Tuesday, September 27, 2016

3 Dependent Child Group Term Life Insurance Q&A's

As most employee's quickly find out, group term life insurance seems to generate more questions than you'd think for such a simple concept. One area that generates three very specific questions is group dependent child term life insurance.

Who Are Considered Children?

With so many different types of families, who are considered eligible dependent children isn't always quite clear. You'll have to be sure and ask about your particular situation to see if your dependents are eligible.

Here's a run down of the typical dependent child scenarios:

  1. Natural children: Natural children are always considered eligible children. 
  2. Step-children: Are usually considered eligible children.
  3. Adopted-children: Are usually considered eligible children.
  4. Legal custody: Not always considered eligible children.
  5. Legal guardian: Not always considered eligible children.
  6. Children of a partner you live with or use to be married to: Not normally considered eligible children.
  7. Grandchildren: Not normally considered eligible children unless they've been adopted.

I'd say the the most common questions I get is whether grandchildren are eligible followed by children of a partner you live with or use to be married to.

Keep in mind that the above list will vary by plan. The most important point I want to make is if you have a unique situation to make sure you ask. You have to check because it's not always clear.

How Long Are Dependent Children Insured?

The second most common question I get once we know if your dependents are considered eligible is how long are the children insured.

Again this will vary by plan so you'll have to ask. But, a good rule of thumb is that coverage is probably good until they are one of two ages - either 18 or age 26 and they might also have to be an unmarried, dependent full-time student.

Remember, if you terminate employment, there's a good chance your dependent life coverage will most likely terminate.

Can Dependents Increase The Amount Of Life Insurance When They Are Older?

The third most common question I get from many employees is if their children can increase their life insurance amount later.

Usually this is not the case. However, there is a chance that the dependent life insurance might be convertible to a higher amount. And so while the answer is usually no they can't, there may be a hidden loop hole that might allow it.


These are three of the more common questions that I receive about how dependent life insurance coverage works.

The lesson here is - as it always is with group insurance plans - that while these are guidelines, you always have to ask to be sure.

While sometimes employees hesitate to buy life insurance for children, I go over why you should consider it in my article called: 3 Reasons to Buy Life Insurance for Children (and Grandchildren).

What kind of questions do you have about group dependent life. Put them in the comments below and I'll try my best to answer them.

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Michael is a champion of guaranteed issue for employees in the workplace. He's been an insurance agent since 1992 and has worked with thousands of employees.