You can get a life insurance policy while you’re pregnant as long as you’re not experiencing any complications, but you’re more likely to get the best rates by applying before your second trimester.
Finding the right insurer for your situation, however, will be key. You won’t be denied life insurance solely because of a pregnancy, but some insurance companies will postpone your application to try to get the most accurate understanding of your health.
Your application is less likely to be impacted by your pregnancy if you:
Haven’t experienced any pregnancy-related complications
Don’t have pre-existing conditions that could cause complications
Have no history of complications from a previous childbirth
A postponement doesn’t mean your application won’t be approved, but it does mean you could go through childbirth without coverage.
How does pregnancy affect life insurance rates?
Insurance companies base your life insurance premiums on your estimated lifespan and health risks. Your age, sex, weight, lifestyle, and medical history are all considered when you apply for a policy.
Some pregnancy factors that can affect life insurance quotes are weight gain and complications like gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia.
Most insurance companies use your pre-pregnancy weight when setting your premiums, but some will use your current weight. Other companies may only check that you're gaining weight at expected levels and increase your premiums if you've gained more than expected.
If you apply postpartum, it’s helpful to have a record of your pre-pregnancy weight. To provide the most accurate rates, many insurers will use your pre-pregnancy weight until six months after you have given birth.
You’ll receive higher rates or an application postponement if you experience complications or indications of a high-risk pregnancy. These may include:
Complications in a previous pregnancy
Gestational diabetes from current or previous pregnancy
Multiple pregnancy with triplets or more
History of postpartum depression
Pregnancy at age 45 or older
The insurance company will also factor in any pre-existing health conditions that may increase your risk for pregnancy complications  , including:
High blood pressure
Each life insurance company approaches pregnancy differently.
For example, some might disregard pregnancy-related cholesterol increases based on your pre-pregnancy levels. Others consider pregnancy over age 35 high-risk.
Working with an independent broker like Policygenius can help compare rates from top insurers to find the policy that fits your needs.
Do you need to tell the life insurance company that you’re pregnant?
Yes, you’ll need to tell the insurer that you’re pregnant. Most insurance companies will ask about pregnancy either on your application or during underwriting.
This is because pregnancy can have a significant impact on your overall health. If you have a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure or diabetes, pregnancy may heighten your condition. 
Intentionally hiding your pregnancy from the insurance company qualifies as life insurance fraud. In instances of fraud, your policy could be canceled and your beneficiaries’ claim could be denied after you die.
If you become pregnant when you already have an active policy, you don’t need to let your provider know.
When to apply for life insurance if you’re pregnant
It’s always better to apply for life insurance sooner rather than later. The life insurance application process usually takes five to six weeks and could take longer if your insurer requests more information, or an attending physician statement (APS) to confirm your health details..
Applying earlier usually earns you the lowest premiums, but you can apply for life insurance anytime before, during, or after your pregnancy.
If you’re planning on starting a family, the best time to apply for life insurance is before you get pregnant. Life insurance rates increase by 4.5% to 9% each year you age. If you know you want to have children, you can lock in affordable premiums now that will last for decades.
Not only does this ensure you get the lowest possible premiums, but it also guarantees your family is covered during childbirth.
When disclosing medications on your application, include any fertility treatment or prescriptions. Fertility treatments such as IVF don’t typically impact life insurance rates, but they’ll appear in your medical records.
If you apply for life insurance during your pregnancy, you may have a more complex underwriting experience. The closer you are to childbirth, the more likely it is for your application to be postponed or your premiums increased.
Applications from pregnant people in the first trimester are typically approved, but applications submitted in the third trimester are often delayed until after birth due to the unpredictability of your health during this stage of pregnancy.
If you do end up with higher premiums due to pregnancy complications, most life insurance companies allow you to retake your medical exam a year or two after your policy is issued. If your new exam results qualify for a lower price, your premiums will be adjusted. (If they don’t, your premiums won’t go up.)
If your application is postponed during your pregnancy, four to eight weeks after you give birth are the next best time to apply for life insurance.
By this point, your weight will likely be lower than it was during your pregnancy and any health complications from pregnancy, including elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, should be resolved.
However, postpartum depression and gestational diabetes can elevate your premiums for up to five years even if you’re no longer experiencing symptoms.
How to buy life insurance if you're pregnant
It can be fairly simple to buy life insurance even if you're pregnant.
You’ll need to disclose your pregnancy on your health questionnaire, provide your due date, and list any medications you’ve been prescribed.
Next, you’ll likely take a medical exam, which is a common part of the life insurance application process.
If you’re in your first trimester, have minimal health conditions, and are not experiencing complications, some companies may not require you to take an exam. This means you’ll answer a few additional health questions over the phone or online instead.
You’ll then wait for the insurer to review your application and extend a final offer, which can take up to a couple of weeks.
Once underwriting is complete and you have a final rate, you can accept your offer and pay your first premium to put the policy in force.
Life insurance riders to consider if you’re pregnant
Life insurance riders are optional features for your life insurance policy. Some riders can be useful if you’re buying life insurance in anticipation of a new child, although some companies change their rider eligibility requirements for pregnant people.
The agent you’re working with will be able to give you specific details for the company that’s best suited for you.
Child rider: This add-on pays a small death benefit that can be put toward funeral costs in a worst-case scenario. One rider can cover your children from the time they are 15 days old and can cost as little as $50 per year for $10,000 of coverage.
Disability income rider: If you become injured and can’t work, a disability rider will provide a small payout to cover your expenses. You’ll get better coverage with a separate long-term disability policy, but a rider can add some support.
Spousal rider: A spousal rider is an inexpensive option if your partner is unable to qualify for an individual life insurance policy. Typically, it’s recommended that both partners purchase an individual policy if they can each qualify instead.
Should you name your child as a life insurance beneficiary?
In most cases, no. Naming a minor as your life insurance beneficiary is technically possible, but not recommended. The life insurance company can’t legally pay the death benefit to a minor, so the money can get tied up in court for months.
The best way to ensure your insurance proceeds benefit your child is to name your partner or designate a trust as your beneficiary.
Whether you’re thinking about expanding your family, are already pregnant, or are a new parent, life insurance should be at the top of your financial checklist. Comparing quotes and working with an independent insurance broker like Policygenius is the best way to secure the right financial protection for you and your growing family.
Life insurance options if your application is postponed or declined
If your application is postponed due to complications or a high-risk pregnancy, one possible option to consider is group coverage.
If you’re able to work, many employers offer group life insurance coverage. These policies generally have fewer health requirements for coverage and are offered at a low cost or as part of a benefits package.
Group life insurance policies usually offer less coverage than individual policies do. In addition, you’re usually unable to keep your policy if you leave the company that sponsored it.
If your only coverage option at the time of your pregnancy is group life insurance, consider applying for your own individual policy as soon as your odds of being approved improve.
Other health concerns that can affect your life insurance
Certain pre-existing conditions and other health-related concerns can affect your life insurance options or costs. A Policygenius expert can help you find the right policy for your needs.
Frequently asked questions
Can I get life insurance if I’m pregnant?
You can get life insurance anytime before, during, or after your pregnancy. Your application may be postponed if you have experienced or are experiencing any complications.
How does pregnancy affect life insurance?
You can receive higher rates or have your application postponed due to weight gain or pregnancy-related health complications like postpartum depression or gestational diabetes, even five years postpartum.
What is the best time to apply for life insurance if you’re planning to get pregnant?
You’re more likely to get lower rates if you buy life insurance before getting pregnant. If you’re already pregnant, your application is less likely to be postponed if you buy a policy in the first trimester.