Life Insurance Considerations for Expecting Parents: The Why, When, and How

November 3, 2021 | Written by Samuel Newland CFP

If you are trying to get pregnant or are currently expecting, it makes sense to get insurance now because of the not unlikely and high cost of waiting.

A typical household of healthy, new parents should not need to spend more on life insurance than the monthly cost for diapers – about $80/month.

The cost of life insurance is impacted by someone’s health and a few other factors such as driving record and immediate family health history. Most of the time, someone’s health does not change from one day to the next. At the same time, a person is always perfectly healthy the day before they are sick.

Unfortunately, pregnancy is a time in which a woman’s health can quickly change. For example, the NIH and CDC estimate that preeclampsia and gestational diabetes each affect up to 10% of pregnancies every year.

A perfectly healthy woman could pay $25/month for a 20-year $1,000,000 life insurance policy. However, the same woman who is diagnosed with gestational diabetes would pay $57/month for the same policy even if there is no diabetes diagnosis after pregnancy. That single diagnosis increases the cost of life insurance by $7430 over the course of 20 years.

The odds of a health change during pregnancy make delaying applying for life insurance like playing Russian roulette with one’s finances.

When to Apply:

It is important to apply in the first two trimesters of pregnancy. If applying in the third trimester, the carrier will postpone the approval of the life insurance until after they receive a clean bill of health following the 6-week post-delivery follow up.

How to Apply:

Almost everyone benefits by applying for fully underwritten life insurance due to its ability to offer lower prices and offer policies to people with sub-optimal health.

There are two main processes for applying for life insurance – accelerated underwriting and traditional underwriting. Every carrier has traditional underwriting. Not every carrier offers accelerated underwriting.

Accelerated Underwriting:

Accelerated underwriting typically requires a short application and a phone interview. Occasionally, the insurance carrier may decide after the phone interview that a paramedical exam (i.e. blood and urine exam) is needed.


⦁ Policies are approved faster than traditional underwriting.
⦁ Usually avoids the need to do a paramedical exam.
⦁ Especially beneficial for people afraid of needles or who faint from blood.
⦁ Good for applying during COVID-19.


⦁ Phone interviews can be more tedious than a paramedical exam.
⦁ May result in a more expensive policy than going through traditional underwriting.
⦁ May require an application with another carrier to get the desired premium.

Traditional Underwriting:

Traditional underwriting means that a paramedical exam will be required for the life insurance company to issue the life insurance.


⦁ Is the method most likely to receive the best price.
⦁ Usually avoids the need for a tedious phone interview.


⦁ Requires a paramedical exam.
⦁ Takes longer for the carrier to approve the policy.

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