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Can you get Life Insurance for Children?

Life insurance for children isn’t a widely advertised policy, but certain UK insurers can provide life insurance policies directly to children under age 18. For example, popular UK insurers Zurich and Vitality both have a minimum age limit of 16 for anyone applying for life insurance.

If you are a teenage parent or a carer for one of your own parents or siblings, having life insurance can provide some additional financial security for your household. It is important to note that you would need to be at least 16 years old to apply for life insurance in the UK, as policies are not available for younger children.

It is also possible for a parent to add ‘children’s cover’ to policies like critical illness insurance. While this would be a benefit added to your own policy, it is designed specifically to pay out a lump sum if your child is diagnosed with a serious illness.

In this guide, our team of insurance experts look at all the potential options for life insurance for children in the UK. We will also explain which benefits of your own life insurance policy can be used by your child to support their health and well-being.

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60-Second Summary – Can you get Life Insurance for Children?

Several of the UK’s biggest and best-known life insurance companies will offer life insurance to children under the age of 18. Zurich and Vitality both have a minimum age limit of 16 years old, and AIG, Aviva, and LV all have minimum age limits of 17 years old.

If you were looking for life insurance for your younger children, this won’t be available. They may be able to use member benefits from your life insurance policy though, such as booking online GP appointments.

  • Not all under 18s will need a life insurance policy, but the extra financial security can be reassuring if you have children of your own or are a carer for family members.
  • Most critical illness insurance policies will allow you to add on ‘children’s cover’ for your child and some insurers (e.g. AIG) will also include a small amount of children’s life cover with this.
  • Life insurance is typically cheaper for younger applicants, so you could save money by applying as early in life as possible. 16 and 17 year olds are likely to pay significantly less for life insurance than someone in their 30s or 40s.
  • Your life insurance policy would work in the same way as it would for someone over 18. You would apply in the standard way and be asked the same questions about your health and lifestyle.
  • Both Zurich and Vitality will provide critical illness insurance to children aged 16 and older. Vitality’s ‘Personal Protection Plan’ can also include income protection insurance if you are a 16-year-old with a full-time job (e.g. an apprenticeship).
  • Certain children’s critical illness insurance benefits will provide the option to convert this to a full adult policy once your child is over 18. Many policies will cover your child up to age 22 or 23 if they are in full-time education, and the policy can be converted after this.

Life insurance for children can be available, but this will only be for children aged 16 and older. For the most part, life insurance is a product that has been designed for adults who want some extra financial security for their mortgage or their family.

Because of this, you cannot buy a life insurance policy on behalf of a child younger than age 16. However, certain benefits of life insurance can be used by the whole family. A lot of life insurance companies will provide access to online GP services for example, which can often be used by both you, your partner, and your children.

Most life insurance companies put a heavy focus on protecting your children within their advertising campaigns, especially for policies like family life insurance (level term). This can be seen clearly in the video below, which is an advertisement for Legal & General life insurance.

Legal & General Life Insurance Advert 2020

While it can be possible to buy life insurance for children, most people aren’t aware of this and will assume that you must be at least 18 years old. This will be the case with many insurers, but some life insurance companies can offer to 16 and 17 years olds.

For those companies where the minimum age is 18, this does usually specify that you must be 18 years old at the start of your policy. This does technically mean that you could apply just before turning 18 and delay the policy start date until after your 18th birthday. However, most people will just wait until they’ve already turned 18 before considering buying a policy like life insurance.

Some of the main things to be aware of with children’s life insurance:

  • Some of the UK’s top insurers can offer life cover to 16 – 18 year olds, but many insurance companies will have a minimum age limit of 18.
  • Your health and lifestyle will have an impact on the policies and prices that are available.
  • Children under 16 won’t be able to buy life insurance in the UK, but policies like critical illness insurance often allow you to add cover for your children.

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Currently, Zurich and Vitality are the main life insurance companies that will offer life cover to people as young as age 16.

Zurich is one of the UK’s biggest general insurance companies and can offer high-quality life cover up until age 89 at maximum. Vitality is a popular choice for active young people, as their ‘Healthy Rewards’ scheme provides significant discounts for high-value items like the latest Apple smartwatches.

Other top UK insurers like AIG, Aviva, and LV will accept applications from people aged 17 and older. The policies and prices that are available from all these insurers will be based on factors like your exact age, medical history, and any ‘high-risk’ hobbies (e.g. mountaineering).

