A lot of women start looking for life insurance once they get pregnant, which makes sense – once you start thinking (and potentially freaking out) about the financial responsibility of having a child, life insurance can help provide some peace of mind. On the surface, the timing can seem perfect – you’re about to welcome a bundle of joy into the world, and you want to make sure that you do everything you can to protect them financially. But what a lot of pregnant women don’t know is that, depending on which trimester you’re in, this could be the worst time to buy life insurance. Don’t worry, though – we have advice for you no matter where you are in your pregnancy. Check out our video below for more information on when to buy life insurance during a pregnancy:
Hi, my name is Brian Grimes. I'm a certified financial planner, and I'm a senior client service manager here at PolicyGenius. I'm here to talk to you today about applying for life insurance during a pregnancy. This is a common question I get from expecting parents, and even parents who are having their second or third child.
When is the best time to apply for life insurance during a pregnancy? We put together this quick chart for you guys, so you can see it visually: how the premiums increase during the first, second, third trimester, and even beyond, and how they will then go back down. And we show you what the key times are to apply for life insurance during your pregnancy. So let's dive right in.
The first trimester or before is by far the best time to apply for life insurance during pregnancy, because this is a time period where a lot of the health conditions or complications that are associated with pregnancy just don't come into play yet. Also, your weight is going to be pretty low, and your blood pressure, cholesterol, those types of things, are going to be pretty much in line with where you were before pregnancy. So this is the best time to apply.
From an underwriter’s perspective, the only thing that they're really concerned with here is, do you have any pre-existing conditions from a prior pregnancy? Mothers who are having their second, third child – this is going to be a concern. If you had a C-section procedure before, the underwriter's going to view that as a high risk for the insurance company, because that could happen again, and that puts you at a different type of risk. Also, if you have any other complications, or if you're having twins, these are going to be viewed as complicated pregnancies that could spike reason for concern, and your premiums will increase. But if we're not dealing with that, this is by far the best time.
Now, as we get to the second and third trimester, you can really see the premiums start to skyrocket, and we call this our "baby bump". The premiums skyrocket because of health conditions that tend to arise during the course of a normal pregnancy. For example, about eight to ten percent of women will come down with gestational diabetes – and this is normal. Gestational diabetes will go away typically after the duration of the pregnancy, but this is still a major health concern. Underwriters view this as a precursor to actually developing diabetes, so this could result in your health rating being adjusted upwards. That's true even for a second pregnancy – this would count as a pre-existing condition here.
Second, we have the weight gain. Clearly, your weight is going to spike during your second and third trimester, and that has a lot of influence on your health rating. And they're not only accounting for your pre-pregnancy weight: they're taking your weight today. Right now, you're eating for two, and they're factoring in the weight of the baby. If you have a six-pound baby, they're going to factor that in. That could be the difference between a Preferred Elite, the best health rating, and a lower health rating, and your premium increasing. So that is something that's being factored in.
Your lab results, your blood pressure, your cholesterol, your liver enzymes – these things can be a bit helter-skelter during pregnancy. An underwriter's going to view them as they are. So for these reasons, it’s typically best to apply in that first trimester, before a lot of these health issues arise.
Then we have the decline after the baby bump. Premiums start to go back down into that Preferred Elite, that best health rating that you would otherwise qualify for if you're healthy, after about a four to eight week period. The further we get away from successful pregnancy, without complications, the better you are. The only thing that you'd have to worry about at that point is any type of postpartum depression that would arise, as that certainly does happen.
But there you have it. This is our chart. It's a really quick guide to show you that the best time to apply is the first trimester, maybe even a little bit before, or after this four to eight week waiting period after the pregnancy. This is what most agents will advise you on as well.
We want to hear your comments, your questions, your concerns. Please do reach out. And I always say: Why not ask an expert? Why not ask a genius? Reach out to PolicyGenius. We're happy to help. If you want to learn more about term life, whole life, what's better for you, watch our term life insurance and whole life insurance videos. We have a direct comparison of the two. And you can always reach out to us with a phone call or a chat. You can reach us any time of day. We're here to help and happy to help. Thanks for your time.