If you’re a parent, you may have been perusing Facebook when all of a sudden an ad for a ‘Child Safety Kit’ comes up. You have kids, and you care about their safety, so you click on the link and it takes you to a form you can fill out to obtain the free kit. They ask for your address and the number of kits you want.
But the kit isn’t mailed: instead, it arrives with a person at your doorstep, asking if you and your wife/husband are both home because it’s important for you to both understand how the kit works. After spending a few minutes explaining the kit, they start into a long spiel pitching life insurance for your child, ‘to protect them in the event anything happens.’
Wait--have you just been tricked by a person with a ‘free’ child safety kit?
Perhaps not tricked so much as fallen into a ‘bait and switch’ situation. Some insurance companies will tout their affiliation with police unions or other entities. Then they’re back to trying to sell you insurance ‘to protect your child.’
The kit has fingerprinting, photographs, even DNA sampling! We’ve all heard horror stories about child prostitution and kidnappings and...Stop.
The hard truth is that most of the time, the only reason you need DNA sampling and fingerprints is to identify a body. That might not be the case if the child is under the age of three and can’t remember their name, but a DNA match can be made on a child with DNA from the parents.
Second of all, life insurance doesn’t protect your child. It protects you in the event something happens to the child. Many of these policies include ‘accidental death’, but not an illness. The chances of a healthy child dying are wildly remote, and the majority of those events are an illness, not an accident. Insurance companies know this, which is why some use the same cute picture found on the baby food jars to sell insurance. Most financial advisors say that even if you’re using insurance as a form of ‘savings’, you’re better off adding the money to an emergency fund because the life insurance route includes fees.
Big argument: “Most parents don’t have the $15,000 it will cost to bury their child.”
Answer: If a parent was honestly worried about their child dying, they could easily prepay a funeral home. A $15,000 funeral is an elaborate affair, about $12,000 beyond what it needs to cost, according to Funeral Planning 101.
But, wait--beyond all that, the child safety kit is still a good idea, right? Of course. That’s why the City of Mesa offers the kit for free. You can download it here.
The site and form explain how to store and keep the kit up to date.
Are you more of a tech kind of person? The FBI has a Child I.D. App. You can enter your child’s identifying information on your iPhone so you’ll have it immediately available, say if you get separated at a busy Walmart or the theme park.
The app teaches parents what to do in the first harrowing hours immediately after a child goes missing and ways to keep them safe so that won’t happen.
The bottom line is that you don’t need anyone to use your desire to have an I.D. kit for your children as leverage to sell you insurance.