One of the primary reasons to purchase life insurance is the birth of a child. Most parents want to make sure their children will be financially provided for in the event of their passing. If the pregnancy is a surprise, this can lead to the mother looking into life insurance while pregnant.
How Much will a Pregnancy Affect My Rates?
For the most part, purchasing life insurance while pregnant isn’t an issue. As long as the mother is healthy and there aren’t any complications of pregnancy, you will not need to pay extra.
If the pregnancy if normal, there is no need to wait until the baby is born. Each company has different underwriting guidelines. If the one you apply with isn’t as accommodating as your agent expects, you can switch to a different company. An independent agent has access to multiple companies. This means that he or she should know which companies offer the most reasonable underwriting process for expecting mothers.
If you have concerns about a more complicated pregnancy or high-risk situation, we go over some of the most common issues below. While we tried to be as comprehensive as possible, there is no way to cover every variable. Each case is unique, and the underwriters at the insurance company will consider each application for life insurance while pregnant with complications individually.
If you have a concern we don’t address here, feel free to call 858-703-6178. Our agents will confidentially reach out to their underwriting contacts and give you more specific answers. There is never any obligation to buy. To find rates right now, use the Instant Quotes tool on your left (top if you are on mobile). A normal pregnancy will not affect life insurance rates.
How to Save Money on Life Insurance While Pregnant
If your reason for purchasing life insurance while pregnant is to ensure the child is provided for until they reach adulthood, term life insurance is the best option. It’s much cheaper than a permanent policy. It is simple, without all the bells and whistles.
Buying a 20-year term ensures your child isn’t left financially stranded without you. If you are concerned about paying for college too, you can get a 25-year term or purchase a higher amount.
Sort out your life insurance as early as possible. The more advanced the pregnancy, the high risk of complications, or a high-risk pregnancy situation developing. You have a ton of things to do when you find out, you know that and life insurance doesn’t seem as urgent. So we recommend delegating the work.
Calling one independent agent means you can spend more time on other more exciting things like decorating the nursery. An independent agent has access to the 850+ insurance companies in the U.S. Which means that you only need to make one phone call rather than contacting dozens of captive agents who can only sell products from one company.
What is a Term Life Insurance Policy?
A term life insurance policy means that you purchase coverage for a specified increment of time. Usually, these are offered in 5-year increments starting at 5 years up to 30 years. Some companies offer different term options, but most people buy in 5-year increments.
Term life policies are the most common form of life insurance in America. They offer a specified amount for a specified time. Let’s say you want $250,000 in coverage for the next 20 years. The face amount (that $250,000) will stay the same and the premiums you pay for the policy will stay the same. You could also select an increasing or decreasing term policy. Where the face amount and premiums increases (or decreases) over those 20 years.
Increasing and decreasing terms were developed with specific purposes in mind. You might decide an increasing term is right for you because you are young, newly married, and have a kid on the way. Perhaps you aren’t as financially stable as you will be in another 5 years so locking in a cheaper policy right now will work best for your family. A decreasing term policy was created with home mortgages in mind. The less you owe on your home, the less life insurance you will need to pay it off if tragedy should occur.
How does Pregnancy Affect Life Insurance?
For the most part, insurance companies just want to make sure the pregnancy is normal before issuing life insurance. This means that weight gain is within the normal range and there are no pre-existing conditions that may cause complications. Insurance companies define normal pregnancy weight gain between 15 and 40 pounds. If the weight increase is greater than 40 pounds, they may recommend delaying coverage until after delivery and losing the baby weight.
If there are no pre-existing conditions and the pregnancy is normal, insurance companies will issue life insurance at their standard rates. Other cases are looked at on an individual basis.
Underwriting Factors for Pregnancy
Since many people don’t even consider life insurance until they get pregnant, it’s important to note that pre-existing conditions may be more concerning to insurance companies during the pregnancy.
Aside from the mother’s weight, there is an enormous list of complications of pregnancy that underwriters look at. Even they tell us that it’s impossible to list them all. So the following are the notable major concerns.
Pre-existing Conditions and Their Effects on Getting Life Insurance While Pregnant
A history of asthma and seizures may cause concern for underwriters because they can develop into more serious issues requiring medical attention. If you have any of the following conditions, we strongly recommend getting a life insurance policy in place before you start trying for a child or wait until after delivery.
- Valvular heart disease
- Renal failure
- Uncontrolled hypertension
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Any clotting disorder
Cancers can occur or be discovered during pregnancy which will often cause a delay in a decision to issue life insurance. When cancers do appear at this time, doctors may delay treatment (or even confirming the diagnosis) out of concern for the fetus. The most common cancers to be diagnosed during pregnancy are breast, cervical, and ovarian.
Pregnancy-Related Conditions Which Can Affect Life Insurance Decisions
One of the most common pregnancy-related conditions to appear is gestational diabetes. The CDC estimates the prevalence as high as 9.2%. Gestational diabetes occurs when the hormones from the placenta supporting the fetus block the mother’s ability to produce insulin. The extra glucose in her body can cause complications for her later in life as well as be transferred to the child during pregnancy.
While this is not something with potentially devastating effects on the mother or child, it can cause long term health problems if not controlled. Women who develop gestational diabetes run a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes as they age. The child runs the risk of getting too much glucose during gestation which can cause him or her to develop extra fat before birth. Higher fat levels can lead to an increase in risk for type 2 diabetes and shoulder injury during birth.
Pregnancy-induced hypertension (the medical term for high blood pressure) is another concern. While less common than gestational diabetes, it has more serious effects. The primary concern with pregnancy-induced hypertension is that it increases the risk of so many other conditions such as:
- Chronic hypertension
- Sheehan syndrome
- Dropping platelets
- Elevated liver enzymes
- Eclampsia and Pre-eclampsia
High cholesterol can be another concern while pregnant. While this is normal, high cholesterol can spike your life insurance rates if you want to find coverage while pregnant. If this happens to you, ask your insurance agent if the company will reconsider rates after delivery and cholesterol returning to normal. Many companies will work with you on things like this and be more accommodating than they first appear.
What Do Insurance Companies Consider a High-Risk Pregnancy?
High-risk pregnancies are those in which there may be a danger to the mother or fetus. These are not always medically high-risk but tend to be more complicated than how insurance companies define a “normal” pregnancy.
- Multiple gestation (twins, triplets, etc.)
- Very young maternal age
- Very old maternal age
- Extremely high or low maternal weight
- Substance abuse
- Uterine abnormalities
- Ectopic pregnancy (where the egg implants outside the uterus, normally Fallopian tubes)
- Previous Caesarian section(s)
- Extreme fetal size
- Fetal anomalies
- Fetal distress
- Fetal malposition
- Placenta previa
- Placenta abruptio
Okay, this looks like a long list, but most of these are fairly uncommon. They are simply things to take into consideration when looking at life insurance while you’re pregnant.
The Bottom Line
At Abrams Insurance we work for you, not the insurance company. We are proud to be an independent agency who takes the time to shop the market for our clients. Independent agents, unlike captive agents, are not bound to any one company. This means we can sell policies from whichever life insurance company makes the best offer to the families we strive to protect.
We work with 70 of the best-rated carriers in the United States. If you are pregnant and need life insurance, give us a call at 858-703-6178. We will help you save money and time shopping for life insurance so you can focus on your new arrival.