Zurich logo

About Zurich Life Insurance for Children

Zurich will allow any UK resident aged 16 and older to apply for life cover, critical illness cover, or combined life cover and critical illness. They also offer additional benefits like multi-fracture cover which are available for people aged 16 and above.

Zurich is a global insurance company that is popular within the UK, having been rated as ‘Great’ on Trustpilot (customer review score of 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars). They also provide a range of flexible options for cover, with no upper limit to the amount of cover (£s) that you can have.

Zurich life cover has a minimum policy term of at least 1 year, and critical illness cover has a minimum policy term of 5 years.

Zurich Life Protection Key Features Document – CLICK HERE

Vitality logo

About Vitality Life Insurance for Children

Vitality Insurance will accept ‘Personal Protection Plan’ applications from any UK residents aged 16 – 74 years old. Vitality is well-rated by their UK members, with an independent review score of 4.2 out of 5.0 Stars (rated ‘Great’).

A Vitality Personal Protection Plan can be custom-built to include any combination of life insurance, critical illness insurance, and income protection insurance. You can buy just one of these policies if you don’t need multiple types of cover, though Vitality has been offering multi-product discounts since 2023.

Vitality Personal Protection Plan Summary –  CLICK HERE

Anyone under 18 would still need to answer the same life insurance questions as someone who is over age 18. The life insurance company will want to know about your medical history and any family history of serious illness (e.g. cancer or heart attack) to assess how likely you are to claim on your policy.

One positive thing about applying at the age of 16 or 17 is that life insurance is normally cheaper for younger people. If you are under 18 and generally healthy, you might find that your policy could cost as little as £5 per month.

Do people under 18 really need life insurance?

Most people under age 18 won’t have children or other dependents who rely on them financially, which is one of the main reasons for buying life insurance.

This won’t apply to everyone though, as some teenage parents or under-18s will contribute significantly to their family’s household income (e.g. to support younger siblings or if they are carers for their parents).

Life insurance can provide some peace of mind that the people you care for most will be financially supported if you were to die unexpectedly.

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Whole life insurance is generally used for Inheritance Tax purposes or within over 50s life cover, so this type of policy usually won’t be needed for younger applicants like children.

You could apply for whole life insurance for children, but it will be more expensive and may provide more cover than you realistically need. Term life insurance will generally be the better and cheaper option for people between the ages of 16 and 50 years old.

Lots of UK life insurance companies will provide extra benefits alongside their life insurance policies. While some of these will only be available for you, certain benefits can be used by other members of your household including your children.

To make this simpler, our life insurance experts have created the table below which highlights the life insurance benefits that can be used by your children. This also includes descriptions of the children’s critical illness insurance benefits that can be added to adult critical illness policies (normally for an additional cost).

Insurance companyLife insurance benefitCritical Illness Insurance benefit
AIG logoAIG’s Smart Health app can be used an unlimited number of times by your partner or children.  
AIG also partners with the child bereavement charity Winston’s Wish, which can support your child through the loss of a parent.
AIG children’s critical illness cover includes hospitalisation and children’s life cover which pays out £5,000 or £10,000 if your child died.  
Options for either core or enhanced cover are available.
Aviva logoAviva offers FREE parent life cover which means that you are eligible for £15,000 of life cover if your child is under 4 years old. This lasts for 12 months maximum.  
Aviva’s DigiCare+ online GP app is available to use for your whole family.
Aviva provides FREE children’s critical illness insurance which covers your child for up to £25,000.  
This can be upgraded for a small extra cost to cover an additional 11 conditions.
Legal & General logoLegal & General’s Health365 app can be used by both you and ‘immediate family members’ for medical and well-being support.Legal & General provides FREE children’s critical illness cover with any adult critical illness insurance policy.
LV logoLV member support fund can help to support your entire family if you are struggling financially.  
Your children can use your LV= Doctor Services app up until the age of 16. This app includes options for medical advice, prescription services and second medical opinions.
Children’s critical illness cover is included for FREE with any adult enhanced critical illness policy.  
LV children’s critical illness pays out up to £35,000 and includes child funeral cover.  
The ’junior option’ allows your child to convert their policy to adult cover within 6 months of their 23rd birthday.
HSBC logoHSBC Life Online Health Services can provide remote GP prescription and second opinion services for your child (up to age 16).Children’s critical illness cover is included for FREE with HSBC critical illness cover and pays out up to £25,000.
Royal London logoRoyal London’s Serious Illness Benefit pays out up to £350,000 if you or your child are diagnosed with cancer, heart attack, stroke, MS, benign brain tumour, or dementia.  
The ’HelpingHand’ support service is also available for your children to use. This offers support for serious illness, injury, or bereavement.
You can add children’s cover to your Royal London critical illness insurance policy, which pays out up to £30,000.  
This also includes total permanent disability cover as standard.
Scottish Widows logoYour children can use both RedArc and Clinic in a Pocket health support services that are included with your Scottish Widows insurance policy.Children’s critical illness insurance is included for FREE with all adult policies, and includes cover for all 40 adult conditions plus 5 child-specific conditions.
The Exeter logoThe Exeter’s HealthWise app has been upgraded recently and can be used by your entire family for unlimited online GP support.The Exeter does not currently provide critical illness insurance, and focuses on life, income protection, and health insurance policies.
Vitality logoYou can claim Vitality active rewards such as free cinema tickets based on your level of physical activity each week.  
You can then use these tickets yourself or provide them to your children to use.
Children’s critical illness insurance is included for FREE with any adult ‘Serious Illness Insurance’ policy.  
This covers both any children that you have now and any children you have in the future.
Zurich logoZurich’s new ‘Accelerate’ benefit can cover your children up to age 22, to provide support if they are diagnosed with cancer or a heart or neurological condition.Children’s critical illness insurance can be added for an extra cost and will pay out up to £25,000 per claim.

