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Life insurance for new parents and young families

Make sure your children are always taken care of — even if you aren't around.


Becoming a parent for the first time is one of life’s great joys, but it also means a lot of new responsibility. Life insurance can help you make sure your family is taken care of if anything ever happens to you.

Our top pick for term life insurance:

Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.

  • Offers on-the-spot coverage
  • No annual or cancellation fees
  • 30-day money back guarantee

Affordable 2-, 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies. Instant quotes and no medical exams.

  • Application takes less than 10 minutes.
  • Available to people ages 21 to 54 years old.
  • Currently offered in 40 states.

Compare life insurance companies

Name Product Issue Ages Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Medical Exam Required
21 - 54 years old
Affordable 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies with instant quotes and no medical exams.
LadderLife™ Life Insurance
20 - 60 years old
Term life insurance with no policy fees and the freedom to cancel anytime. Simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.
18 - 85 years old
Depends on provider and policy
Compare affordable quotes from 12+ A-rated life insurance companies side-by-side.
Haven Life
18 - 64 years old
Customized term life insurance policies up to $3 million, no medical exam for certain applicants.
18 - 100 years old
This life insurance broker combines technology and the human touch to match you with a policy tailored to your needs.

Compare up to 4 providers

How does life insurance work?

The most basic type of life insurance pays out a benefit when you die, but there are other types of coverage you may want to consider. You can get covered for:

How do I choose a policy?

To find a policy that works for your family:

  • Understand your needs. Think about what type of protection your family needs and what concerns you. For example, if you die unexpectedly, will your family be able to pay the mortgage? Or if you get sick, can you and your family get by without your income?
  • Think about the future. Factor in any changes to your family and lifestyle that might happen in the next few years, like additional kids or a mortgage on a bigger house.
  • Choose your coverage amount. Calculate how much life insurance coverage your family needs and what types of coverage are most important to you.
  • Use an adviser if you need help. Life insurance can be confusing and as a new parent you may not have the time on your hands to understand all the ins and outs of different policies. Consider meeting with an adviser if you’re not sure what kind of coverage you need.

How much will it cost?

There are several factors that affect the cost of life insurance, including:

  • The types of coverage you choose. Your premiums will depend on what combination of life insurance, critical illness insurance, personal accident insurance and disability insurance you get.
  • How much coverage you get. You’ll be able to choose how high you want your life insurance payout to be. A higher benefit means higher premiums.
  • Your age. As a general rule, the older you are, the more your coverage will cost.
  • Your gender. Coverage is usually cheaper for women than men.
  • Your health. The better your overall health, the less you’ll need to pay for coverage.
  • Your habits. Smoking is associated with a long list of health problems, so regular smokers have higher life insurance premiums.
  • Your hobbies and pastimes. Risky hobbies like scuba diving, rock climbing or skydiving will raise your premiums.
Tip: Keep your costs down

A good way to ensure your life insurance is affordable is to review it regularly as your situation changes. For instance, as your child gets older and you pay off more of your mortgage, you might need less coverage. You can talk with your insurer about lowering your benefits — and your premiums.

Do both parents need coverage?

Whether or not you and your partner both need coverage depends on your personal situation. If both parents earn an income, then protecting those incomes is definitely worth considering. But if one of you earns significantly less than the other, and you could easily get by without that income, consider whether insurance is worth the monthly premium costs.

Stay-at-home parents can also benefit from coverage

A common mistake many new families make is to assume that if only one partner is responsible for earning the family’s income, that person is the only one who needs life insurance. While this may be true for some families, it’s certainly not always the case. Although a spouse who works in the home may not earn an income, they still perform a long list of essential tasks in and around the home.

If they were to die unexpectedly or suffer a serious health problem and be unable to perform their normal role, their partner may need to take time off work to look after the kids, maintain the home and do a number of other important jobs — or hire someone else to help out. Consider the unpaid work a stay-at-home partner is doing when deciding what life insurance policies to take out.

Naming beneficiaries

When you buy life insurance with a death benefit, you’ll need to name a beneficiary to receive the money when you die. For most people, this means their spouse or partner.

Naming a child as a beneficiary

If you decide to nominate a young child as a beneficiary, they will be entitled to access the life insurance benefit when they reach 18 years old— or 21 in some states. Until they’re of age, their custodian will be able to access the money to provide for their care. You can also name your chosen guardian as the beneficiary of the life insurance payout — or even divide up the benefit between multiple beneficiaries.

If you’re worried that 18 or 21 is too young for your children to sensibly manage the money they receive, you can set up a trust with guidelines for when and how they’ll receive the money.

Seek independent legal advice for more information on the best way to structure your life insurance benefit payment.

Bottom line

Hopefully you’ll be there to support your children well into their adult lives. But if something does happen to you, life insurance can make sure they’re provided for. Compare life insurance companies to find a policy that fits your needs and budget.

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