Pregnant and planning a trip? Compare travel insurance that covers pregnancy up to 32 weeks.
Travel insurance is essential for most travellers, but it's particularly important when you're pregnant, in case you have pregnancy-related complications. The good news is, most travel insurance companies provide cover for up to 32 weeks of pregnancy. Read on to learn about how different insurers cover pregnancy and compare your options.
Columbus Direct Travel Insurance Pregnancy Extension
Read more about Travel Insurance for Pregnancy
The table below lists the maximum age these insurance brands will cover pregnant women for during various stages of their pregnancy. You should contact the company to find out what this cover includes, as many brands DO NOT cover premature birth and may only cover the hospital costs for the mother but NOT the baby.
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Zika virus warning for pregnant travellers
Since 2016, 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.
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 brands 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 number of weeks into the pregnancy that is 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 companies cover for up to 26 weeks into the pregnancy, with 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 your doctor’s advice? Never travel against a 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 policy will have 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.
Wait, pregnancy is a pre-existing medical condition?
When you buy a travel insurance policy, pregnancy is classed as a pre-existing condition. This means that you’re legally required to disclose your pregnancy to an insurer during the application process.
However, you’ll need to check with your insurer to find out whether it will still provide cover for your pregnancy, as some insurers classify pregnancy as an automatically covered pre-existing condition and others do not.
For example, many insurers will cover a single, uncomplicated pregnancy up to a specified limit of gestation, such as 26 weeks. Other insurers may require you to complete an online medical assessment before approving your application, but will still allow you to purchase cover.
But there are some providers who will simply refuse to cover pregnancy, so read the fine print closely before purchasing a policy.
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 programs such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF)
- If the above criteria are satisfied, no extra premium will be charged for pregnancy.
What is excluded from my pregnancy cover?
There are certain situations and circumstances when pregnancy simply will not be covered by your travel insurance. Your insurer may not provide any cover if:
- You are beyond 26 weeks’ gestation (NB: as mentioned, some insurers provide cover up to 32 weeks’ gestation). If you have a multiple pregnancy and your insurer agrees to provide cover, this cover typically only extends to 19 weeks’ gestation
- You have a multiple pregnancy
- The purpose of your trip is to undergo fertility treatment
- You have experienced pregnancy complications prior to your policy being issued
- Your travel insurance claim is for childbirth or the care of a newborn child
- Your pregnancy was conceived through assisted reproduction services such as IVF
- You travel against medical advice
- Your pregnancy will pass the maximum period of gestation allowed by the insurer during your trip
- