Pregnancy is a wonderful time of life, full of promise and expectation. However, it can also be an uncertain time, and becoming a parent for the first time can be nerve-wracking.
Pregnancy can often be a catalyst to start thinking about life insurance, when you begin to realize how important it is that your children have financial coverage in case the worst should happen to you. But can you buy life insurance while pregnant?
In this article, we’ll discuss buying life insurance while pregnant, how expensive it will be and whether it’s worthwhile to wait. Read on to dive right in!
Can You Get Life Insurance While Pregnant?
The main concern of most pregnant women, or those who are interested in getting insurance for their pregnant wife, is the basic question, can I qualify for life insurance at this stage in my life? The short answer is yes, but — the underwriting process while pregnant can be slightly more complicated (see below).
The first thing to do is to disclose your pregnancy during the application process. Medical exams for traditional life insurance include blood and urine tests, but not pregnancy tests. If it’s not obvious that you’re pregnant, it’s important to disclose this information to the professional performing the medical exam.
(If there’s a possibility that you’re pregnant but you aren’t sure, it’s a good idea to take an at-home pregnancy test beforehand. The reason for this is that the information you provide on your application must be 100% accurate in order to ensure a smooth payout of the death benefit to the beneficiaries.)
Applying for Life Insurance While Pregnant
If you want to get life insurance during your pregnancy, the best time to get it is during the first trimester. The reasons for this include:
- During the first trimester, you’re less likely to have pregnancy-related complications (like gestational diabetes or high blood pressure)
- You are less likely to have gained a lot of weight, a factor that determines your monthly premiums
Is Life Insurance More Expensive When Pregnant?
One of the main concerns of pregnant women is the cost of life insurance — will pregnancy make your premiums shoot up? There’s good news here: if your pregnancy is considered within the parameters of “normal,” it should not affect your life insurance rates. In other words, the state of your health pre-pregnancy is what will affect your rates.
“Normal” parameters during pregnancy include:
- You’re under 40 years old
- Pregnancy is not considered high-risk
- You’re carrying a single baby
- No pregnancy complications or history of complications (in previous pregnancies)
- No medical issues that require ongoing treatment (pre-existing conditions)
- Normal pregnancy weight gain
- Healthy BMI & blood pressure
Due to the requirements above, you’ll need to supply life insurance underwriters with your health history pre-pregnancy. If this is not readily available, it may cause a problem. Underwriters determine life insurance premiums by comparing your details against millions of statistics. If a certain condition is statistically proven to lower mortality rates, your insurance premiums rise accordingly.
Smoking, for example, automatically makes your premiums go up, because statistically, mortality is higher for smokers than non-smokers. According to the CDC, “Life expectancy for smokers is at least 10 years shorter than for nonsmokers.” If you smoke during pregnancy, that can certainly impact your life insurance rates.
The Best Insurance to Get When Pregnant
If you’ve decided to get life insurance when pregnant, you’ll be left with the same conundrum that all prospective life insurance purchasers have: what kind of life insurance should you buy?
The two main types of life insurance are term and permanent. The former is a type of policy that you buy for a specific number of years, usually 10, 20, 30, etc. It’s valid for that time period and once it expires, you are no longer covered.
Permanent life insurance lasts your entire lifetime. The most popular type of permanent life insurance is whole, and it comes with an investment component that allows you to accumulate cash value over the life of the policy (in addition to the standard life insurance coverage). Due to the nature of the policy, whole is significantly more expensive than term (you can compare the differences between term and whole life insurance here).
When pregnant, you’ll need to decide what type of policy you want. When it comes to life insurance, there is no better or worse, only what is best for YOU. Term life insurance is the most affordable, and that might make your decision. If, however, you can afford higher premiums and like the idea of lifetime coverage, whole life insurance might be the better option. If you’re considering whole life insurance as an investment, you can read this article to find out if it’s worthwhile.
Should You Wait to Buy Life Insurance Until After You Give Birth?
Many women are nervous that their pregnancy will make their insurance premiums go up, and for this reason, they delay getting life insurance until after they give birth. As we’ve discussed above, rates don’t usually go up due to pregnancy. Therefore, we recommend getting life insurance as soon as possible and not waiting until post-birth.
