Like many moms-to-be, you might also be planning one last stress-free journey before baby arrives and turns your world upside down. Whether you are only flying overseas for a weekend getaway, or planning longer holidays by the beach, make sure that you have valid travel insurance in place. And while we all hope that our vacations will go smoothly, mishaps do happen and can potentially leave you with sky high medical bills, lost flights, and extra accommodation bills.
According to the recent consumer research awareness initiative by Travel Insurance Explained, many clients lack the knowledge about rules and regulations regarding traveling while pregnant. Concerned about this finding, today’s Kwiksure article is aimed at answering the most common questions pregnant travelers might have.
Do I need special travel insurance if I'm pregnant?
Yes, and no. If you have international private medical insurance with maternity benefits, you are covered virtually anywhere in the world. Childbirth costs and newborn care are all included. Please note, however, that exclusions will apply to plans that exclude the US.
When it comes to travel insurance, however, there are a number of restrictions. In general, travel insurance for pregnant women covers the same benefits as any other travel insurance: emergency medical expenses, medical repatriation, personal liability, lost and stolen luggage, and flight cancellations, but there are certain limitations, rules, and exceptions.
Is pregnancy covered by travel insurance?
Since all travel policies cover unexpected medical expenses, all emergencies associated with pregnancy are typically covered under standard travel insurance plans. However, emergency expenses are covered up to a specific date limit. Pregnancy complications or pregnancy emergencies might include miscarriage, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, placenta previa, and other emergency conditions (covered only up to the policy date restriction limits).
Travel insurance and childbirth
Since most insurers do not see pregnancy and normal childbirth to be either an unforeseen event or illness, these benefits are almost always excluded from standard travel insurance policies, as they can be reasonably anticipated. Normal childbirth is excluded from virtually all travel insurance policies, and shall it happen to you while you’re away, you are solely responsible for covering its costs.
Is my baby covered?
Yes, your baby will always be covered under your travel insurance policy, up to the benefit limits, and it doesn’t matter whether the delivery was normal or with complications. One thing to consider is that prematurely born babies should not fly until after their due date, which in turn, may considerably extend your holidays, and your accommodation fees along with it.
Travelling while pregnant tip: Make sure to purchase travel insurance with family support benefits, which will cover the costs of accommodation, food, and essential baby items in case the baby is born prematurely.
Date restrictions in coverage
Another rule is that most insurers only cover emergency medical expenses for pregnancy and childbirth from week 0 to week 28-36, depending on the policy. That means that if you are traveling after the 28th (or up to 36th) week of your pregnancy, you can’t make any claims related to childbirth and trip cancellations. Expectant mothers who have conceived with fertility treatment will usually receive coverage only up to the 18th week of their pregnancy.
Pregnancy and trip cancellation
Plans may cover trip cancellations due to unforeseen pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes, or premature childbirth. If after the date restriction stated in your policy has passed, and you are, for example, denied to board a plane, most insurers will not cover your losses for that either.
Is it easy to obtain and choose pregnancy travel insurance?
The main thing to remember is that insurance policies can vary significantly in their terms and conditions. Also, there is no specific pregnancy travel insurance, but you can tailor certain plans so that they include benefits that matter to you most. If you genuinely want to have a stress-free holiday during your pregnancy, make sure that your policy covers you for any eventuality. This includes early childbirth, medical care during labor, and expenses related to changing the date of your return trip due to premature delivery.
The safest approach is to secure international maternity insurance, that covers all costs related to pregnancy: pre- and post- natal treatments & examinations, medically prescribed Cesarean section, normal delivery, and delivery with complications or following fertility treatment, as well as care of newborn children.
An insurance broker, such as Kwiksure, will be able to research different providers and find a suitable policy for you. Our advisors are on hand to present you with different plan options, price quotations, and most importantly, advise on the best benefits based on your specific needs.