First of all, congratulations. You’re about to undertake a magical voyage, a rewarding new journey filled with unimaginable joy and unforgettable experiences. This truly is a special time.
Yep, getting life insurance is amazing. (And yes, having a kid will be great, too.)
We’re kidding, of course, but seriously: If you’re expecting, you need life insurance, now more than ever. Not only do you need to think of your partner if the worst should happen, but you will soon have a child (or children) to think of. And that’s on top of your mortgage or any other financial obligations you already share with your partner. You have a crucial role in the long-term financial security of your child, and while it’s never fun to think about, it’s of paramount importance that you prepare your family for the worst, no matter how unlikely it might seem.
But you knew that already. That’s why you’re here. So allow us to help you prepare you. For the life insurance part, at least. Here are a few things to know if you’re expecting and thinking about applying for life insurance.
Being pregnant (probably) won’t affect your premium
We get it. When you’re pregnant, you don’t always feel like your true self. And you’re concerned that your insurer may adjust your price because of the changes to your body. Well, good news: your pregnancy won’t be held against you when you get the all-important life insurance medical exam. Insurers make some adjustments for normal weight gained during pregnancy, along with some expected differences in lab results. And like anyone else, pregnant women may be eligible for the best rate class depending on their health.
That said, pregnancy can lead to health complications like high blood pressure or gestational diabetes, and those conditions could impact your premium even after delivery. Which brings us to the next thing you should know.
It helps to apply sooner rather than later
Again: In most cases, pregnancy won’t affect life insurance premiums. But if you develop complications later in the pregnancy, it could make it more expensive to get coverage. History of complications, like gestational diabetes, may impact your premium even later, when you’re not pregnant. And that’s why if you’re thinking about getting coverage, it’s best to apply as early in your term as possible. Doing so may result in more affordable premiums. And it will absolutely result in more peace of mind (something you’ll especially appreciate as a parent-to-be.)
Which reminds us, honesty is always the best policy when it comes to applying for life insurance. Being pregnant is not something you should be worried about hiding in your application or during your medical exam (it can’t hurt to let your phlebotomist/person administering your exam know you’re expecting). Honest responses will lead to the best application experience. If you have any questions or concerns, you can always reach out. Haven Life’s team is available via email, live chat and phone (855-744-2836).
Planning to be a stay-at-home parent? You should still consider coverage
Some moms- (or dads)-to-be think they can skip coverage because they’re staying at home, and therefore don’t have an income. But realistically, a surviving parent will need to make adjustments to ensure adequate care for his or her child or children—hiring a caretaker or paying for daycare, for example, or taking time off from work. Most experts recommend you get life insurance covering at least 5 to 10 times your individual, annual income. This rule holds true for both spouses. But, you should do whatever works best for your personal financial situation. Remember, it’s better to have some coverage in place than none.
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A few tips for choosing a beneficiary
This can be the hardest thing for new parents: Choosing someone to take care of your children in the unfortunate event that both you and your partner should die. When naming a life insurance beneficiary, of course, the first person who comes to mind is your partner. However, it’s important to also consider naming an alternate beneficiary who would be in charge of taking care of your child if anything happened to you and your spouse. Often, this is the child’s grandparent or aunt or uncle. (Note: If you list a minor as a beneficiary—primary or alternate—you need to add a custodian who will manage the funds until the beneficiary is of legal age.)
Generally speaking, you’ll want to choose someone you trust deeply, as he or she will be responsible for managing the payout until your beneficiary is of age. (A custodian cannot use the money for themselves, but will still be responsible for managing it.) You should also be sure to notify this person before adding him or her to your policy, for (we think) obvious reasons.
Selecting the right coverage amount and term length
Having a child will forever change the way you think of time—your life will be divided into B.C. (before children) and A.D. (after the deluge). The years will go fast and the days will often go slow. The hour when you once went out will become the hour when you go to bed.
If you’re reading this, your child’s arrival presumably might coincide with the beginning of your life insurance policy. Choosing an appropriate coverage amount and term length for your policy is a critical part of getting insured, and there’s no single one-size-fits-all right answer for what to get. Term life insurance policies are usually available in increments of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years, and the right term for you will depend on a range of factors.
Spoiler alert: Having children is a long-term expense, so you may want to consider something on the longer end of the spectrum. This will help provide a safety net for costs ranging from teething rings to college tuition, and expenses in between. Of course, there is a range of other factors to consider, including your age, your income, any debts you already have, and what you can afford. The good news is it’s 2018, so you can use a free online life insurance calculator to help determine what’s right based on a variety of personal factors.
Pregnancy is a busy, exhausting, exciting time, and there are cribs to build, doctor’s appointments to schedule, and so many more things to do. But don’t let getting life insurance fall through the cracks. Think of it this way: Taking the time to get covered now will provide peace of mind down the road – and proactively check one thing of that soon-to-be-expanding to-do list. You’ll never be completely ready for the wonderful new world ahead of you, but this is something you can do to ensure you’ll be more prepared for whatever life brings you. Well, this and putting together that crib.
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This information is educational only because Haven Life doesn’t offer legal advice. We encourage you to seek advice from your own legal counsel.
Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC15DTC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. Not all riders are available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is 0K71922 and in Arkansas, 100139527.