News Apr 30, 2010 at 3:58 pm


I've had life insurance since I was a kid.
I don't know if my parents ever tried to kill me, but they never succeeded. Which sucks for them, I hear I'm worth a lot.
My parents took one out on me. I still have it. It's a measly 25k, so probably not worth the jail time.
Same story here as @2. My mom is totally smart enough to get away with it, so if she'd wanted to kill me she would probably have made it for more than $25k.
I never bought fire insurance on a house I didn't intend to burn down. Or a collision insurance on a car I didn't intend to crash. Same reason young people don't buy health insurance: young people don't want to get sick.

You know what the real crime is? Insurance!
In days of yore it was considered a good investment to purchase a specific inexpensive insurance instrument on small children (who, after all, DID have a pretty good chance of dying) that would retain some cash value if policy, unfortunately, did not pay off.
I once had a weird fight with a college roommate who insisted that my parents must not care about me very much since they didn't have a life insurance policy on me. I could never figure that one out. She announced with great pride that her parents had a $200K policy on her.
Thank you! Would someone please explain this practice?
Never mind. Teh internets answered my question. It is sold to parents as a sort of crippled savings account plan, or a "starter" policy that may be converted to an adult plan. Also something to borrow against in the future. The only folks out there who seem to think it is a good idea are the insurance companies selling the policies and the parents (and often grandparents) they've duped.
We have insurance policies on our small children. Whole life insurance is just a form of lowering your federal taxes. With whole life you can save some money, not pay taxes on some money, and buy moderate insurance on your children.

The wife also wants term policies on the children. I think we should wait until they're earning some income before we insure against its loss.

(The wife argues she wouldn't want to work for a while if either of the children died.)
Of course no parent wants to think about this, but if you do lose a child, its really hard to go back to work right away, so that can be a good reason to have one. I work with families who have lost a loved one to murder and all of the parents who lose a kid end up going bankrupt, because its too hard to work afterwards.
Yeah, as horrible as losing a kid is, it's typically a money saver, so I don't understand these insurance policies at all.

Nevertheless, like those above, my parents took out a combined insurance/investment policy on me at a young age, which I later cashed in as an adult (the investment return was terrible) and converted to Ebay stock.

Judging from these comments, it appears there were some pretty good insurance salesmen back in those days.
I used to sell whole life to young parents. Typically, Americans pay bills but don't save. So, insure against premature death, end up saving a little, and if the kid wants more insurance, term or whole, later, (s)he has a rider that sells it a lots lower than standard. Same with "wife" insurance, and "husband" insurance. And quit knocking the insurance companies, #4. They are 'way better and more honest than BANKS. And next to none have EVER needed a bailout of any kind. My only gripe is that many of the Mutuals have become stock companies.
As a parent, I am skeeved out with the thought of insuring my kids lives. It's just not something I am willing to contemplate. And of course, the odds of any child dying before her middle-aged, hypertensive, asthmatic father is mighty slim. Now me, I've got TONS of life insurance...

I'm sorry. Really. But maybe the media is to blame if I'm misguided.
My parents had small polices (about $5K) on each of their kids. Unfortunately, there were several deaths of babies/toddlers in my extended family when I was very young, and the funerals were a notable (an unexpected) financial burden to my modest-income aunts and uncles. These kinds of low-pay-out policies are often marketed to poor parents for just this reason..
My parents had policies on my sister and I. We both cashed them in when we got out of college, which made a nice little start for adult life.
My parents had a policy on me. It was just in case, God forbid, anything happened to me. If it did, they wouldn't have been able to pay for a funeral without it - my dad was a cab driver and my mom was a cafeteria lady. It was just enough to pay those final expenses.

And on that morbid note, I'm going home to try not to die this weekend.
I'm very sorry to say that my disabled son has a policy. He's not likely to live past thirty, and his medical expenses are such that this is the only way we will be able to pay for a decent funeral for him. There is a little extra to help my other two kids with college or whatever, because they have had to do without due to my son's condition. I hate it.
i took part in an online mock jury for this case. the details are just fawkin' many children of his multiple wives had 'accidental' deaths...the guy is sick.
Ugh, several years ago, a S. Carolinian mother killed her own son (just a few years ago) for the insurance money.

