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Disclaimer: This guide is a resource if you are considering life insurance best-suited to your background, age, gender, or status.

When considering life insurance for children, it is scary to think about your child being critically ill or dying. But it is important to understand how you would manage financially if the worst happened.


At nowsure, we are here to help you find a life insurance policy that fits your needs. This guide will cover what you need to consider about life insurance for children. This is so you can make an informed decision about whether this product is right for you. 


For more information on the policies mentioned here, please call us at 0800 033 4187.


Life Insurance for Children in the UK

No insurance policy can prevent illness or injury from affecting your family. Life insurance for children can help provide some stability during a difficult time.


In the UK, there are no specific insurance policies dedicated to insuring children. 

However, there are life insurance products available from nowsure’s panel of insurers that can cover you as well as your children.


Including a child on your own life insurance policy ensures that both yourself and your loved ones are financially protected. 

Before we explore each type of cover, let us first look at what life insurance for children entails.

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What Exactly Is Life Insurance for Kids?

Most insurers will not allow you to take out a dedicated insurance policy for your child. Instead, some will offer children’s critical illness cover as part of your own insurance policy. 


A scary topic for many, but a loss of life can be unpredictable and affect us regardless of age, health, or status. When you include Critical Illness on your term insurance policy, you can extend the Critical Illness cover to your child. You can contact your insurer and let them know you would like to make a change to the policy.


Your insurer will provide a cash lump sum in the event of the death of your child. This amount paid out can vary between insurers. Some may cover the child for up to half of the cover of the adult – however, these coverage amounts also vary. 


Child life insurance cover can extend to your biological child, stepchild, legally adopted child, or any child you have guardianship of. 

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What Are the Benefits of Life Insurance for Your Children?

Feeling unable to take part in the normal day-to-day can cause worries on top of dealing with a loss. Having financial support allows you some breathing room to process your feelings when it matters most.

Let us look at the benefits of getting life insurance cover for your child.


Support for Loss of Income

A life insurance policy that covers your child can help to support you financially and offset a loss of earnings. It can allow you more time to come to terms with events, or more time off to visit other loved ones.


Help towards Funeral Costs

In the tragic circumstance of the loss of your child, many life insurance policies also cover funeral costs.The amount paid out for funeral costs can differ between insurers.

What Is Critical Illness Cover for Children?

Critical illness cover for children (also known as serious illness cover) is a type of insurance that pays out a lump sum if you or your child get a serious illness during the policy term.

It is common for a provider of this cover to allow you to add it later. If you do not yet have children but plan to, they can be added to your policy in the future.

Policy details, such as qualifying illnesses or when you receive the lump sum, can vary depending on the insurance provider. The payment could be upon diagnosis, when the condition has worsened, or when you have treatment or surgery.

Certain illnesses may not receive a payout. This will be explained to you in both the policy and by your dedicated agent.

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Benefits of Critical Illness Cover for Children

You or your loved ones can be provided with critical illness cover if diagnosed with an illness. Here are some of the benefits that you can expect:


Automatic Cover (for Some Policies)

Your critical illness insurance might automatically cover your child, or it might be an extra feature you need to opt into or include with a change to the policy. No form-filling is necessary if critical illness cover is included. The cover is in place with no further action or changes to the policy.

It is important to review your policy to understand what your cover includes and excludes. 


Medical Expenses

Your policy can help alleviate the financial burden associated with your child’s serious illness. For example, life-saving or accessibility equipment at home. 

Both life insurance and critical illness cover these expenses. 

However, not all illnesses are eligible. Make sure to check exactly what your policy covers before making a claim. 


Injury Cover

If your child needs to be admitted to hospital with physical injuries following an accident and is in hospital for a given period (usually for a minimum of 28 consecutive days, but this may vary), your insurance may provide monetary support. Your payout will consider factors such as loss of earnings and travel to and from the hospital. Adding cover for accidents can often be done automatically for you and your child. So, please check your policy.

There may be limits on the number of claims per child or policy depending on the insurer and the nature of the claim.


Funeral Expenses

Like life insurance for children, in the unfortunate event of the death of a child, critical illness cover can help with funeral costs. It can also help with loss of income afterwards. Protecting yourself from a loss of earnings can give some financial peace of mind.

Situations where Children's Critical Illness Cover Can Help

The purpose of critical illness cover for children is to help you with costs. Situations that a policy can cover include:

  • Travel expenses for hospital visits and treatments.
  • Alterations to the home for recovery and medical equipment.
  • Childcare costs to ensure proper care during the healing process.
  • Income loss should you need to take time off work to care for your child.
  • Activities for your child and family throughout the recovery period.

