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Warning to the newly pregnant: think about life insurance now

04/04/2013

Belle

So this just in: did you know you can’t get life insurance during your third trimester? First trimester? GREAT! Second trimester? Probably! Third trimester? Nope. Sorry.

As an infertile, the LAST thing on my mind when I peed two lines was “I need to buy life insurance to protect this little clump of cells!” Instead I was all “OMG, this clump of cells might die and I’m going to be SAD and now I’m going to freak out for the next 27 weeks.”

Fast forward to today – we are preparing our life for baby and also preparing to apply for a mortgage and move. Life insurance is necessary for the kind of mortgage we are applying for, and for protecting the Chicken should we suddenly go up in a fiery blaze of doom. Yesterday I felt tough and only moderately hormonal so I the company that handles my retirement and requested the Professor and I start the wheels turning to get term life policies. I was giving them all my information and then they asked my weight. “Pre pregnancy or my current pregnancy weight,” I asked.

WHAM, breaks slammed on.

“I’m sorry ma’am, what trimester are you in?…. Hmmm, well, we can’t insure anyone in their third trimester, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone else who will.”

Not the end of the world because it looks like as long as the Professor is amply insured and I provide proof of pregnancy we should be ok on the mortgage front, but still a huge annoyance and something I really wish I had known sooner.

So here is my tip for the newly pregnant and those who will fall pregnant in the future (because I’m a gross optimist and like to believe we will ALL get to grow our own baby, pee a little when we sneeze and fart like a man): Scary as it is, start looking for life insurance before your third trimester. In fact, if we are married or in committed relationships, we might as well do it for our partners’ sake now. Right?

… You know what just occurred to me? You all might have life insurance already. Maybe I’m the straggler who thought it was a dumb waste of money when you rent your home and are infertile as all get-out so kids aren’t a real threat…. Anyone else like me? Or are you all shaking your head going, “OMG, how could she not have life insurance?”

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25 Comments

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  1. Jennifer Brady #
    April 4, 2013

    Justin and I have life insurance on each other, but not for our baby, should anything happen to us. That never even occurred to me. Thanks for the heads up!

    • April 4, 2013

      Can I just say that I love the “for our baby” in this comment? So happy for you guys!

  2. 35life #
    April 4, 2013

    We have it but I didn’t agree with going crazy on how much. With my husband being the bread-winner, his is more than mine. What I didn’t like was the agent pushing me to have more. Trying to watch our budget as it is and I just couldn’t justify bumping it up so much. Of course this will all change once we are lucky to have kids, I suppose. I would have never known about an obstacle like this.

    • April 5, 2013

      I don’t want to go crazy with how much either! I have to remind the Professor that the point is not to get rich off my death, but to get him and Chicken back to AZ with family and to pay off a mortgage only 🙂

  3. Amy #
    April 4, 2013

    We didn’t get any until my company somehow offered some along with our other insurance at decent rates. I still somehow think it’s a mistake they are going to realize they overlooked once someone has to cash it in (FSM forbid). I think I was pregnant at the time, but I am not remembering clearly. And perhaps I already had it and we only added it for Mike? Clearly not something I think about often or very much either!

  4. Romy #
    April 4, 2013

    It might be different in the U.S. but we got life insurance through our respective employers as part of the health insurance package and then through the bank attached to our mortgage. We do have to get a will though! And an RESP (Canadian education savings plan).

    • April 5, 2013

      Yeah, we’ve done that too right now, but the policies go away once we leave the job. He will be taking a four year position and life is not a perk he’ll be eligible for. I’ll be out of work for a little while and then potentially self employed/contract basis and will not have the perk either. So… we have to look elsewhere. Growing up stinks!

  5. April 4, 2013

    Can the professor not insure you under his scheme with his new employer? And then he can take any additional top-up insurance for himself. Also, try for group insurance. Single/Personal insurance usually has more strings attached. Or perhaps you can take a short term 3-4 month insurance with a higher premium? And then once the chicken is safe and out, you can apply for the regular insurance? Just thinking out loud…

    • April 5, 2013

      The short term insurance is totally worth looking into and something I did not consider! Unfortunately, the Professor will not be eligible for all the perks of a tenure track position with this job. He will, though, have health benefits and be able to put us on those. He did not have that benefit with his current visiting professorship. I currently have life through work, but once I leave that benefit leaves. Once Chicken is here, though, I can purchase my own policy and it is shockingly reasonable. Hopefully I just won’t kick the bucket before then otherwise the only thing I’ll leave the Professor with is one high-maintenance Maine Coon Cat!

