Pregnancy can be a time of great joy and excitement. But it can also be overwhelming — there’s a lot that soon-to-be parents need to do in nine months to get ready for the new baby. Besides the practical matters, like getting the nursery set up, finding the best car seat, and picking a name, there are also some important legal and financial matters to consider.
Expectant moms need to think about things like making a will, potentially setting up a college savings account, and buying life insurance while pregnant so they can give their child the best and safest life possible.
It’s an important step that can safeguard your family if the worst should happen. Here’s what you need to know when shopping for a policy.
Table of Contents
Why Do Pregnant Moms Need Life Insurance?
The tragic and sobering fact is that the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries. Pregnancy can be dangerous. Life can be dangerous, too — accidents are the third leading cause of death in the United States, and we’re still in the midst of a tragic and deadly pandemic that no one expected; that’s why life insurance exists.
Life insurance is designed to protect the quality of life of your dependents if the worst were to happen. A policy can replace the financial support that you provide if something happens to you.
There are two forms of parental support that life insurance should replace:
- Income support
- Caregiver support
If you work and earn an income, and you have people who depend on that income (your spouse, your kids, your parents), your passing can leave them in a difficult position. They’ll need a form of financial provision.
If you’re a stay-at-home parent or plan on becoming a stay-at-home parent, you provide a lot of value to your family in terms of childcare, cleaning, chauffeuring, and other family duties.
Without your caregiving support, your family could also be left in a difficult financial position, as they would then need to pay for the costs of childcare and the other roles you performed. They’ll need financial provision as well, which is where life insurance comes in.
How Life Insurance While Pregnant Works
Life insurance while pregnant is a smart move to protect your loved ones. For example, suppose you buy a $500,000 life insurance policy. Every month, you pay a premium to that insurance company. If you pass away while your plan is still in effect, the insurance company pays $500,000 to your named beneficiaries (spouse, partner, parents).
The money can offer financial stability. Not only can they use it for funeral costs, but also for your children’s college education, the mortgage, groceries, vacations, Christmas presents, and a million other things and experiences that you would want them to have — and that they would have had if you were here.
When your dependents no longer have your income/caregiving support to provide for their needs, the amount they receive from your life insurance policy can permanently affect their future.
While having life insurance is important for anyone with people who depend on them, parents likely need life insurance most of all. This includes pregnant parents, as kids won’t be able to provide for themselves until they’re 18 or older.
You want to secure the best life for your kids, and that starts by making sure that they’ll be taken care of if anything happens to you, during birth or at any other time as they grow.
Can You Get Life Insurance When You’re Pregnant?
Yes, you can get life insurance while pregnant. However, coverage isn’t an automatic guarantee. Life insurance companies may approve or deny pregnant applicants on a case-by-case basis. Most often, you will be able to buy a policy without problems if you are early in your pregnancy and do not have any complications (or history of complications).
If you are in your second or third trimester, you still may be able to get approved. However, you may have challenges. You’ll likely pay a higher premium, have a more difficult time getting approved, and have your application put on hold until after you give birth.
If your application is postponed, you will go through childbirth without coverage unless you are able to get temporary life insurance via your employer or guaranteed issue life insurance.
The Best Time to Buy a Policy
The optimal time for buying a life insurance policy is actually before you get pregnant. Many expecting parents are actually surprised to find that they may have missed the window for getting the best possible rates.
There are two primary reasons for this. The first is that life insurance rates increase as you age, and the second is that pregnancy can affect your premiums or ability to get approved for coverage.
But the next best time for buying life insurance while pregnant is to do it as early as possible in your pregnancy, preferably during your first trimester.
Why It’s Important to Apply Early
Insurance companies decide whether or not to offer coverage and at what cost based on the risk of insuring you. When you apply, you’ll go through an underwriting process where they use a medical exam, health questions, and lifestyle questions to assess this risk.
If you’re pregnant, factors like weight gain, gestational diabetes, elevated cholesterol, hyperemesis gravidarum, pre-eclampsia, geriatric pregnancy (past age 35), multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets), and other complications can put you in the higher risk category, even if they are common. The insurance company can either choose to deny you or raise your premiums.
The earlier in your pregnancy you are, the less likely these factors will have significantly changed your health. There’s also a decreased likelihood that complications will have developed, so you are more likely to get a better rate.
Remember: every company handles pregnancy assessment differently. For example, some may use pre-pregnancy records of weight and cholesterol to set your premiums, but some may use your current health factors. Others may compare your pregnancy markings to “normal” levels and set premiums based on that.
Many companies will not approve women who are in their second or third trimesters, though — the closer you are to childbirth, the more likely your application is to be postponed or denied.
If this happens to you, you can apply after giving birth. But we recommend getting temporary coverage during your pregnancy so that your family is protected until you can get a better, cheaper policy in place.
The optimal time to apply after pregnancy is between four to eight weeks postpartum. Any pregnancy factors or complications will likely be resolved or improving by that time, but postpartum depression and gestational diabetes can still linger, and these conditions can elevate your premiums for years. You may not be eligible for your ideal coverage at this stage, either, which is why applying as early as you can is the smartest financial decision.
Be Honest with Your Life Insurance Company
If you become pregnant and already have an active policy, you do not need to let your life insurance provider know you are pregnant. If you are applying for a new policy, though, you do need to inform your life insurance company that you are pregnant during the application process.
A pregnancy test is not included in the medical exam that is part of the typical life insurance underwriting process, but your life insurance company will ask you questions about your health during the phone or online interview.
