Starting a family is one of the most exciting parts of life. It can also be one of the most terrifying — especially for new parents. There are so many things to prepare before having a baby, from furniture to diapers. That said, you should also think about pregnancy life insurance.
A life insurance policy helps protect your child if you or your partner passes away. It covers daily needs as well as future costs like education. You might be able to get life insurance even if you’re already pregnant. This guide will help answer all your questions about pregnancy and life insurance.
Can you get life insurance while pregnant?
Yes, you can still qualify for life insurance when you’re pregnant. How far along you are in pregnancy can play a role. It may be more difficult to get life insurance as your body changes through pregnancy.
What factors affect life insurance eligibility?
Life insurance companies want to insure healthy people. A young, healthy person is less likely to pass away than an older person in poor health. This makes the younger person less risky to insure.
Insurance companies look at several factors when deciding to insure someone, including:
- Overall health such as weight
- Health history, including pre-existing conditions like heart disease or diabetes
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Dangerous hobbies such as rock climbing or skiing
- Hazardous occupations including firefighters and miners
- Driving records and citations
- Where you live
Pregnancy doesn’t change which factors the company uses. However, it could change your current health. For example, you might develop a chronic condition during your pregnancy. This could limit access to life insurance until your pregnancy is over.
Does my life insurance company need to know I’m pregnant?
You should let the insurance company know you’re pregnant when applying for a policy. Pregnancy is an important piece of health information. Your life insurance company needs to know you’re pregnant to assess their risk.
Disclosing pregnancy for new policies
Life insurance applications require you to answer questions honestly. That means disclosing any medical conditions you have — including pregnancy. Not including this information could be considered fraud.
What happens if you don’t tell the insurance company that you’re pregnant? Your policy might be void. If you’re injured or pass away, your beneficiaries may receive reduced benefits.
The reduced amount helps cover additional premiums you didn’t pay. Your policy could be terminated or a claim denied. This would mean your beneficiaries receive nothing.
Disclosing pregnancy for existing policies
You should only need to let your life insurance company know you’re pregnant if you’re getting a new policy. You don’t need to tell them if your policy is in force.
Existing policies cover you even as your health changes. That’s why it’s important to try and apply for life insurance before getting pregnant.
What do I do if my application is denied because of pregnancy?
Getting life insurance while pregnant isn’t always easy. It’s not uncommon to have your application denied. The good news is you can almost always still get life insurance.
Your best bet might be to wait until after your pregnancy to reapply. Let your body go back to normal after childbirth. This helps reduce health risks caused by pregnancy. You may also see lower premiums than if you got a policy while pregnant.
Life insurance with no medical exam
There is an alternative to waiting until after childbirth. Some life insurance companies offer policies with no medical exam required. This means you can apply for a policy and won’t have to take a medical exam.
No exam life insurance is often more expensive than comparable policies with an exam. The policy options may be less desirable.
For example, you may not be able to get a whole life policy. You’ll also still need to tell the company that you’re pregnant.
However, the underwriting requirements may be more relaxed than traditional insurance. So it makes getting life insurance while pregnant possible.
How does pregnancy affect life insurance rates?
Being pregnant changes your body. For many women, that means their overall health changes as well. See how these changes can affect your life insurance rates.
The stage of your pregnancy could have a big impact on your eligibility for life insurance. Most women have fewer symptoms early in their term. As you progress, you may face more health issues. Applying for life insurance late in your term could make it less affordable.
One of the factors life insurance companies use when rating policies is weight. Someone who is overweight is often susceptible to other health issues. Pregnancy weight gain could increase your rates just the same as regular weight gain.
Luckily, some policies won’t factor in pregnancy weight gain. Ask your life insurance company if pregnancy weight will affect your potential policy.
Only about 8% of pregnancies involve complications that could harm the mother or baby if left untreated. However, less severe complications can still affect your overall health. Common health issues that could affect your insurance rates include:
- Gestational diabetes
- Elevated cholesterol
- History of high-risk pregnancy
- High blood pressure
Pros and cons of getting life insurance while pregnant
Considering the advantages and drawbacks of getting life insurance while pregnant can help you decide if you should apply. Let’s take a closer look at what makes pregnancy life insurance a good idea or not.
Pros of pregnancy life insurance
Applying for life insurance during your pregnancy could help you protect your future child. Some of the benefits of getting a policy during pregnancy include:
- Life insurance gives you peace of mind, especially as you prepare to be a new mom.
