Child Rider Life Insurance

A child rider can be added to a life insurance policy, providing a death benefit if any of your children pass away. Child riders are inexpensive compared to a child whole life policy, and it can be converted into a permanent policy once the child reaches the maturity age.

  • Written by
    Lindsey Crossmier

    Lindsey Crossmier

    Financial Writer

    Lindsey Crossmier is an accomplished writer with experience working for The Florida Review and Bookstar PR. As a financial writer, she covers Medicare, life insurance and dental insurance topics for RetireGuide. Research-based data drives her work.

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  • Edited By
    Lamia Chowdhury
    Lamia Chowdhury, editor for

    Lamia Chowdhury

    Financial Editor

    Lamia Chowdhury is a financial content editor for RetireGuide and has over three years of marketing experience in the finance industry. She has written copy for both digital and print pieces ranging from blogs, radio scripts and search ads to billboards, brochures, mailers and more.

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  • Financially Reviewed By
    Eric Estevez
    Eric Estevez, Independent Licensed Life Insurance Agent

    Eric Estevez

    Owner of HLC Insurance Broker, LLC

    Eric Estevez is a duly licensed independent insurance broker and a former financial institution auditor with more than a decade of professional experience. He has specialized in federal, state and local compliance for both large and small businesses.

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  • Published: April 13, 2022
  • Updated: August 10, 2022
  • 5 min read time
  • This page features 5 Cited Research Articles
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APA Crossmier, L. (2022, August 10). Child Rider Life Insurance. Retrieved May 22, 2024, from

MLA Crossmier, Lindsey. "Child Rider Life Insurance.", 10 Aug 2022,

Chicago Crossmier, Lindsey. "Child Rider Life Insurance." Last modified August 10, 2022.

What Are Child Riders for Life Insurance?

Child riders are an add-on option to most life insurance plans that provide the beneficiary with a death benefit should your children pass away.

While it is challenging to think about, a child rider can help ease the financial burden during a difficult time by covering funeral costs and other unexpected expenses.

The rider coverage will typically last until the child turns 25 or you turn 65, whichever comes first. Some insurance companies have slightly different guidelines for these age limits.

For example, with Progressive, your children will be covered until they are 26 years old. But for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, your children will be covered until they are 22 years old. Confirm the maturity age for rider coverage with your insurer to avoid unexpected termination.

How Do Child Riders Work?

Child riders provide level term life insurance for your children by adding on a rider to your existing policy. One child rider will cover all your current and future children with no medical exam required for coverage.

Should any of your children pass away while the rider is in force, you receive a death benefit that is paid out in a tax-free lump sum. This means you get the entire death benefit immediately after the claim is approved.

How to Qualify for a Child Rider
  • Your child must be between 15 days to 18 years old.
  • You must be between 20 to 55 years old to add a child rider to your policy.
  • The child must be biologically yours, a stepchild or legally adopted.

A child rider will increase your premium price by a small amount. The annual cost for a child rider add-on can be as low as $50 a year, and the coverage cap is typically $25,000 per child.

What Are the Types of Child Life Insurance?

Child term riders and child whole life insurance are the two types of child life insurance. Both have set premiums and don’t typically require a medical exam. However, the two options differ in costs and benefits, making them each suitable for different needs.

Child Term RiderChild Whole Life Insurance
Coverage for a set period Lifetime coverage
Acts as an add-on to an existing policySeparate policy plan
Covers all current and future childrenCovers one child
Cheaper than whole life insuranceMore expensive than a rider
Can be converted into a permanent policy once children turn 25 Has accumulating cash value

Child Term Rider

A child term rider gives all your children life insurance coverage for a set period of time, typically until they turn 25.

Once your children reach the age of maturity, most policies provide the option to convert the rider into a permanent policy. During this process, the coverage amount can be changed. Most insurance companies put a limit on how much you can convert, but it’s usually up to five times the face amount of your policy.

For example, if your rider had a face amount of $60,000, you could convert the new permanent policy’s face amount to $300,000. Once your insurance provider approves the change, your child will now be responsible for the monthly premiums.


Child Whole Life Insurance

Unlike a rider add-on, child whole life insurance is an independent contract providing lifetime coverage to one child. If you’re the parent or guardian, you would be considered the policyholder for your child.

Keep in mind that child whole life insurance doesn’t have a high amount of coverage. The average coverage is under $100,000.

The accumulating cash value can help support college funds and general savings for your child’s future. However, the return rate for cash value is typically very low for child whole life insurance.

The premium price could cancel out any cash return benefits, making little to no profit for your child’s savings. It’s best to compare your options with an agent who can help you make a secure financial decision.

Why Should You Buy a Child Rider?

Child riders are much more affordable than child whole life insurance and can help give peace of mind over the financial and emotional stress of losing a child.

There are also long-term benefits of buying a child rider.

If you have a family history of pre-existing conditions, it could be difficult for your child to get approved for life insurance in the future. By getting insured early with a child rider, you can lock in lower premiums and get guaranteed acceptance since a medical exam isn’t required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do child riders cover multiple children?
Yes, child riders cover all current and future children. However, grandchildren are not included.
What happens when child riders expire?
Once the child rider expires, your children will lose life insurance coverage if the rider isn’t converted into a permanent policy. Your child must be between the ages of 18 to 25 to be eligible for a permanent policy depending on the insurance company.
Can I add a child rider if my life insurance policy is active?
Yes, contact your insurance provider if you want to add a rider to your active policy. Riders cannot be purchased outside of a policy.
What are child riders used for?
Child riders are used to provide financial support for you and your loved ones if one of your children passes away.
Last Modified: August 10, 2022

5 Cited Research Articles

  1. Insurance Dekho. (2021, August 18). Can I Add a Rider to An Existing Life Insurance Policy? Retrieved from
  2. Children’s Level Term Insurance Rider of SEC Annual Report. (2015). Children’s Level Term Insurance Rider. Retrieved from
  3. Children’s Insurance Rider of SEC Annual Report. (n.d.). Children’s Insurance Rider. Retrieved from
  4. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. (n.d.) Children’s Term Insurance Rider. Retrieved from
  5. Progressive Casualty Insurance Company. (n.d.). What Are Child and Spouse Life Insurance Riders? Retrieved from