Posted: 11:18 pm Sunday, July 6th, 2014
By Theresa Walsh Giarrusso
Editor’s Note: I wanted to give you a quick update and then jump into our topic: Sorry for the radio silence last week. The house was packed up on Tuesday and loaded on Wednesday. We drove out Wednesday afternoon right after the movers left. We made it to Albuquerque at like 2 in the morning. On Thursday we made it to Joplin, Missouri, and on Friday we slept in Zanesville, Ohio. We can’t move into our house until the 9th so we headed to the Jersey shore for a few days on the beach. We don’t have internet set up at the new house yet so I will try to post this week as much as I can but please understand if there’s not something new. More on the drive and the move later but now let’s talk about the toddler dad.
As we were driving across the country on Thursday, I was following the toddler dad court proceedings on my AJC app on my smart phone. I was literally gasping and muttering to myself “Oh no. Oh no.” Michael was like “What are you reading?” One of the many surprising revelations that came out was that the family had life insurance on their son.
He held $27,000 in life insurance on Cooper and, from jail, talked with family members about how to collect on it, according to search warrants released Friday.
The Associated Press followed up with an interesting story about life insurance on kids. If you’re wondering: Life insurance on children represents less than 1 percent on the total insurance market. Translation: Not many people buy it.
Life insurance for kids
The mention that Ross Harris held $27,000 in two life insurance policies on his son has drawn attention to policies that families sometime buy for children. They are somewhat unusual, and a benefit of $25,000 is on the high side, although no unheard-of. Some facts:
- Bought by parents, grandparents or anyone directly related to the child. Buyers are required to have an “insurable interest” in the person covered, meaning the buyer wants the person covered to actually live.
- Insurers require documentation of how a covered individual dies, and the policies will not pay out if the beneficiary is convicted of murdering the person covered.
- Life insurance policies typically have a cash value while the covered person is still living. Often, a parent or grandparent buys a policy with the intention of giving the child the option later in life of cashing in the policy.
- Policies for adults typically offer much higher death benefits than those for children. Life insurance with benefits of $5,000 to $10,000 — enough to cover funeral expenses — are typical.
- Life insurance policies on children represent less than 1 percent of the overall life insurance market, one expert said.
So my questions are: Do you have life insurance on your kids? If so, why did you get it? Do you think it’s odd or just parents wanting a product the kids could cash out later? What do you think this indicates in this case?