Not only is it important to be covered for your financial protection, but the longer you wait, the higher your life insurance rates can be. Even waiting a year can result in paying thousands of dollars more over the course of a life insurance policy. Therefore, we recommend buying life insurance as young as possible, regardless of pregnancy or not.
Of course, if you have pregnancy complications and are considered high-risk, the insurer might postpone your application. If this is the case, there’s not much you can do. Sometimes, you can search for a different provider. Some are more lenient than others. But if you can’t find one that will cover you during a complicated pregnancy, you’ll have to wait until after. Hopefully, once you give birth, your body will normalize and you can apply for life insurance easily.
Life Insurance Riders for Pregnant Women
Riders are additional types of benefits or coverage that you can attach to your standard policy for an additional cost. For pregnant women, there are some riders that can be particularly useful. These include:
Child rider – Hopefully you’ll never need it, but a child rider covers the cost of the burial of a child who dies.
Disability income rider – If you become disabled or unable to work following pregnancy (which is not uncommon), this rider provides a steady, reliable source of income. This can be useful for a mother, especially a single mother, who wants to make sure she can provide the necessary care for her children. However, this rider is not offered by most insurance carriers.
Accidental death benefit – This rider pays out an additional lump sum to the beneficiaries if the policyholder dies in an accident.
Getting life insurance while pregnant is entirely possible, and even recommended. In the case of healthy pregnancies, your premiums won’t go up. However, if there are complications or you have underlying health conditions, the life insurance company may recommend postponing your application until post-birth. If your heart is set on getting life insurance during your pregnancy, you can always apply through a different provider. Not all insurance companies have the same requirements, and you may find that some are more lenient than others.
When it comes to the type of life insurance to get, it’s important to assess your financial and personal situation critically. If you need assistance, you can contact Sproutt insurance advisors.
Still have questions? We have answers! Read on to find out more about buying life insurance while pregnant.
Does being pregnant affect getting life insurance?
Being pregnant can affect getting life insurance, but it doesn’t need to. The answer to this question will be based on your own personal pregnancy experience. Most women whose pregnancies are not high-risk and are generally considered healthy won’t have a problem getting life insurance at affordable rates.
If you do have pregnancy complications, you might still be able to get life insurance, but your premiums can be higher. If getting life insurance is important to you at this stage, you can buy it with the higher rates and later apply for a rate adjustment after pregnancy.
Is pregnancy a qualifying life event?
According to Healthcare.gov, a qualifying life event (QLE) refers to health insurance, not life insurance. It’s an event in your life that makes you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, which is usually 60 days before or after the event in which you can make changes or sign up for a new health insurance plan. Pregnancy is not considered a QLE, but having a baby is. Therefore, it’s not recommended to switch insurance while pregnant, but only after you’ve given birth, during the QLE.
Is pregnancy a life-changing event for insurance?
A life-changing event, in insurance terms, is the same as a QLE. Therefore, it doesn’t apply to life insurance but only to health insurance. Pregnancy is not considered a life-changing event for insurance.
Do you need life insurance if you plan on being a stay-at-home mom?
In most cases, the answer is yes. As a stay-at-home mom, you may not be working outside the home, but you’re providing invaluable services, including cooking, cleaning, driving, organizing, shopping, childcare, etc. If your responsibilities would need to be outsourced, they would likely add up to tens of thousands of dollars. For this reason, it’s important for stay-at-home moms to get life insurance.
How much life insurance should you get?
There are many factors that determine how much life insurance you should get. As a parent, you’ll want to make sure that your child will have enough money to reach certain milestones. For different families, these milestones can be different. Common ones are going to college and getting married. If you have multiple children, you’ll have to multiply the cost by the number of children you have.
In a different situation, you may have a mortgage or other debt that you’d like not to pass on to your children. In this case, you should buy a large enough policy to cover the debt should you die.
And then again, you may need to cover debt AND pay for your children’s expenses. Only you know your particular situation, and the choice is yours. Of course, seeking guidance is always a good idea, since many life insurance policies don’t allow you to increase your coverage amount. So it’s important to plan ahead, even way in advance. Since we can’t always anticipate what will happen, seeking advice from experts can make a big difference.