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How to get life insurance while pregnant

You can buy a policy while waiting for your new arrival — with a few caveats.

Buying a new life insurance policy is an extra expense to plan for when you’re pregnant, but it’s also one that can protect your family from future financial hardships. It might not be too late to buy a new life insurance policy if you’re already pregnant, though in some cases it’s better to wait.

Can I get life insurance while pregnant?

f you haven’t entered your third trimester of pregnancy, you likely can buy a life insurance policy. Most insurers are OK with offering new policies to pregnant women, but each have different requirements.

While getting a policy in your first trimester is easy, your second or especially third trimester can result in some companies delaying your application until after you’ve given birth. Approval often depends on whether you’ve experienced complications, such as abnormal weight gain or high blood pressure.

How does pregnancy affect life insurance?

Life insurance companies typically use your pre-pregnancy weight to determine your health class. The following complications could delay your application until after you give birth:

  • Extreme weight gain
  • Gestational diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Pregnancy with multiples
  • Hormonal imbalances
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Is it too late to get a good rate if I’ve already bought a policy?

Typically, insurance companies will allow you to retake your medical exam after one or two years of having a policy. So if your post-pregnancy weight and health weren’t ideal when you purchased it, you could ask to retake the medical after one or two years.

What’s the best type of life insurance to get if I’m pregnant?

The best life insurance option for you during pregnancy depends on your financial needs, budget and overall situation. If you have a limited budget for life insurance but want protection in place, a term policy will likely be your best option.

Other features and riders to consider when comparing your options:

  • Length of coverage. Term policies typically cover you for anywhere from 5 to 30 years, with longer amounts available for higher premiums. Consider a term length to carry your kids through college, when they’re at an age to enter the workforce.
  • Benefit amount. Some coverage can be better than no coverage, but consider a policy that would cover your debts, lost income and future expenses that’s within your budget.
  • Return of premium. If you can afford the higher premium, a return-of-premium policy allows you to be reimbursed a lump sum of your premium payments if you outlive your policy term, which is typically the case for most people.
  • Conversion option. If you think you’ll want a permanent policy in the future but can’t afford one now, consider a policy that includes an option to convert your term policy into a whole life policy. Some companies include this option for free, while others make you pay extra.
  • Cash value option. If you can afford to buy a permanent policy now, you might benefit from cheaper costs based on your age and health today. Also, permanent policies take time to build cash value — which you can one day use for retirement, paying off your mortgage or helping fund your child’s college tuition.

What policy riders should I consider adding to my policy?

There are many riders, or add-ons, that you can enhance your policy with, but here are some that could be especially beneficial as a new parent:

  • Children’s term rider. This rider can cover the death of your child. It can also be converted to a permanent life insurance policy once your child reaches a specified age, without a medical exam.
  • Waiver of premium. If you become disabled, this rider will pay your life insurance premiums, allowing you to keep your policy active.
  • Term conversion. This rider allows you the option to convert your term policy into a permanent, whole life policy at any time. It’s usually included, but check with your insurer to be sure.
  • Accelerated death benefit. Also included automatically in some policies, this rider pays a specified percentage of your death benefit while you’re still alive, if you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness and are given less than 12 months to live.

How do I get the best life insurance rates while pregnant?

If you’re in your first trimester and need to get a medical exam, a few factors will help you get the best rate:

  • A healthy BMI. A large part of companies’ rates are based on height-to-weight ratio, so even though you’re likely gaining weight during pregnancy, maintaining a healthy pregnancy weight can help your rates.
  • No history of smoking or alcohol abuse. While you’ve likely stopped smoking and drinking since becoming pregnant, if you didn’t smoke or drink much prior to becoming pregnant, you won’t be hit with these surcharges.
  • Positive family health history. If the company thinks you’re at a low risk of developing familial health complications, you may get lower rates.

Does a life insurance medical exam include a pregnancy test?

A life insurance medical exam does not check for pregnancy but sometimes requires a blood or urine test.

It’s important to be honest and up front with the company. If you lie during the application process, the life insurance company will have a reason not to pay your death benefit if you die in the first two years of having a policy. If the company determines that you knew about your pregnancy but lied, it may be cause to void your policy.

If you don’t know you’re pregnant when you take your medical exam but find out shortly after, it’s still best to notify your company.

Reasons to buy life insurance while pregnant

While you may be tempted to delay buying life insurance until after giving birth, there are a few reasons you might want to buy now.

  • Rates are based on age. Assuming you’re in good health, the cheapest time to buy life insurance is always today, because rates increase as you get older.
  • Financial needs of your child. Having a policy in place can ensure your future kids are financially protected if you die unexpectedly.
  • Potential complications during pregnancy. Ensure your remaining family has enough financial resources to cope should the unthinkable happen.

Compare life insurance companies for pregnant women

Name Product Issue age Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Term Lengths Medical Exam Required
Policygenius - Life Insurance
18 - 85 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Depends on provider and policy
Compare 12+ top insurers side-by-side to get the best possible deal, and shop return of premium policies online.
20 - 60 years old
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
No, for coverage up to $3M
Apply for term life insurance online without the medical exam. Get an instant decision and adjust your coverage at no charge.
18 - 60 years old
5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years
Compare 40+ insurers and apply online to get the lowest possible price — no medical exam required.
Everyday Life
18 - 70
10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years.
Ladder multiple life insurance policies to save on the coverage you need for all your debts.
18 - 60 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Get a quote and apply.
21 - 60 years old
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
Depends on policy
No-exam term policies up to $1 million online, with the option to upgrade to permanent life insurance later.

Compare up to 4 providers

Can I name my child as a beneficiary?

Some states outlaw naming anyone under the age of 18 or 19 as your beneficiary. If you’re not sure if your state allows you to or not, it’s best to ask your life insurance agent or the company that gives you a quote.

In states where it’s allowed, restrictions in place limit your child’s access to the money to a specific age, typically 18 or 25. Until then, the money is placed in a trust where a trustee or caretaker manages it.

So while you’ll likely want your child to have access to some or all of your death benefit, you might consider talking with an attorney to make sure you have all the proper pieces in place.

Bottom line

It’s possible to buy a life insurance policy if you’re pregnant, though it’s typically only allowed during the first trimester. When determining how much insurance you’ll need, consider the additional expenses you’ll have after your baby is born as well as possible riders you can add to your policy.

You can review your life insurance options before deciding which option is the best for you.

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