- You may not see higher rates if you apply early in your term.
- Getting life insurance now means one less thing to think about after the baby comes.
Cons of pregnancy life insurance
Trying to get life insurance while you’re pregnant isn’t always a good idea. Reasons you might want to skip applying for a policy until later include:
- The insurance company may deny your application.
- You may face higher rates due to health concerns.
- Many policies won’t pay life insurance claims until the policy is a certain age. For example, your policy might need to be in force for six months. If you’re injured or die during childbirth, your beneficiaries might not get the proceeds on a new policy.
Should you apply for life insurance while pregnant?
You can apply for life insurance during pregnancy. Remember that you could face higher rates or even have your application denied. For most women, it’s best to apply when you’re not pregnant.
When’s the best time to apply for life insurance during pregnancy?
If you’re starting a family and want to get life insurance, there are three times you can apply. The best option is to get life insurance before you get pregnant. However, you can also apply during your pregnancy or wait until after the baby comes.
It’s best to get life insurance before getting pregnant. Your body won’t be going through rapid changes due to pregnancy. You also won’t be facing any post-partum health concerns.
Applying for insurance before pregnancy also helps protect your family if something goes wrong. For example, your policy must be in force for a year before the insurance company will pay claims. You apply six months before getting pregnant. The policy will be completely in force by the time you give birth.
You can still get life insurance while pregnant, but it’s likely to be more expensive. Life insurance companies could see your changing health as an increased risk. That usually means you’ll pay higher rates than you would if you weren’t pregnant.
Applying for life insurance during your pregnancy can also be stressful. Taking a medical exam may not be something you want to deal with when preparing for a baby.
If you’re already pregnant, you might want to wait until after the baby comes to apply for insurance. Remember to give your body a few months to heal and go back to normal before you apply.
Getting life insurance after your baby is born could lead to better rates. That’s because there’s less risk for your life insurance company once pregnancy is over.
Common questions about pregnancy and life insurance
Life insurance is confusing enough on its own. Adding pregnancy only makes it more complicated. We’ve got the answers to your pregnancy and life insurance questions, so you can protect your new family with life insurance.
Should my baby be my beneficiary?
It’s generally not recommended to list a minor as your beneficiary. Minors can’t legally receive the money from a life insurance policy.
In some cases, the state will appoint a legal guardian for your children. The guardian would receive the funds and be in charge of managing them. This could lead to mismanaged funds.
Listing your co-parent as beneficiary
A better alternative to listing your child as a beneficiary is to list your co-parent. A spouse, partner, or other trusted co-parent has shared responsibility for your child.
By listing them as the beneficiary, they receive the funds. They can then use your life insurance proceeds to continue caring for your child after you pass.
Creating a trust for your child
Creating a trust for your child is another option. Trusts are legal agreements that use a third party — the trustee — to manage funds. You would create a trust for your child and name a trustee to manage the money.
The trust becomes the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. If you pass away, the proceeds go to the trust. The trustee is then in charge of distributing the money for your children, such as to pay for education. Trusts let you choose certain restrictions and rules. This gives you more control over where the money goes, even after your death.
Does my partner need life insurance as well?
It’s a good idea for both parents to get a life insurance policy, if possible. Your policy only covers your life.
Let’s say your partner passes away without life insurance. You’ve lost their income, time, and support to help raise your children. You also won’t receive life insurance benefits to help cover what you’ve lost.
What extra coverage should I add to my policy?
Life insurance policies include optional coverage you can add to increase the benefits. This extra coverage comes from life insurance riders. Riders help you customize your coverage based on your needs.
Losing a child is most parents’ worst nightmare. However, having a plan in case your child passes away helps reduce financial stress so you can focus on grieving. Many life insurance policies have a child rider option.
A child rider adds coverage for your children to your life insurance policy. There’s no need to buy a separate insurance policy for each child.
Unexpected disabilities can prevent you from earning income. A disability income rider protects your family if you’re unable to work. The rider works by paying a supplemental income if you become disabled. Be sure to read your policy carefully to know what qualifies as a disability.
Purchasing pregnancy life insurance is possible
Most life insurance companies will let you apply for life insurance while pregnant. Remember that your health plays a big role in getting approved. Weight gain and health complications during pregnancy could lower your chances of approval. Or, you may face higher premiums due to your health.
The best way to get pregnancy life insurance is to plan ahead. Apply for life insurance now if you’re thinking of starting a family. That way, your policy is in force before you deal with health changes.