Three Tips for Life Insurance During Pregnancy in Canada

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6 Minute read
Originally published: August 23, 2021
Updated: May 26, 2022

Pregnancy Life Insurance in Canada

Talk to one of our experienced advisors today!

6 Minute read
Originally published: August 23, 2021
Updated: May 26, 2022

Pregnancy Life Insurance in Canada

Life insurance is a way to protect your future family and loved ones financially, in case something happens to you. Getting life insurance during your pregnancy in Canada is a unique situation, and there are specific timelines and tips that you should know prior to applying. Pregnancy may affect your life insurance depending on the complications that you may face, but staying protected with affordable rates is easier than you think.

Can I get life insurance if I am pregnant?

Can you get a life insurance policy while pregnant?

Pregnant applicants can get approved for life insurance coverage, though it’s better to get life insurance sooner than later. Insurance companies tend to evaluate pregnant applicants on a case-by-case basis, but generally, you’ll be able to get the same quotes as you would prior to your pregnancy if you:

  • Are in the first trimester of pregnancy (weeks 1-12)
  • Haven’t experienced any pregnancy-related complications
  • Don’t have pre-existing conditions that could cause complications
  • Have no history of complications from a previous childbirth

During the first trimester of your pregnancy, you are less likely to be experiencing pregnancy-related health complications, and would be closer to your regular weight (which is a factor in determining your rates), making your rates similar to rates you would receive prior to pregnancy. Weight gain during your pregnancy is expected and understood by your insurers, who will tend to make some adjustments for the weight gained during pregnancy when determining your rates. But the later into your pregnancy, the more at risk you are of developing health risks.

Applying for life insurance within your first trimester of pregnancy can help you get the best rates

How does pregnancy affect life insurance?

Pregnancy will affect your life insurance rates because of the impacts it may have on your health. Pregnancy can lead to health complications, like high blood pressure or gestational diabetes, and these conditions can impact you even after delivery.

Does your existing life insurance policy change when you have a baby?

If you become pregnant, your existing life insurance policy will not change, so you will continue to be covered. Insurance companies are fully aware that many people who buy life insurance do so with the intention of becoming pregnant.

In the event that you bought life insurance before becoming pregnant, you do not have to notify your insurer; nevertheless, you may want to consider making some modifications to your existing policy, such as increasing the coverage and identifying your child as the beneficiary of your policy.

Do I need to tell life insurance about pregnancy?

It’s best if you tell your life insurance provider that you’re pregnant when you’re applying: if you don’t inform them and pass away during childbirth or during the policy’s contestability (deferral) period which is usually two years, your partner’s or beneficiary’s claim could be denied.

Is life insurance more expensive if you’re pregnant?

Life insurance can become more expensive the later you are in your pregnancy, and if you experience or develop health complications at the time you’re applying for life insurance. But if you’re healthy during your pregnancy, you can have standard or even preferred rates from insurers.

How important is weight gain while applying for life insurance?

Weight increase is normal during pregnancy, and insurance companies take this into account when determining coverage. Insurance companies assess your BMI even if you’re not pregnant and they also look at any heightened risk factors for diseases that could occur as a result of a change in your present weight. However, because weight gain is a natural component of pregnancy, any weight gain that is considered normal should not affect your coverage or life insurance cost. If your weight before conception makes your pregnancy high-risk, your insurer may too. Most insurance companies look at your weight prior to pregnancy when determining coverage. 

When to apply for life insurance if you’re pregnant

It’s always better to apply for life insurance sooner rather than later, especially while you’re planning ahead for your future, such as planning to have a family. The traditional life insurance application process usually takes around 5-6 weeks, and could take longer if there are unexpected delays. Applying earlier will usually allow for the cheapest premiums, with your health being less affected by your pregnancy versus during or after, but you can apply for life insurance at any point of your pregnancy.

The best time to apply for life insurance if you’re pregnant is either before you get pregnant, in the first trimester of your pregnancy, or 1-2 months after you give birth.

Before pregnancy

If you’re planning to start a family, the best time to apply for life insurance is before you get pregnant. Health complications may arise during your pregnancy which can raise your premiums, but prolonging your life insurance will also affect your premiums due to age: life insurance rates increase every time you age. Even if you’re planning to start a family in the distant future, locking in a life insurance rate now that lasts for several years or decades will save you the stress in the future. Many insurers provide different lengths of term life insurance, ranging from 5 to 40 year terms for you to choose from.

