Heading away but also expecting? Compare travel insurance that covers pregnancy up to 32 weeks.
Question. Can I get travel insurance if I'm pregnant?
- Answer. Yes. There are travel insurance providers that provide cover for up to 32 weeks.
Question. Does travel insurance cover overseas childbirth?
- Answer. No. Travel insurance does not cover childbirth overseas unless the birth is due to a complication.
Question. Does travel insurance cover complications that arise due to pregnancy?
- Answer. Yes. Travel Insurance provides cover for complications listed in the product disclosure statement.
Zika virus warning for pregnant travellers
DFAT has issued a warning for pregnant women travelling to Central and South America due to the outbreak of the Zika virus. If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, DFAT advises that you consider postponing your trip as the Zika virus has been causally linked to the birth defect microcephaly, the medical term for babies being born with abnormally small heads.
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Columbus Direct Travel Insurance Pregnancy Extension
Things to consider when it comes to pregnancy and travel insurance
Depending on your medical history and your current health, as well as on how far into the pregnancy you are, you may or may not be able to get cover for your trip. You should therefore look into whether you will be able to get pregnancy travel insurance before you book your trip, to ensure there are no surprises in the event of a claim.
Some important considerations when it comes to travel insurance for pregnancy include:
- Do you have to pay more for cover? It's possible to find reasonably priced travel insurance plans for pregnancy. However, travel insurance providers base the cost of cover partly on the level of risk and if you are travelling while pregnant you naturally pose a higher risk. Therefore the cost of insurance with cover for pregnancy is generally higher than the cost of standard travel insurance.
- What is the maximum amount of weeks into the pregnancy covered by the policy? When it comes to travelling whilst pregnant, there are a number of restrictions that you need to be aware of in relation to travel insurance. Your due date plays an important role in whether you can get cover or not. Most insurance provider cover for up to 26 weeks into the pregnancy and some extending to 32 weeks. Many insurers will only insure you if you are planning to return home 8 weeks or more prior to your due date.
- Are IVF pregnancies covered? Many travel insurance policies exclude cover for pregnancies that were the result of IVF treatment.
- Are you having twins? Just like IVF babies, many insurers exclude cover for multiple pregnancies.
- Are you travelling against doctor’s advice? Never travel against your doctor’s advice. In the event that a complication arises while you are travelling and the insurer discovers that you were advised not to travel by a certified medical practitioner, your claim will be rejected.
- Have you ever had complications with a pregnancy? If you have experienced issues or complications with pregnancy in the past, you may not be able to find cover. Failure to disclose any past complications will result in any claims related to pregnancy being rejected by the provider.
Travel insurance for pregnancy – common conditions
Each insurer has in its product disclosure statement a section on pre-existing medical conditions that are either automatically covered or not covered under the policy. Pregnancy is a condition that falls into both groups depending on the stage of pregnancy that you are in.
Pregnancy as a pre-existing medical condition?
A pre-existing medical condition is an ongoing medical or dental condition of which you are aware of, related medical complication that you have or medical symptoms of which you are aware of or:
- An existing condition that you take medication for
- A condition that you have had surgery for
- A condition that you see a medical specialist for
- Medical or dental condition that has previously been investigated for which you are receiving treatment for from a medical professional
When is pregnancy automatically covered?
Pregnancy will generally be covered if it satisfies the following criteria:
- Complications that arise are unexpected
- Trip for which the policy is being taken out for ends on or before 26 weeks of gestation
- Trip does not arise out of treatment associated with reproductive program such as vitro fertilisation
- If the above criteria are satisfied, no extra premium will be charged for pregnancy.
When is pregnancy not generally covered?
Pregnancy will not be covered under the following circumstances:
- You are beyond 26 weeks of gestation
- For a double pregnancy you are beyond 19 weeks of gestation
- Trip away is for fertility treatment
- You have experienced complications prior to policy being issued
- For childbirth
- You are not pregnant but undergoing fertility treatment
What affects the cost of travel insurance for pregnant women?
The amount that you have to pay for your cover can depend on a wide range of factors and you should be aware that the cost can vary quite substantially from one provider and plan to another.
Some of the things that could affect the amount that you have to pay for your pregnancy travel insurance include:
- The plan and provider you choose. The cover option you opt for will obviously impact how much you end up paying for cover.
- Your age and general medical health. Your age and general medical health can affect the cost of any travel insurance cover and pregnancy travel insurance is no different. Each insurer will ask you to state any pre-existing medical conditions that you have during the application process. Conditions that are not automatically covered may be excluded from cover altogether or incur a premium loading.
- Trip duration. The longer the trip, the more expensive the cover.
- Trip destination. The actual location you are travelling to will impact the amount you pay for cover. Destinations that are considered to carry a greater degree of risk will carry a higher premium.
- Additional cover. Most policies will offer additional cover options to ensure you get the right level of cover. Such cover options include things such as registration of high-value items for extra cover and winter sports cover.
Is it safe to fly while pregnant?
