Several years ago, one of my husband’s friends from high school and his wife lost their teenage son in a vehicle accident. Their son and three of his high school friends (all much-loved football players with bright futures ahead of them) perished after their car hit a bump on a back road and the boy who was driving lost control.
Although I saw first-hand the debilitating grief of my husband’s friend’s family, I can’t pretend to know how difficult it would be to be in a similar situation. It’s unfathomable to me. The mere thought of losing a child to illness, accident, or any other tragedy reduces me to tears. How parents who have experienced that loss find the strength to overcome the devastation is beyond my comprehension. I imagine the emotional impact, regardless of how much love and support you receive, would be overwhelming.
While none of us as parents want ever to think about losing our children, the reality is we can never know what hand life will deal us. So much is out of our control—including how we might react and recover.
I used to think it was sort of creepy to consider life insurance for children, but with the severe emotional anguish that would accompany the death of a child, it’s understandable that financial hardship might follow, as well. Life insurance for children won’t help parents mend their broken hearts, but it might help ease some of the financial challenges they face.
Cost of Final Expenses
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the cost of an average funeral in 2012 was approximately $8,343. That’s a significant expense, even for people who have a decent emergency fund. With a life insurance policy, families can more easily afford to cover final expenses.
Loss of Income During an Indefinite Grieving Period
According to QuickQuote’s President, Tim Bain, this is the primary reason parents might consider life insurance for their children.
“I cannot imagine the grief I would experience if one of my children were to die. And returning to work would be the furthest thing from my mind. How long would it take before you could effectively return to work? A week? A month? Longer?”
Bain also asks, “Would your employer, customers, or clients give you the time you need to grieve? If so, at what cost?”
A life insurance policy on your children can offset the loss of income you might experience by taking an extended absence from work.
Support and Counseling Costs
After a tragedy of such magnitude, families often need counseling to help them deal with the loss. Unfortunately, not all health insurance policies provide sufficient mental health benefits to cover related costs. Life insurance policy proceeds can help cover the cost of such services, so your out-of-pocket expenses are more manageable.
About Term Life Insurance to Cover Your Children
As you consider investing in life insurance to cover your children, you’re likely sensitive to the potential premium costs. After all, raising a family isn’t inexpensive, and a high life insurance premium may not work well with your budget. Fortunately, most insurance companies that handle term life policies provide you with the option to purchase term life on your children in the form of a rider on your policy.
According to Bain, “A rider is simply additional coverage added to a policy to insure something other than the primary insured’s life. As an example, imagine adding a jewelry rider to a homeowner’s policy to insure expensive items beyond what the base policy provides. It’s the same concept with a children’s term rider.
These riders vary slightly by the company, but they provide similar coverage at comparable costs.”
Important to note is that one rider will cover all children in your family. So if you’re paying $60.00 for a $10,000 child term rider, the death benefit is $10,000 for each child, regardless of whether you have one, two, five, or even more children. Some riders extend coverage to adopted and stepchildren as well.
Preparation, not Premonition
Considering life insurance for your children doesn’t mean you’re expecting or willing the worst to happen to your loved ones; it simply means you care enough about your family to ensure you’re prepared for anything.
If you’d like to learn more about term life policies and child term riders for you and your loved ones, talk with a trusted professional who can answer all of your questions.