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Life Insurance and Pregnancy

I have always been fairly comfortable and practical about my mortality. You know what Benjamin Franklin said about death and taxes…

When James and I got married, I made sure I had: a healthcare directive, a will, a prenuptial agreement written up, and I checked on my life insurance. It was pretty simple — I just made sure I had enough coverage to have something left over after funeral costs and paying some bills. I didn’t really need to worry too much about my husband — we both work and I felt pretty confident that he would live fine on his salary alone. Now that I am pregnant, I realized that I would need more life insurance than I did before. If I passed away for any reason, then my husband would be left with a child to take care of and here wouldn’t be a second income to help deal with child care or cost of education. Our child was not unplanned, but I didn’t plan enough ahead to have this life insurance thing covered. I can still get life insurance, but as a pregnant woman, I can expect my premiums to cost me more, maybe up to 50% more.

This realization lead to me to think about reasons why my life insurance cost would go up, and the leading cause of death for pregnant women:

  • According to a CDC study from 2005, auto accidents accounted for 44 percent, homicide accounted for 31 percent of maternal injury deaths, and other unintentional injuries for 13 percent and suicide for 10 percent.
  • Another CDC study in 2007 indicates that maternal mortality rates in the Unites States is going up, possibly due to rise in obesity, caesarian sections,   and new methods of accounting.
  • The rate of maternal death directly related to pregnancy or birth appears to be rising in the United States. In 1982, the rate was approximately 7.5 deaths per 100,000 live births. By 2004, that rate had risen to 13.1 deaths per 100,000 births. By 2005, the rate was 15.1 deaths — the reason for this may be the rise of maternal age.
  • Another reason why insurance companies are reluctant to cover expectant mothers is the risk of post natal depression immediately after the birth. Though insurance won’t pay in the event of suicide, so this reasons seems unfair to say the least.

Even if you are not pregnant, it is important to know why it is sooo important to have car insurance and life insurance:

  • According to the CDC, accidents ranks as the number 5 cause of death in the United States. Accidents are the fifth leading cause of death, behind only heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic lower respiratory diseases.
  • For people between the ages of 1 and 41, accidental deaths are the leading cause of death in the nation, and they’re increasing at a greater rate than any of the other top causes of death.
  • Top cause of accidental death is motor vehicle accidents, followed by poisoning, falls, choking, and drowning.

For more information on your odds of dying, here are two very interesting references to read:

Indeed, it is not impossible to get life insurance while pregnant, just more difficult. I need to be getting me some life insurance, even if it costs more! As Margret Mitchell puts in   Gone With The Wind, “Death, taxes and childbirth! There’s never any convenient time for any of them.”


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