Would life and medical insurance cover me during and after pregnancy?

I’m worried about a family history of miscarriages – would it help to take out protection or private medical insurance to cover any complications?

  •  Most life product providers cover children under critical illness policies
  •  Enhanced benefits could include pregnancy complications and cover from birth
  •  Experts say free life cover products and work benefits can also offer protection
  • Although I have no known medical reason to think I may struggle to conceive or carry a baby to term, I’ve got a family history of miscarriage and want to make sure both my unborn baby and I would be covered for any medical treatment, should we need it.

    My partner and I want to start trying for a baby and want to have the best cover in place before we begin as Covid has made us particularly concerned and anxious given the horror stories about being pregnant and alone during the pandemic. 

    Does such a policy exist, and would it pay for us to go private? Via email.

    Pregnancy cover: How do I get the best possible level of cover for a pregnancy?

    Pregnancy cover: How do I get the best possible level of cover for a pregnancy? 

    Oliver Raynor, managing director at Caspian Insurance, responds: It’s important to note firstly that financial protection and private healthcare are two completely different types of cover. 

    Most life insurance providers will have the option to cover your children under your critical illness policy. 

    Insurance providers like Royal London also offer the option to add Enhanced Children’s Critical Illness Cover. 

    This type of cover would pay lump sums – for example – £5,000 standard for pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancy with surgery to remove the fallopian tube, fetal death in utero after at least 20 weeks’ gestation, stillbirth and more. 

    The baby is then covered from birth for 44 main and 24 additional conditions including types of cancer and Downs Syndrome. 

    Oliver Raynor, managing director at Caspian Insurance says there are some enhanced critical illness benefits that pay out for pregnancy complications

    Oliver Raynor, managing director at Caspian Insurance says there are some enhanced critical illness benefits that pay out for pregnancy complications

    Enhanced extras

    The policy would also cover conditions diagnosed at birth and beyond and would pay 50 per cent of the sum assured (the amount you are covered for on your own critical illness policy) between £30,000 to £50,000, depending on the condition. 

    So, in essence, it could help towards treatment or living expenses should you need time off work. 

    Your own critical illness cover will also be in place to cover you and your partner should either of you be diagnosed with a defined critical illness. 

    For example, should your partner become seriously ill while you are pregnant, having a critical illness policy could allow for you both to have time off work to help with recovery and reduce any further stress. 

    Most providers don’t ask any specific pregnancy-related questions on their medical application, however, if you have been hospitalised or had tests/investigations following pregnancy complications, the details of this may need to be disclosed. Speaking to a trained protection specialist could help you through this process. 

    Angelique Ruzicka of This is Money adds: Besides the protection cover discussed above, private medical cover can be considered in the event of any complications during and after birth.

    Chris West, team leader at Cavendish Online, says: ‘Although the NHS is an institution, we’re all rightly proud of, when you reach the stage of your life where you’d like to consider starting a family you want to make sure you can obtain the highest level of care possible, which is where a private medical insurance policy really shows its value.

    ‘These policies can cover all manner of medical treatments including diagnostics, therapies, outpatient treatment, amongst many other benefits that can be used to support you and your family during what can be a very challenging time.’

    Free parent life cover

    While this doesn’t cover complications during birth something you may want to consider adding to your protection portfolio once you’ve given birth is parent life cover, which is offered for free by some providers.

    Aviva has been offering this free perk since 2009 and there may be some other providers that could be offering this after you’ve given birth, so it may be worthwhile to do a search online then.

    Aviva offers free life insurance for parents from the moment a child is born up to the child’s fourth birthday. The downside is that it only lasts for 12 months and won’t be enough to pay off a major loan like a mortgage, so you need to take into consideration your other financial obligations if you have no cover in place at all.

    The benefit of parent life cover is that it’s free, both parents can take it out, and it’s quick and easy to apply for it. Just don’t assume it will be enough to cover all your debts and future financial responsibilities should you pass on.

    Don’t forget work benefits 

    Finally, check what cover you have on offer through work. 

    If you are both working full-time see if any of your employer has provided you with any employee benefits such as death in service cover (through a group life insurance scheme) or enhanced sick pay.

    If you don’t have this work benefit and you decide to take out your own life or critical illness product, consider both joint and individual cover and compare them to find the most suitable one.

    Don’t take out the cheapest life cover – it may not be the best for you and your family. Paying a bit extra may also provide extra benefits for you and your family such as 24/7 GP services which could prove invaluable when you have children.