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Ask the Life Insurance Expert

I purchased a life insurance policy for my child years ago when he was a minor. I tried to turn the policy in for its cash value but was told by the insurance company that my adult child is now the owner of the policy. How could this have happened?

It’s common for life insurance policies that insure the life of a minor child to be written so that the child will automatically assume ownership of the policy when he or she enters adulthood.

You should review the fine print of your child’s life insurance policy to see if this is what happened in your particular situation. Look for a provision that allowed your life insurance provider to automatically change ownership of the policy from you to your child when he became an adult. The language for this should be located in the section of the policy that describes ownership. 

You can contact your life insurance company again if you don’t see the automatic change of ownership provision in the policy or if you have more specific questions on the situation. And, if the insurer is unable to explain fully how the policy works in this manner, you can always contact your state’s department of insurance for consumer help.

Last updated: Jul. 29, 2014