Pregnancy and life insurance: what you need to know

Having a baby is an exciting time, filled with all sorts of fun items to help you prepare: painting the nursery, picking a name, and figuring out how to install the car seat. One thing that should be on your list if you haven’t considered it already is life insurance.


Pregnancy is a pivotal time to reexamine your finances, and that includes planning for the unexpected. Here’s why you should consider adding life insurance to your pre-baby to-do list. 


Why do I need life insurance as a parent?

If you have people who depend on you, like a family, it’s a good idea to get life insurance to cover any expenses they might incur if something tragic was to happen. You might have group life insurance through your employer, but often these programs offer a smaller fixed amount or only one to two times your salary.

If you want to have provisions in place from birth until your child turns 18, one to two times your salary likely won’t cover it. (Head’s up—that life insurance plan offered by your company is probably also not portable, a.k.a. If you leave your job, you leave the policy.) Let’s say you make $50,000 and you want to have a financial backup plan in place for 18 years. That would mean that you’d need to buy at least $900,000 in coverage. 


Can I get life insurance while pregnant?

The short answer is yes. However, it might require a few additional questions that aren’t required of you if you get life insurance before you become pregnant. It’s a common misconception that you can’t apply for life insurance while you’re pregnant. But the truth is, it’s one of the best times to apply for it, right before a huge life event. You don’t want to let life insurance linger on the to-do list for too long, because once your baby comes you’ll be busier than ever. The good news is that pregnancy itself doesn’t affect your application process. 


Does life insurance cost more while pregnant? 

A pregnant body goes through a lot of changes, and it might seem intuitive not to share that information with a life insurance company because pregnancy is a short-term medical condition. But letting them know you are pregnant can help price the policy accurately. You might be asked to share pre-pregnancy information, and any exams or labs. You’ll also be asked standard questions, such as your age, height, gender, occupation, and so forth. 

During the application process at Ladder, for example, we’ll ask for your pre-pregnancy weight and make allowances for weight gained during pregnancy. If an exam or lab tests are needed to complete your application, we’ll adjust our review to accommodate for things like changes in blood pressure or lab results that naturally occur during pregnancy. If your pregnancy has complications, we’ll do our best to work with you to gather details so we can make a decision on your application.


What if I plan on staying home once the baby comes?

Just because you may not be the primary earner or do not have personal income doesn’t mean you don’t provide financial value to your family.  In fact, stay-at-home parents’ salaries are valued at a whopping $126,000 when you add up all the functions they provide and the hats they wear. 

With life insurance, if anything happens to you, your family can have financial security knowing day-to-day activities like childcare, education, and running a household can be maintained. Becoming a parent is priceless, and life insurance can be a gift to your family during difficult times.


Can my beneficiary be my baby?

Choosing a beneficiary is a matter of personal preference. Many people list their spouse or children; others list a family member that would take care of their children or a legal trust.

Generally, life insurance funds will not be paid directly to a minor. If you are choosing a child, it is important to consider selecting a financial custodian as well. If a custodian is not provided, a probate court assigns a financial guardian until the child is of an age where they can receive the funds. 

The beneficiary choice you make during the application process doesn’t have to be the one you stick with. You can update the beneficiary if your preferences change.


Ready to move life insurance to the top of the list? Start by figuring out how much coverage you need with our easy online calculator

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