Some people think that concealing their pregnancy will help them get lower premiums, but it’s important to be honest with them about your pregnancy. If you lie or omit that information on your application, that could be considered fraud. Your claim may be denied or your death benefit may be reduced to make up for the premiums you should have paid if they had known about your pregnancy.
What Type of Life Insurance Policy Should You Buy If You’re Pregnant?
There are two main types of life insurance: term life plans and permanent (whole) life plans.
Term life offers monetary protection for a specific time period, which is generally between 10 and 40 years. It is pure insurance, so it’s very simple. If you pass away during that period, as long as you paid your premiums on time, your beneficiaries will receive the coverage amount you were paying for. That’s it.
Permanent life plans offer monetary protection for your entire life. No matter when you die, your benefit is paid out. This sounds like a better deal at first, but permanent life plans have a complicated cash value component that makes them significantly more expensive.
The truth is that expecting parents don’t need life insurance coverage forever. The goal is for your children to eventually become self-sufficient, and for you to build up enough savings to cover any end-of-life expenses. In most circumstances, it is a smarter financial move to keep your investments and your insurance separate and purchase a term life policy if you are pregnant.
How Much Coverage Should You Get If You’re Pregnant?
The amount of coverage you need when you’re pregnant depends largely on other life factors:
- Is this your first child?
- Do you hope to have more?
- Are you planning on this being your last birth?
- Do you have a mortgage, or are you renting right now with the hopes of buying a home in the near future as your family grows?
- Are you planning on returning to work after you have the baby, or do you want to become a stay-at-home mom?
- Will your spouse or partner stay at home with the children, or will you both be returning to your careers?
- How much debt do you have?
- How good is your health?
The answers to these questions and more will impact how much coverage you should purchase. Everyone’s life is different.
Generally, the more you have to protect, the more coverage you need. If you’re having a baby, you’ll need at least enough coverage to provide for them until they’re a little over 18 years old. If you have more kids, you’ll need that for each child.
It’s important to not guess when it comes to coverage amounts, though. If you don’t purchase enough coverage, you risk leaving your baby and your family in a financially unstable position if anything happens to you. If you purchase too much coverage, you’re wasting money paying for coverage that you don’t really need instead of spending it on enriching your children’s lives.
Everyday Life offers a needs-based calculator for pregnant parents in order to take the guesswork out of the buying process. Our technology factors in the cost of replacing not only the income parents provide but also things like the caregiving support parents provide their children. Even considerations for children with special needs are factored in.
This gives you the confidence that your child will be well taken care of through college and until they can be expected to be more self-sufficient.
You can try our Ultimate Life Insurance Calculator now without sharing any contact information.
Do Stay-at-Home Parents Need Life Insurance?
Yes! As we mentioned earlier, life insurance is designed to replace both income support and caregiving support. Stay-at-home parents save the family tremendous amounts of money when it comes to the cost of childcare, cleaning, cooking, and more — one report estimates a median amount of $178, 201 annually.
Without you, your family would have to replace these costs and may struggle to do so. Life insurance could help ensure that the home continues to run smoothly without them having to make any sacrifices in their quality of life or go into debt.
Should You Name Your Baby as a Beneficiary?
Pregnant mothers should not name their unborn child as their beneficiary. If you purchase the policy after the baby is born, the baby should still not be named as the beneficiary.
This is because minors cannot technically manage the money as an adult until they are of age. In situations where a minor is to receive a death benefit from a life insurance policy, the courts will intervene and put the funds in trust under a court-appointed guardian until the child reaches 18 (this is the case in most states). This legal process is expensive and could prevent the death benefit from being used for the child’s good, or at all, for years.
Instead of naming your baby as your beneficiary, you should name someone you trust deeply to oversee the benefit — your spouse or another family member who would be the child’s legal guardian. You can also create a trust to be managed by someone until the child comes of age, but you get to dictate the terms of what will happen to the money if something happens to you.
Does Your Baby Need a Life Insurance Policy?
No. This is a commonly asked question for parents buying life insurance while pregnant. The purpose of life insurance is to replace your income or support value to your family if something were to happen to you and you were to pass away. The infant mortality rate in the U.S. is lower than it has been in years previously, but besides that, your baby does not have anyone who depends on them, so they don’t need a life insurance policy.
What To Do If You’re Denied During Pregnancy
If you were denied life insurance early on in your pregnancy and have developed high-risk complications, or if there are other reasons (such as your career or health history) that you are unable to be approved for a traditional term life insurance policy, you do have options. It’s important to speak with an independent agent (like us here at Everyday Life) who knows the industry and can inform you of the best course of action to take.
In the meantime, seek to join your employer’s group plan or research whether a non-medical form of coverage such as simplified issue coverage or accidental death coverage may be right for you. Non-medical life insurance can be an easy and inexpensive way to get coverage and peace of mind quickly while you sort through your options.
How Everyday Life Insurance Saves Expecting Parents Money Right Away
Everyday Life offers smart term life plans that change over time to fit your growing family and your budget. Most life insurance companies only offer one unchanging rate for one unchanging amount of coverage for the entire term. This doesn’t make much logical sense, though — your life and your insurance needs will change over time.
Right now, as you’re getting ready to welcome a new life into the world, you need a lot of life insurance, but in 10 years you won’t need as much, and in 20 years you’ll need even less.
Raising kids is expensive enough without paying for unnecessary coverage, so our plans will automatically adjust your coverage and premiums over time using Predictive Protection technology. This can save pregnant moms and their spouses between 20% to 30% immediately and thousands of dollars over the life of the policy!
If you’re ready to save time, money, and hassle finding your ideal life insurance plan and protecting your baby’s future, apply now in minutes.