As not all insurers will provide quotes for people aged 16 – 18, the simplest way to work out your best options for cover is by speaking to an experienced life insurance specialist. For people over 18,a specialist broker can also explain your policy in full detail including which benefits and rewards can be used by your children.

For free life insurance advice, call our insurance experts on 0800 009 6559 or CLICK HERE.

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Is it worth paying for life insurance?

Yes, if you’ve got children or financial dependents then you should have life insurance to protect them if you die. Martin Lewis and the Financial Conduct Authority recommend that you take out life insurance to protect your family and your home. Generally, life insurance premiums start from as little as £5 per month and will be cheaper for younger adults.

Common myths about life insurance:

  • Life insurance won’t pay out (pays out 98% of claims)
  • People with medical conditions can’t have life insurance
  • Life insurance is expensive
  • Savings can be just as effective as life insurance
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Is life insurance worth it? - iam|INSURED

What is the average cost of life insurance per month?

Based on recent research carried out, the average cost of life insurance is approximately £38 per month and the average level of cover is £152,000. Life insurance premiums also vary dramatically from one insurance provider to another and you can reduce your monthly premiums by shopping around.

Fundamentally, life insurance premiums vary depending on your age, health and the amount of cover that you need, starting from as little as £5 per month. You can also get life insurance to protect your family and your home against financial loss if you die.

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Average cost of life insurance - iam|INSURED

What does life insurance cover you for?

Life insurance is a monthly renewable ‘term insurance’ contract that pays out a cash lump sum or regular payments on death to your family or beneficiaries. Policies are most commonly used for family protection or mortgage protection for your loved ones if you die and your household income reduces, plus the additional issues of losing a parent or carer.

Traditional life insurance will not exclude any pre-existing medical conditions and will cover suicide after 12 or 24 months. You can also use life insurance for business protection purposes as well as tax-efficient business life insurance for directors or key people.

What are the disadvantages of life insurance?

The biggest and most common problem that consumers have with life insurance is the cost and the monthly premiums. This is the top reason for policy cancellations and why more people don’t take out life insurance to protect their family.

Another key disadvantage with life insurance is that it holds no investment value, nor can you cash it in. Life insurance works like any other traditional general insurance policy (e.g. car insurance, house insurance, pet insurance etc.), you pay a monthly premium and it will pay out in the event of a claim. Some people decide to use savings instead of taking out life insurance but you need to make sure that you have sufficient savings to cover the costs of death for your family.

Why do I need life insurance?

The fact is that nobody actually ‘needs’ life insurance, but it is strongly recommended that families and couples have cover to protect their loved ones in the event of death. Martin Lewis recommends life insurance and says “this is something that every parent, partner, or person with any other type of dependent needs to consider”.

Life insurance financially protects your loved ones if you die and pays out a cash lump sum to repay your mortgage, pay for school fees, replace lost income, and pay for regular outgoings. Mortgage life insurance is not linked to your mortgage debt so you can use it to pay off some or all of your mortgage.

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