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What to know about life insurance when you're pregnant

What we'll cover

  • Tips for applying for life insurance

  • How pregnancy may affect cost

  • Ways to decide how much insurance you may need

Cloth or disposable diapers? Breastfeed or bottle? Pregnancy is an exciting time that comes with a lot of questions about your future with your new baby. Another question to answer as a soon-to-be parent: Should I get life insurance?

You're about to bring a new person who will depend on you into the world, which could make it a perfect time to implement this important safeguard. Here are a few things you might expect when applying for life insurance while expecting.

Can you apply for life insurance while pregnant?

Yes, you can apply for life insurance when you're pregnant. Life insurance can help financially provide for your child in the event of your unexpected death. For instance, it might help pay for college and other critical expenses for your child in your absence.

Will pregnancy affect your premium?

The cost of your life insurance premium depends on various factors including your age and general health. The younger and healthier you are, the lower your premium will likely be. Because pregnancy has a big impact on your body, you might be wondering if it will make life insurance more expensive.

As is the case with life insurance generally, applying sooner will usually be better. Typically, you will be more likely to get the best rate by applying when you're in your first trimester, especially if you haven't experienced any pregnancy-related complications, don't have any pre-existing conditions that would cause complications and have no history of complications from a previous birth. It is possible to apply for health insurance in your second and third trimesters, but your quote may be higher, and some insurers may delay coverage until after you give birth.

If your policy requires a medical exam, your pregnancy-related health changes could be factored into the exam.

The younger and healthier you are, the lower your premium will likely be.

What type of life insurance should you have when you’re pregnant?

The two main types of life insurance are term life and whole life policies. Term life insurance is in place for a set period of time — often between 10 and 30 years — and is typically less expensive than whole life insurance.

For expectant parents, term life insurance is a popular choice. Its lower cost may be helpful while you're balancing the many expenses that come with raising a family . Ideally, your child will be grown and financially independent by the time the term ends.

How much life insurance should you have when you’re pregnant?

The policy size you'll need as an expectant parent depends on your overall goals and budget. A popular guideline is to purchase a policy worth approximately 10 times your annual income. But with a child soon to be in the picture, you may need more than that.

Another approach often used by parents is the DIME method (debt, income, mortgage and education), which considers additional factors like future college expenses. Raising kids is expensive, so be sure to factor in all potential costs related to your child you'd want your life insurance policy to help cover (childcare, food, transportation, healthcare, clothing, entertainment and extracurricular activities). It's not an easy thing to do, but taking the time to add up the numbers now could make a difference for your child in the future.

Who should your beneficiary be?

When you apply for life insurance, you must choose a beneficiary, which is the person(s) who will receive benefits if you die. You might choose your spouse or partner as your beneficiary or another family member who would care for your child in your absence.

While you can designate your child as a beneficiary, a payout will typically not be made directly to a minor. Instead, a court may put the funds in a trust, which would be administered by a court-appointed guardian. To avoid any potential delays in getting the funds to your beneficiary, it's generally recommended to name a trusted adult as your beneficiary.

 Make life insurance a pregnancy priority

During this important time in planning for your family, don't overlook life insurance. Asking the right questions now means you can purchase life insurance with confidence and help protect your family today and in the years ahead.

Ladder Insurance Services, LLC (CA license # OK22568; AR license # 3000140372) offers term life insurance products issued by multiple insurers. For details go to . All insurance product terms are set and governed by the individual insurance policy. Each insurer has financial responsibility for its own products.

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