Policygenius

Gerber

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
Gerber's coverage automatically doubles when the child reaches 18 years old, on the policy’s anniversary. However, the company has a high complaint ratio.

Financial strength rating

Strong

Online purchase

Yes

NAIC complaints

More than expected

Policies offered

Term, permanent & no-exam

Overview: Gerber’s Grow-Up Plan is open to children up to age 14. It has a unique selling point: The coverage amount doubles when the child turns 18, while premiums stay the same. So, if you purchase a $50,000 policy when the child is a baby, it will grow to $100,000 at the time of adulthood. Gerber also allows the child to buy more coverage as an adult — and it stands out for offering up to 10 times the original policy value.

The whole life insurance policy builds cash value over time, and once you’ve accumulated enough, you can borrow against the policy. Gerber is transparent about its interest rate for policy loans, which is 8%.

You can apply for a policy online or over the phone, with the company claiming more than 75% of applicants are approved almost immediately. The insurer also offers a discount of up to 10% on monthly premiums for setting up automatic payments.

Policy name: Grow-Up Plan.

Policy type: Whole life insurance.

Coverage amount: $5,000 to $50,000.

Read the full review: Gerber life insurance review


Best for customizable coverage
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Foresters Financial

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
Foresters offers various riders to cover unexpected incidents, though child policies aren't available in New York, California or Washington.
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on Policygenius

Financial strength rating

Strong

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

More than expected

Policies offered

Term & permanent
Best for customizable coverage
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COMPARE QUOTES

on Policygenius

Foresters Financial

3.0

NerdWallet rating 
Foresters offers various riders to cover unexpected incidents, though child policies aren't available in New York, California or Washington.

Financial strength rating

Strong

Online purchase

No

NAIC complaints

More than expected

Policies offered

Term & permanent

Overview: Foresters allows you to enhance your child’s or grandchild’s coverage with an array of riders. These include an accelerated death benefit rider and a family health benefit rider, which helps to cover medical expenses you might incur as a result of natural disasters, like earthquakes and hurricanes. The insurer will also donate an additional 1% (up to $100,000) of the life insurance face amount to a charity of your choice in the event of the child’s death.

Foresters is a fraternal organization, and buying a policy for a child automatically enrolls them as a member. They’ll be able to access the portal and start attending events at the age of 16. However, there’s no option to apply for coverage online — you have to go through a representative.

Policy name: BrightFuture Children’s Whole Life.

Policy type: Whole life insurance.

Coverage amount: $5,000 to $75,000.

Read the full review: Foresters life insurance review


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Alternatives for the best life insurance for kids

If you don’t want to buy a separate policy for a child, consider adding a child term rider to your own life insurance policy. This rider can cover multiple children, and pay out a small amount — such as $5,000 to $25,000 — if a child dies. Keep in mind you’ll need to opt into this life insurance rider when you purchase your policy, but any children born or adopted once the policy is in place will typically be covered.

Another option is to take advantage of supplemental life insurance offered through your employer. Some policies cover eligible dependents, such as children. Speak to your benefits coordinator to find out if your workplace offers this coverage.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2019-2021. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

Frequently asked questions

Some companies offer standalone life insurance policies for children, and others allow you to add extra coverage to your own policy to cover a child.

No. While you usually need permission when buying life insurance for someone else, that only applies to adults. However, in general, you must be a parent, grandparent or legal guardian to buy coverage for a child.

Most life insurance companies will only insure a child up to the age of 18, though there are exceptions.

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