Life insurance and pregnancy

What options are there when taking out life insurance when pregnant?

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We take you through the considerations you need to think about when taking out cover.

Starting a family and having children is more often than not the trigger for taking out a life insurance policy, and it’s surprisingly common to arrange life cover during pregnancy.

When choosing a life insurance policy, you can either opt for a lump-sum pay out, or for the pay out to act as a regular income.

Your policy can be used to cover debt such as a mortgage, or to cover certain financial commitments you might leave behind – such as school fees or even daily expenses.

Whatever you choose, it can provide peace of mind for all the family.

Why it pays to take out life insurance when pregnant

Raising children can leave a significant dent in your finances. MoneySuperMarket research uncovered that raising a boy to the age of 18 costs £79,176, while raising a girl costs an eye-watering £108,884. And that’s before you’ve factored costs after a child turns 18, be it university fees or help getting them onto the property ladder.  

Taking out life insurance provides a financial lifeline for your family after you pass away and can help with key life events throughout your children’s lives.  

MoneySuperMarket research uncovered that raising a boy to the age of 18 costs £79,176, while raising a girl costs an eye-watering £108,884.

Telling your life insurance provider you’re pregnant

It’s usually a good idea to arrange the cover as early as possible in your pregnancy, as complications tend to arise in the later stages.

Conditions such as anaemia and hypertension are relatively common as the pregnancy progresses, and are usually temporary. However, some insurers will postpone the cover until after the birth if you are experiencing medical problems. 

If you already have a life insurance policy, you might want to reconsider the terms of your existing contract in favour of a higher pay-out for your growing family.

What weight do I need to provide my insurer with?

In most cases the insurer will ask for your pre-pregnancy weight, however it varies from insurer to insurer as to whether they ask for your pre-pregnancy weight or your weight during a specific trimester.

Check the help text when reaching this point in the question set when taking out to a quote to see what your insurer’s specific terms are.

What if there are complications after pregnancy - postnatal depression for example?

Insurers look at a whole host of factors when calculating your life insurance premium.

Some of the questions insurers are likely to ask you about postnatal depression include:

  • How long ago did you suffer from the condition?
  • Did you have to take medication or see a psychologist?
  • Did you have to take time off work?

In most cases, postnatal depression subsides over time so the risk to insurers is low. This also applies if you’ve had to take medication for postnatal depression for a short period.

As with other medical conditions, insurers want to understand how manageable your condition is in order to work out if your health is a risk factor, and providing there are no complications your application for life insurance should be plain sailing. 

Does being pregnant impact the cost of life insurance?

If you are generally healthy, the pregnancy should not affect your premiums too much. But it might affect the way you answer some of the questions on the application form.

What lifestyle questions will I be asked?

Questions about alcohol consumption commonly appear on life insurance forms. If you are pregnant, you might drink less than normal but the insurer will probably want to know about your alcohol consumption over a number of years, so just answer honestly.

You can usually ignore any questions about reducing your alcohol consumption on medical advice as all pregnant women are told to cut down or cut out alcohol. However, check with your insurer, just to be on the safe side.

You should be careful about categorising yourself as a non-smoker if you have simply given up during your pregnancy as you must normally have resisted all nicotine products, including patches, for more than 12 months to qualify.

And don’t forget that e-cigarettes count as cigarettes even though they do not contain tobacco as the long term health benefits are as yet unclear.

Read: Life insurance and smoking

Comparing life insurance quotes

Always compare premiums for life insurance as they can vary considerably from one firm to another. Always check the terms and conditions, you might, for example, find that some insurers will not include waiver of premium if you are pregnant.

Waiver of premium covers the cost of the life insurance if you are unable to work because of illness or injury. Of course, pregnancy is not an illness but you might take more time off work due to morning sickness or other related conditions - hence the insurer’s reluctance to offer waiver of premium to pregnant women.

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