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What Does A Child Rider on a Life Insurance Policy Mean?

Making the decision to get life insurance can already be a potentially good solution to help protect your family, but there are additional ways to potentially enhance your insurance plan. One option: Riders. Riders are extra benefits that you can add on to your insurance plan, usually for an additional fee.1
Some types of riders include:
  • Return of premium riders
  • Long-term care riders
  • Child life riders

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Child life riders are add-ons to your policy that allow you to add life insurance protection for your child (or children) under your policy.

A return of premium rider is built to return the premiums paid back to the insured in full at the end of the specified term. A long-term care rider gives the insured a monthly payment in the event the insured has to stay in a long-term care facility such as a nursing home or sometimes if they have to receive extensive home-health services.1
A child life rider, however, is an add-on rider that insured parents can purchase with their individual policy that covers the life of their children. In this article, we will explore child life riders specifically.

Child life riders: How do they work?

 Child life riders are add-ons to your policy that allow you to add life insurance protection for your child (or children) under your policy. Coverage for child life riders last until the maximum eligibility age, which varies from policy to policy, but generally lasts into the early 20s. At that time, the policy owner can decide to convert the policy into a permanent policy for the child.1
In some cases, there is an enrollment questionnaire that the insured must fill out about their child’s history. These questionnaires may ask questions about any recent hospitalizations, medical diagnoses, or other information that your insurance company might want to know.
Some child life riders aren’t based on the health of the child, which can be a good thing for families who may have difficulty securing a policy on their child directly, such as parents of children with special needs. Since policies vary, it’s important to check with your insurer to see what requirements are needed to add your child to your coverage.

What are the benefits of a child rider?

 Child riders come with several potential benefits, but some of the most prominent benefits are that you can gain extra coverage for your child without going through the process of getting your child their own policy. Usually, riders are added when you create your life insurance policy, and children can be added to the rider generally when they are around 15 days old.1
Additionally, any other children you might have following the enrollment of the first child to your policy may be added automatically – you may not have to get additional riders for additional children. Finally, costs for adding a child rider are often lower than getting an additional independent policy, especially if you have multiple children.1

Other things to know about child riders

One of the main draws for many policy owners to child life riders is that in many cases, the rider can be converted to a permanent policy for the child once they hit a certain age, which is listed as the “age of maturity” in your policy.1
Once the rider is converted, typically the face value of the new permanent policy for the child also increases. It’s important to note, however, that the primary policyholder has to initiate the rider conversion process before the rider runs out. There may be additional rules regarding timelines that are specific to your policy, so make sure to check with your insurer for specific details.2
Protecting yourself in the event of your passing is an important step in caring for your family. However, to help protect your family even more in the event of the unthinkable, adding a child life rider to cover your children can be a wise move to help you get through the toughest times, should you face them.

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