Expecting a baby? That’s great. Parenthood is no doubt an adventure – but one that requires a bit of financial planning, to say the least. If you’re a parent or parent-to-be and you don’t have life insurance, it’s probably sitting on your to-do list (or should be). Here’s all you need to know about buying life insurance if you’re pregnant.
What is life insurance?
Put simply: it’s an insurance policy that pays out a lump sum if you die while you're insured. When you take out life insurance, you’ll pay monthly premiums to be covered.
No-one likes to imagine life after their own death – but having life insurance in place gives you the peace of mind that your family would be financially secure if the worst happened. This is why it’s important to have, especially for parents.
Can I get life insurance if I'm pregnant?
Yes – being pregnant itself should have no bearing on your ability to get life insurance. For many people, the imminent arrival of a child is a timely reminder to take out life insurance, as you’ll soon have another person in your life who financially depends on you.
Do I need to tell an insurer I’m pregnant?
You don’t need to disclose the pregnancy itself, but you do have to disclose any health conditions, including any that arise during or because of pregnancy. Anyone who applies for life insurance will be asked questions about their health and lifestyle, and it’s important you answer these accurately – including any pregnancy complications, even if you think they’re only temporary. If you’re dishonest when applying, you risk invalidating a future claim and leaving your family unprotected.
While pregnancy itself won’t stop you being eligible for life insurance, any health conditions or complications you disclose related to your pregnancy could affect your application. The insurer might delay their decision about whether or not to insure you or, depending what the condition is, refuse your application.
Why becoming a parent is a good time to get life insurance
Becoming a parent for the first time, or welcoming a new arrival to your growing family, means your financial landscape will inevitably change. A life insurance payout is designed to cover the costs your partner or children would face if you were no longer around. On top of all the essentials, like paying for your home, bills and food, there’s inevitably extra spending that comes with being a parent:
- Childcare costs – like nurseries, childminders and nannies
- Education costs – including school uniforms, tutors, and possibly even school and university fees
- Hobbies and activities – from music lessons to sports clubs
If you died, you wouldn’t want your children’s lifestyle to change just because your income isn't there anymore. Life insurance can make sure not only the essentials are covered, but costs like these can continue to be covered by your partner or chosen guardian.
And if you have a partner, life insurance can offer an extra cushion beyond covering the financial shortfall you leave behind. If your partner is a stay-at-home parent, a life insurance payout could enable them to keep being so without disruption to the family finances. A payout could even enable your partner to become a stay-at-home parent, so they can spend more time at home supporting the family. Or it could simply provide a financial cushion if they’re not ready to go straight back to work in the aftermath of your death.
What questions will I be asked about my pregnancy?
You always have to answer questions about your health and lifestyle when making a life insurance application – pregnant or not. If you are pregnant, you don’t have to disclose the pregnancy itself, but you do have to disclose any health conditions or complications related to your pregnancy (and otherwise). Some of the things you’ll be asked about include:
- Smoking status – If you give up smoking because you're pregnant, you won't be deemed a non-smoker for that reason alone; like any applicant, for insurers to deem you a non-smoker, you’ll need to have not used tobacco or nicotine products for 12 months
- Weight – If you’re pregnant, insurers will want to know your typical weight prior to pregnancy, as your current weight isn’t likely to be an accurate reflection (and could unduly increase your premiums)
- Any pregnancy-related complications – Of course, it’s important to disclose any health conditions when applying for life insurance, including those that have arisen during or because of pregnancy; depending on what you disclose, your insurer may delay the decision to insure you or refuse your application
Should I wait until my baby is born before getting life insurance?
If you’re planning to get life insurance, you won’t gain anything by putting it off because you’re pregnant. Life insurance is cheaper the earlier you get it, because insurers base their policies on the risk of a payout being triggered – and, as morbid as it sounds: the older you get, the more likely you are to die.
If you’re experiencing health complications because of your pregnancy, you can still apply, but the insurer may delay their decision to insure you. This is so they can be sure your health has returned to normal before offering you appropriate terms.
If you already have life insurance but think you might need more cover because you’re becoming a parent or having another child, many insurers will let you increase your existing level of cover. This can be a good option because it’s a way of getting more cover without having to go through medical underwriting – which you’d have to if you take out a new policy and which could increase your premiums.
Types of life insurance to consider when pregnant
Life insurance is a simple, sensible way to protect your family’s future finances, especially if you’re a parent. And there are lots of different policies to choose from. Many parents choose decreasing term life insurance, a policy where the lump sum paid out gradually decreases over time. This makes sense if your needs will also reduce over time (e.g. as your children get older and can look after themselves). Alternatively, a level term life insurance policy would make sure your family receive the same lump sum amount if you die at any point during the policy term. Read more about different types of life insurance here.
When you become a parent and have financial dependents, you could also consider insuring yourself in case of illness or injury – not just death. Income protection insurance pays you a monthly cash sum if you’re unable to work for medical reasons; and critical illness cover pays out if you’re diagnosed with one of the illnesses listed in your policy (and can be bought as an add-on to life insurance). Being protected in case of both death and illness gives you complete peace of mind that your family will always be financially secure, whatever happens to you.
- Becoming a parent or having another child means new financial responsibilities which life insurance can protect
- Applying for life insurance while pregnant is the same as at any other time – you’ll still be eligible and the premiums won’t be affected by the pregnancy itself
- You don't have to disclose the pregnancy itself when applying for life insurance, but you do have to disclose any conditions or complications related to your pregnancy and health in general
- If you have health conditions or complications due to being pregnant, the insurer might delay the decision to insure you or refuse your application (depending on the health condition)
What is life insurance?
Who needs life insurance?
How much does life insurance cost?
Does life insurance always pay out?
Is it easy to claim?
This post is intended for informative purposes only and does not constitute advice.