How Does Pregnancy Affect Life Insurance Rates?


This is an almost absurd question, isn’t it? After all, pregnancy isn’t a disease or some sort of malfunction, but a perfectly normal way that children are brought into the world. But pregnancy can affect life insurance rates, if only under certain circumstances. It’s best to know when and how, especially if the need for life insurance coverage is immediate – as it typically is upon the birth of a child.

In most cases, pregnancy has no effect on life insurance rates

Before we get into the ways in which pregnancy might affect life insurance rates, we first need to start by confirming that pregnancy has no effect on life insurance rates whatsoever in the vast majority of cases.

If you are a perfectly healthy mom experiencing a normal pregnancy, life insurance will be virtually unaffected. This is particularly true since most mothers typically already have life insurance in force before becoming pregnant. If they don’t, they usually get shortly after delivery.

It is even possible to purchase life insurance while you’re pregnant, without it having any effect on the premium that you will pay for the policy. In fact, most insurance companies won’t even make an issue of your pregnancy.

That’s true in most cases, but we all know that there are always exceptions.

Complications of pregnancy

One of those exceptions is when there are complications of pregnancy. The most common of these complications is probably gestational diabetes. Somewhere between 3% and 10% of all pregnancies involve gestational diabetes at some point during the term. However, gestational diabetes typically disappears upon childbirth.

There can also be certain risk factors affecting the mother’s health during pregnancy that could make it more expensive to obtain life insurance. Most of those complications are generally relieved upon the birth of the baby, so the risk factors are only temporary.

In most cases, insurance companies will issue life insurance policies with preferred premium rates. However in the event that there are any complications during pregnancy, the insurance company may recommend delaying your application for life insurance until after the birth of the baby, when the complications have disappeared.

The after-effects of pregnancy

Of more concern in the event of pregnancy are the after-effects, which could have a lasting effect on life insurance rates.

We just discussed the possibility of gestational diabetes, which generally disappears after childbirth, but there are instances where it can lead to other forms of diabetes. This can include both type I and type II diabetes, and the incidence can run higher in certain ethnic groups and family lines than in the general population, particularly if you had risk factors prior to becoming pregnant.

Should a mother gain an excessive amount of weight, she could develop preeclampsia, which could have a negative effect on liver, kidney, and even brain function, and would lead to less than preferred rates for life insurance purposes.

The greatest concern however is the weight gain itself. Some women gain an excessive amount of weight during pregnancy and are unable to lose it in a reasonable time after delivery. If you apply for life insurance immediately after delivery, while you are still carrying the excess weight, it may have an effect on your premium rates.

This will of course be even more pronounced if other symptoms related to the weight gain, such as high blood pressure, begin to show up. Even though the weight gain and attendant symptoms are related to the pregnancy, it could become an issue if not dealt with in a reasonable amount of time after pregnancy.

In such cases, it’s often preferred that you wait to apply for life insurance until well after the delivery, when you have had an adequate amount of time to deal with the aftereffects pregnancy. The lower premium rates that will result from waiting may enable you to buy a larger amount of life insurance than you would if you purchase a policy immediately.

You’ll be able to delay applying for life insurance if you already have a policy from before your pregnancy. Of course, the delay is not well advised if you have no life insurance coverage whatsoever.

Some companies will not issue a policy during pregnancy

One of the complications that may arise as a result of applying for life insurance while you’re pregnant is that there are companies that will not issue a policy until after delivery. It may be that they prefer to wait until after delivery so that they can adequately assess possibility of a permanent complications that arose during the term.

If you come across an insurance company that won’t accept an application during pregnancy, just move on to the next one – you’ll find plenty of companies that will accept the policy during your pregnancy. As noted above, this is especially important if you have no life insurance at all. After all, the arrival of the baby is the single most compelling reason for having adequate life insurance. Even if you are not a “breadwinner”, you will still need life insurance so that your spouse will be able to pay for childcare after your death.

If you are pregnant and you need life insurance, you will need competent counsel to get you the best policy at the lowest possible premium rate – give Neal a call…