Exclusions of Children’s Critical Illness Cover

Critical illness may not pay out in the following circumstances:

  • Prior knowledge of a child’s increased risk of suffering a critical illness before the start of the policy
  • Symptoms relating to the critical illness had begun before the start of the policy
  • Disregard of, or failure to follow, doctors’ advice
  • Drug use (unless prescribed by a doctor)
  • Intended self-harm
  • Alcohol abuse

Government Support to Pay for a Child’s Funeral

If you are currently facing funeral arrangements and are not insured, there are two ways in which you can claim to get support through the UK government towards funeral costs.

If you live in England, you can apply for the government’s Children’s Funeral Fund. This is a scheme to help towards the costs of a burial or cremation for a child. The qualifying age ranges are from a baby stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy to 18 years old. 

If you live in Scotland, the Funeral Support Payment helps pay for funeral costs. You can use the payment towards funeral costs for a baby, child, or adult. This includes babies who were stillborn. 

A funeral director will claim this funeral fund on your behalf. If not, you can claim the financial support yourself. Be aware that you may need to pay for everything first and reclaim the costs afterwards.

The second type of financial support that you can claim ahead of a funeral is the Funeral Expenses Payment. With this, you can claim financial support if you are in a low-income household and receive certain benefits. This can provide families with funding towards cremation fees, burial fees, and the cost of a doctor’s certificate. It also covers travel for the funeral and the cost of transporting the body more than 50 miles within the UK.

Should I Add My Children to My Life and Critical Illness Policy?

The cost of adding your children to your life insurance policy varies based on factors such as your chosen level of cover, personal circumstances, and the insurance provider you select. It is essential to find a product that is right for your needs. It can be difficult to know how much cover you need. To prevent you searching for too little or too much cover, nowsure has a helpful tool to calculate your cover.

When deciding your premiums, you should assess the impact that the loss would have on your family in the unfortunate event of your child being diagnosed with a serious illness. Make note of the financial commitments you have now and the additional commitments you’ll have after.

The duration of cover should be taken into account too. While policies might extend until your child reaches adulthood, typically at the age of 18, some policies may offer longer coverage, such as until your child completes higher education.

If you are planning for the future or dealing with an immediate situation, nowsure is on hand to help – this is not a task you need to face alone.

We have a team of agents ready to provide expert guidance to help you reach an informed decision about your life insurance and get the support you need during a difficult time.

So even when the unexpected strikes, when it comes to your financial health, you will know what to expect. 

Be sure with nowsure. 

Contact us today or call us at 0800 033 4187.

Commonly Asked Questions

Put simply, life insurance works by paying a premium each month to your provider, which you’ll have to keep up for the duration of your policy. On your death, the people named in your policy (called your beneficiaries) will receive a tax-free lump sum or regular payments. How much this is depends on the level of cover you have chosen. And, of course, it’s also on the proviso that you die within the specified term of your policy.

It’s always advisable to compare life insurance quotes before taking out a policy. You and your family’s individual circumstances will determine how much cover you need and what you’ll have to pay in premiums. Other factors that may impact your life cover quote include your age and medical history.

Generally speaking, your life cover should start as soon as your application has been approved. This means that your loved ones will receive a pay-out whether you die in the first, fifth, 15th or 25th year of your insurance, as long as the policy has not run its term.

In some instances, however, the terms and conditions of the policy state that a waiting period is in place, so always read the details carefully before signing. This can happen in the case of a death by suicide, for example, where an exclusion period of 12-24 months from the start of the policy may apply.

Compare multiple life insurance quotes to get a good idea of how much cover will cost you. It can start from as little as £5/month – possibly less than what you’re paying for your monthly Netflix subscription – but will vary depending on how much you want the policy to pay out, how long you want it to last, and other factors such as your age, medical history and lifestyle, including whether you smoke.

Don’t be tempted to lie about your circumstances to get a cheaper policy – any inaccuracies may invalidate a future claim. And remember that the best (by which we mean the cheapest) time to take out a policy is when you’re young and healthy, so don’t put it off either.

Life insurance is often an affordable way to make sure your family stays afloat financially when you pass away. But its benefit is only truly maximised if it covers everything you want it to. Comparing life insurance on price level alone could mean your loved ones lose out for the sake of a just few pence more in your pocket each month. 

