Life policies for children represent a small fraction of the market – but they made the news recently following a court hearing for a man accused of killing his 22-month-old son by leaving him in a hot car.
According to investigators, Justin Ross Harris – the Georgia father accused of murdering his son by leaving him in a sweltering SUV – had asked family members how to cash in on the boy’s life insurance policies.
The disturbing detail of the man’s request was revealed in search warrants released Friday.
After a judge denied the Marietta man bond on Thursday, prosecutors laid out a possible motive for why Harris allegedly left his 22-month-old son, Cooper, in the car while he was at work on June 18.
Harris and his wife had taken out two life insurance policies on Cooper, for $2,000 and $25,000, according to information gathered by police from search warrants. The warrants also revealed that Harris had about $4,000 in credit card debt, and on the day that his son was found dead, he had earlier returned to his car after lunch — something he failed to tell investigators.
A detective testified that Harris was unhappy in his marriage, had been sexting with other women and had visited websites about the ‘child-free’ life.
In Canada, there are a variety of life insurance coverages and options for children – from The Co-operators 20 year plan that provides guaranteed equity, to the Bank of Montreal’s Headstart in Life Plan, that is marketed not only to parents, but grandparents. (continued.)
According to Steve Weisbart, chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, policies are typically purchased by parents, grandparernts or the primary caregivers for the child.
Wiesbart estimates that life policies for children represent “less than 1 per cent” of the overall life insurance market, in terms of number of policies and in dollar value.
For Harris, he is currently facing murder and child cruelty charges.