During pregnancy

The further into your pregnancy you are when you apply for life insurance, the longer you may have to wait for approval of your application. The closer you are to your due date, the more likely it is for your application to be postponed or your premiums increased due to the health risks or complications that may rise during the later stages of pregnancy.

After pregnancy

If you’d like to wait to apply after you give birth or if your application was postponed, waiting until weeks 4-8 after you’ve given birth is the next best time to apply.

After 1-2 months, your weight will likely be lower than it was during your pregnancy and most health complications from the pregnancy, including elevated or high blood pressure and cholesterol, should be resolved. Some health complications such as postpartum depression or gestational diabetes can cause your premiums to be higher for five years after you experience them. Working with an insurance advisor can help you find a provider that is more flexible with these conditions.

What is the best insurance to have while pregnant?

If you’re looking for short term coverage to cover the first few years after your pregnancy, short term life insurance is an option for you. Some companies offer as short as 5 year term life insurance products, which will provide the short term coverage you’re looking for. Longer term coverage or lifetime coverage are also options to financially protect your loved ones and new family with.

If you’re having trouble getting approved for life insurance due to pre-existing conditions and pregnancy related conditions, applying for no medical or simplified life insurance products are two options.

Life insurance riders to consider if you’re pregnant

Life insurance riders are optional additions to your life insurance policy, designed to provide additional protection for different circumstances. Many are great choices for those starting a family, or those who are pregnant.

Child insurance rider

Many insurers offer child insurance as a rider for policies, which allows parents to insure their children without having to purchase a completely separate life insurance policy. One rider covers all your current and future children, and typically costs a flat fee.

Children’s Critical Illness Rider

Some insurers will also offer a children’s critical illness rider, which allows parents to insure their children in case of critical illness without having a separate policy.

Disability rider

If you become injured and can’t work, a disability rider will provide a small payout to cover your expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about life insurance and pregnancy

Yes, you can get life insurance during pregnancy. Luckily, you will most likely get the same quote as when you are not pregnant if you are: 

  • Are in the first trimester of pregnancy (weeks 1-12)
  • Haven’t experienced any pregnancy-related complications
  • Don’t have pre-existing conditions that could cause complications
  • Have no history of complications from a previous childbirth

It is recommended that you get your insurance prior to pregnancy or after your pregnancy if possible because if you have pregnancy related complications it can be difficult to attain life insurance coverage. There is also a high chance that your underwriting can be postponed until after birth if you’re in the third trimester.

It is possible that you will get a standard rating if you are not having any health issues during your pregnancy, but at the same time there is a chance you will get a better rate when you are not pregnant. Luckily, if your rates rise as a result of pregnancy difficulties, most life insurance companies will let you retake your medical exam a year or two after your policy is issued. Your premiums will be modified if your new exam results qualify for a cheaper price, or they will remain the same if your exam results are still the same as the first exam. 

Life insurance riders are optional extras to your life insurance policy that are designed to give additional protection in a variety of situations. Many are excellent options for people establishing a family or who are pregnant.

Child insurance rider

Many insurers offer child insurance as a policy rider, allowing parents to insure their children without purchasing a whole separate life insurance policy. A single rider often costs a set amount and includes all of your existing and future children.

Children’s critical illness rider

Some insurers will also provide a children’s critical illness rider, which allows parents to protect their children against critical illness without having to purchase a separate policy.

Disability rider

If you are injured and unable to work, a disability rider will pay you a small sum to support your expenses.

Although many insurance companies do not outright investigate if you are pregnant, they will ask you if you are pregnant and you must answer their questions honestly. When getting life insurance during your pregnancy, in Canada if you are not honest about your answers during your life insurance exam, it can be considered as life insurance fraud and your death benefit may be reduced or cancelled. 

Protect you and your loved ones

Whether you’re starting a family now or in the distant future, getting a life insurance policy should be a part of your financial plans. With the premium price increasing every year you grow older, getting a policy now can protect you and your loved ones during your pregnancy, and many years after. Each company treats pregnancy differently, but working with a life insurance advisor can help you find the right solution for what you’re looking for and need.

At Protect Your Wealth, we work with and compare policies and quotes from the best life insurance companies in Canada to ensure the best solution for you and your needs. No matter what type of insurance you’re looking for, whether it’s no medical life insurance, term life insurance, or permanent life insurance, we can help you build the best package to give you the protection you and your family needs.

Contact Protect Your Wealth or call us at 1-877-654-6119 to talk to an advisor today! We’re proudly based out of Hamilton, and service clients anywhere in Ontario and British Columbia, including areas such as Kitchener, Guelph, Kelowna, and Burnaby.

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