A smarter way to compare life cover is to be clear in your mind exactly what type of policy you’re after, how long you need it for and how much you want it to pay out. Once you’ve found several that meet your criteria, however, choosing the cheapest life insurance from the selection can make perfect sense. Always make sure you can afford the monthly premiums before you commit.

The most common policies are known as term life insurance. These cover you for a fixed amount of time and usually fall into two categories – decreasing term life insurance and level term life insurance.

Let’s start with decreasing term, which lets you choose how long you want the policy to run for. You’ll pay a monthly premium until that date, after which the policy ends and you’ll no longer be covered. The amount paid out decreases over time (hence the name), but you usually use this type of insurance to cover a mortgage, which also goes down with time too.

A level term policy, meanwhile, promises a lump sum for loved ones that always stays the same, whether you die in the first year of the policy, or the penultimate one. As a result it’s usually a bit more expensive than decreasing term insurance.

While the policies described above will cover you for a fixed amount of time, whole of life insurance has no ‘expiry date’. Your partner or children will receive a pay out whenever you die, and consequently this cover is a costlier option. It is often used to ensure a funeral can be paid for, or as part of inheritance tax planning.

Life insurance can cover your remaining mortgage, the rent, monthly bills, or loans and credit cards so there’s no immediate financial pressure on your loved ones if you die.

But it can also cover things like school and higher education, or childcare if your death necessitates this additional cost.

Sometimes the lump sum can be used as a gift, or simply to cover the cost of your funeral so it doesn’t come out of the family savings.

Term life insurance only offers cover for a limited period of time. After your policy expires, you can’t claim any pay-out and the premiums you’ve put in won’t be returned.

An exception is return-of-premium life insurance, which will essentially refund what you’ve paid – but at the cost of much higher premiums while the policy lasts. What’s more, you usually have to hold the policy for the entire term and make all payments to get your money back.

Most people simply accept that life cover, like other types of insurance, is about weighing up the risks of not having it against the price you pay if you don’t need to claim. The peace of mind of knowing your family will be looked after if the worst happens often makes the decision easier.

When you near the end of a life insurance policy, it’s worth considering whether you still need cover. If your mortgage is paid off and your children have flown the nest, then you may not require it anymore. If you do want to continue, you could buy another policy or apply to extend your current one. But bear in mind your premiums are likely to be higher than they were for your original policy now that you’re older, and you may not meet all eligibility criteria.

Generally speaking, you’ll pay less for life cover the younger and healthier you are so, if you think you need it, it’s sensible to compare life insurance quotes as early as possible.

There are several events in life that inevitably make the question of whether to get life insurance more urgent. Buying a new home and taking out a mortgage is an obvious one. If you die before the loan is repaid, the responsibility for it will fall on your loved ones instead, so you need to think about whether they’ll be able to shoulder this without your income.

For other people, having a baby is their trigger to consider life cover. According to Child Poverty Action Group raising a child to the age of 18 in the UK in 2021 stood at £160,692 for a couple and £193,801 for a lone parent. Having a life policy in place, at least until children reach financial independence or have finished school, can give you peace of mind they’ll be provided for when you’re gone.

Even if you don’t have children, getting married or making any other long-term commitment to a partner can also be a reason to research life insurance. Whether you opt for a single or joint life insurance policy, your partner will be financially cared for on your death.

Life insurance is also relevant if you’re planning for a funeral and/or inheritance. According to the SunLife Cost of Dying Report 2022, the cost of a basic funeral in the UK was £4,056 in 2021. The lump sum your loved ones receive can be used to cover this, rather than it coming out of their own pockets. Alternatively the pay-out can make a difference for anyone looking to leave money to their children without inheritance costs. You can take out a whole-of-life insurance policy, which lasts until your death, to cover the inheritance tax bill you expect your heirs to have to pay.

Life insurance provide peace of mind that your partner or children with be financially looked after when you’re not around to do it yourself. If your dependants are still in school (or younger), or if your partner relies on your income it’s especially worth looking into. Ditto if your family is living in rented accommodation or in a house with a mortgage that you pay. If there’s any doubt they could keep up repayments without your salary, life insurance could be a solution.

Even if the long-term financial future of your family looks relatively stable without you, life insurance can be helpful to cover funeral expenses, provide an inheritance, or cover extra childcare costs if you’re not around.

Not everyone needs life cover. Some already have a policy through their employer, others may feel their partner earns enough for the family to live on. If you’re older and your children have flown the nest, it might also be unnecessary. The key question to ask yourself is whether your death would have a financial impact on the people you care about.