  6. jak #
    April 4, 2013

    prof husband has it, i dont. in particular, i wasnt going to get it when i was in grad school or a post doc since i didnt make any money anyway. good idea to think about now though… POST baby since i’m 3rd T with you and will be denied.

    guess i should be nice to my prof husband and get it eventually so that if i croak, the policy may cover what’s left on my student loans and he wouldnt have to pay, ha!

    glad you guys will be fine for a mortgage (or whatever other direction NYC housing may take) regardless of your life insurance status.

    • April 5, 2013

      We’ll be ok for sure but I wish this was something i had taken care of earlier in the pregnancy. I like to know baby AND Yum Yum will be taken care of if something happens.

  7. April 4, 2013

    Wait having life insurance is a requirement for your mortgage lender? I have never heard of that. We certainly didn’t tell our current mortgage lender that we have life insurance (CP and I have it on each other, my parents took a policy out on me when I was born). Weird.

    • April 5, 2013

      It is for our particular type of mortgage it seems. We are looking at buying a co-op unit in NYC, which comes with a SLEW of requirements and fine print. From what I’ve learned so far, it is a lot more like buying into a business. Once all is said and done, I’ll be sure to share what I’ve learned for anyone else who decides it is a GOOD idea to move to the big city right after birthing a child 🙂

  8. April 4, 2013

    I had to get life insurance when I got my mortgage, but I think it only benefits the bank if I kick it. And I’ve always had life insurance through my employer as part of my benefits. But once I got married I bumped myself up from the minimum to somewhere near the maximum payout (which, thankfully, still doesn’t cost a helluva lot). I don’t know what, if anything, they would do if I tried to bump it up to the max now. It seems weird to me that being in the third trimester excludes you from coverage. Surely they don’t see childbirth as being THAT life threatening, do they?

    • April 5, 2013

      it’s not childbirth that is threatening, they say. It is because they can’t get good baseline blood tests from me in third trimester because the hormones can affect so many things – like blood pressure, blood sugar, etc. I thought about telling them I have LOTS of pre-pregnancy blood results from the eye fiasco but then thought better of that 🙂

  9. Katie t #
    April 4, 2013

    We bought policies a few weeks ago. They knew I was pregnant and didnt mention anything!?!?

    • April 5, 2013

      Really? Were you third T? If so, do you mind sharing who you went through?

  10. April 4, 2013

    Yikes! We don’t hsve life insurance!

  11. April 5, 2013

    My husband and I (36) both have term life insurance policies to at minimum cover our mortgage. He has additional insurance through his workplace as do our 2 small children. We have both had policies since purchasing our home 7ish years ago. I would highly recommend this because at the young age of just barely 25, my healthy, precious husband of six weeks died suddenly after somehow falling ill with an acute form leukemia. It was/is a nightmare. Besides all of the other stress/trauma/heartbreak, I was left with our mortgage and spent 1.5 of my 2 paychecks per month to pay it. I know that it might sound like one of those “it will never happened to me” stories, but it quite possibly could.

    • April 5, 2013

      First, I’m so so sorry for your loss. What a devastating thing to go through so early in life. And you are absolutely right – we hate to plan for the worst but in reality we really should. The Professor started the process on his policy yesterday and I will start mine as soon as baby is out safe and sound! Thanks for sharing your story here, I think it is important for people to know.

  12. April 5, 2013

    Welp. Very interesting! Good to know.

  13. April 5, 2013

    We finally got life insurance when Matthew as 5 months old. We’re slackers too 😉

  14. April 5, 2013

    I have life insurance but not much. And I had no idea you couldn’t get it in the third trimester – any clue why?

  15. SRB #
    April 6, 2013

    My husband just got life insurance when we bought our house. I still don’t have it…and I’ve had two babies. Shit!

  16. April 11, 2013

    We don’t have it but have been talking about looking into it. I guess we’ll be waiting a couple months because I also wouldn’t have known (until this post) that they won’t insure in the third trimester. What a joke! Think it’s asking for disaster to have the paperwork filled out and ready for after the birth?….

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