Still, insurance policies on children is not altogether a bad thing if there is a history of SIDS or other child diseases in your family. It's morbid thinking, but funerals are expensive.
A small policy to cover funeral expenses is quite common. I have one for both my kids.
I've lost a young child. And sure, there were big ICU bills, but health insurance covered those. Costs of the death itself? The crematorium didn't charge for infants. We scattered his ashes ourselves. I suppose the counseling we wisely undertook was a few thousand out of pocket. And worth it.

If you want an investment, max out your 401(k).

But is every insured child, an unwanted child? No. Some salesmen can sell anything and make you believe it is a good thing. But can an insurance really pay out more benefits (death benefits, whole-life saving polices, etc) than they receive in premiums? Of course not.

There was a case up here in Alaska, circa 2003. Drug-using mom takes out insurance policy on two kids. Somehow the house is burned down and a liquid "accelerant" was used. In addition to the insurance policy, several incriminating details arose. She'd purchased a gasoline can that week and it was recorded in Safeway's computers because she'd used her "Safeway Club Card". And the child she'd drugged not quite enough managed to jump from a window, survive, and report what she'd done. She was convicted of killing the other child.
If you can afford an expense (a $5000 funeral, a $200,000 house fire, etc), you're better off NOT buying insurance, because obviously, on average, the insurance company wins and you lose.

For a house fire, for most people that suggests you might want insurance. (and of course your bank requires it). But for the inlikely event of a child's death and the small expense of a funeral? If you are that concerned about finances, consider that you'll save a funeral's worth of food, clothing, soccer-mom gas, christmas presents, vacation costs, birthday presents, etc in a few month.

The big expense is not the burial. But that over half of marriages don't survive the death of child. And divorce costs a lot more than a few thousand dollars.
Actually Dan, taking out a life insurance policy on your kids is probably the best thing you can possibly do to ensure their survival, considering how cheap cryonics is and how cheap life insurance for the very young is. To quote Eliezer Yudkowsky "I've been unsure about saying it, but after [...] talking to the perfectly ordinary parents who signed their kids up for cryonics like the goddamn sane people do, I'm going to come out and say it: If you don't sign up your kids for cryonics then you are a lousy parent."
"The big expense is ... that over half of marriages don't survive the death of child. And divorce costs a lot more than a few thousand dollars. "

Interesting point. I wonder if you can purchase marriage insurance?
Lots of rich people use it for a tax shelter, but generally speaking the entire idea of insurance is backwards. You're at the tip of the glacier bro.
Yeah, my parents had a "whole life" insurance policy for me. It was like a savings account. If I died it would have covered the funeral expensed, but I lived and it helped pay for college when I cashed it in.

Term life only pays out if you don't get anything if you decide to drop the policy. Rip off.

p.s. This guy only got second degree murder? Sounds like it should have been first to me.
it's not often I get bothered by news articles in this day and age, but that one did it. There is something so tragically perverse about a guy who goes around killing single mother's children for money... *wretch*
seandr...yes you will be able to purchase marriage insurance in a few weeks.
When I worked for a local Evil Empire of Software, they offered life insurance for all family members as a benefit. I *did* insure my kid. My take on things were that if we ever lost her (god forbid) no one in the house would be able to work for a while. Ugh, don't even like to go there. But there's one example, Dan.
My parents have always had life insurance policies on my sister and I. Shit happens, kids die. My parents believed in being prepared, especially since I spent a good chunk of my first year in various hospitals.
My parents had good policies on themselves and good ones for my sister and I. They knew if something happened to us, they wouldn't be able to work for awhile. Plus, my mom was a cafeteria lady and my dad an auto while we had some saved up, not enough to cover potential funerals.

Sometimes kids die. It sucks, but happens.
10 to 20 grand for funerals or for parents to be able to spend time grieving is one thing. Two hundred thousand dollars is something else again. Unless your kid is a child star, why that kind of money?
We bought life insurance for our special needs child, as he may be unable to find "reasonably priced" insurance on his own as an adult because of his multiple diagnoses. Please understand that insuring the life of a child doesn't equal the intent on realizing the payout.
I think that the rise of the Roth IRA has made the need for whole life insurance moot.
I assume these are straight people. Again, children are NOT puppies.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.