Flying while pregnant can be safe, as long as your pregnancy fulfils the following criteria:
- You are in the second trimester (13-27 weeks) and are not experiencing any complications
- You have consulted a certified medical practitioner and have been approved to fly
- Your insurer has agreed to cover you if flying overseas (read your policy carefully)
- Your airline has agreed to carry you (airlines have different policies regarding pregnancy)
- Your pregnancy is not classed as high risk
- You are not travelling to a country where vaccinations are required that could be dangerous to your baby (influenza vaccine is the exception)
- You are not over 35 years of age and pregnant for the first time
You should avoid flying if any of the following criteria apply to your pregnancy:
- You are in the last six weeks of your pregnancy (flying could trigger premature labour)
- You are travelling to a destination where limited medical facilities are available (i.e. a third world country)
- Your pregnancy is high risk (i.e. you are experiencing cervical problems, vaginal bleeding, a multiple pregnancy, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, abnormalities of the placenta, or have had a prior miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or premature labour)
- You are flying long distance and have had a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) in the past
General conditions from airlines for travelling when pregnant
Carriers have different policies regarding pregnancy and flying and you will need to find out whether your airline will carry you while pregnant and what conditions must be met. The following is a summary of how the three main Australian carriers view pregnancy and flying:
- If you are 28 weeks pregnant or more, you will need a letter from your medical practitioner stating you are fit to fly
- If you are experiencing complications, you will need a medical clearance in order to travel
- If you are more than 36 weeks pregnant (single birth, flights over 4 hours) or more than 32 weeks pregnant (multiple birth, flights over 4 hours), you will not be accepted for travel
- If you are more than 38 weeks pregnant (single birth, flights under 4 hours) or more than 36 weeks pregnant (multiple birth, flights under 4 hours), you will not be accepted for travel
- If you are within 48 hours of your expected delivery time, you will not be accepted for travel
Qantas and Jetstar
- After 28 weeks, you will need a certificate or letter from your medical practitioner confirming the pregnancy is routine and there are no complications
- You can travel up to the end of the 36th week (single birth, flights 4 hours or more) and up to the end of the 32nd week (multiple birth, flights 4 hours or more)
- You can travel up to the end of the 40th week (single birth, flights less than 4 hours) and up to the end of the 36nd week (multiple birth, flights less than 4 hours)
- Medical clearance is required if you are having complications with your pregnancy
- Medical clearance is required if you are travelling within 7 days of your delivery date
Tips for flying while pregnant
If you are experiencing a routine pregnancy and are planning to fly, here are some useful tips to help make your flight a little easier:
- If flying long distance, try and book two shorter flights rather than one long one, so you can take a break midway
- Book a refundable flight in case you have to change your plans unexpectedly or if complications arise
- Bring a small lumbar pillow for comfort, both on the plane and while waiting in airports
- Let the airline know you are pregnant so you can board earlier and receive extra assistance from cabin staff
- Choose an aisle seat to make bathroom trips easier
- Wear your seat belt over your lower lap, below your belly to take the pressure off your baby
- Get up and walk around frequently on a long flight
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Carry your own healthy snacks instead of eating airline food
- Wear maternity compression pantyhose to avoid blood clots
- Pack a medical kit with preparations for common pregnancy complaints and keep it in your carry-on luggage
- Do frequent leg and ankle exercises while seated
- Wear open shoes so it’s easier to remove them if your feet begin to swell
When should expectant mothers buy travel insurance?
It is a good idea to start looking for your pregnancy travel insurance cover before you actually make any firm bookings with regards to hotels and flights for your travel. This is because the last thing you want to do is pay for non-refundable services only to find that you cannot get travel insurance for some reason or it is too costly.
Having said that, it is advisable to work out where and when you want to go, decide on your maximum budget for travel insurance cover and then start browsing travel insurance plans and providers to see what sort of cover and price you can get. If you find that you are able to get a good deal on suitable pregnancy travel insurance cover you can then go ahead and book your travel as well as your insurance cover.
FAQ about pregnancy and travel?
Question. I am pregnant, can I fly?
- Answer. Whether you're able to fly depends wholly on your personal circumstances. You should discuss your travel plans with your doctor prior to your departure. It is also important to check with both your carrier and your insurer to make sure you are compliant with their rules and regulations.
Question. If there is a complication with my pregnancy and I am advised by my doctor that I can no longer travel, will I be covered for cancellation?
- Answer. Depending on your insurer you may be able to claim for unrecoverable accommodation and travel costs, if the cancellation is due to unexpected complications with your pregnancy.
Question.If I give birth prematurely while overseas, is childbirth covered?
- Answer. Depending on your insurer, there may be certain cover for childbirth and care of the newborn. However, you need to be very careful as most policies DO NOT provide cover for childbirth unless it is due to complications.
Question. Can I get cover if my baby is the result of IVF treatment?
- Answer. Sometimes. While many insurers do not cover babies that are the result of IVF, there are some out there that do. Please refer to the table at the top of this page for a list of those from the finder.com.au panel that do.
Question. Where is the best place to sit on a plane if I'm pregnant?
- Answer. Generally the best seat for pregnant women is on the aisle as it makes it easy to get up and down. These seats also provide a little more legroom.
Question. Do I need to tell you if I am pregnant?
- Answer. Yes. If you fail to inform your insurer about your pregnancy you will most likely not be covered.
Question. If I become pregnant after I buy my policy, will I still be covered?
- Answer. It depends on your insurer but generally if you inform your insurer of the change in circumstances you should be able to get cover.
Question. Does travel insurance cover abortion?
- Answer. Travel insurance policies do not generally mention abortions specifically, but will generally not cover it except in some very rare circumstances. It is possible, but unlikely, that some medical tourism travel insurance policies would cover some of the costs. The only situation where travel insurance would pay for an abortion would be if you were experiencing severe pregnancy complications, and an abortion was the medically recommended course of action.
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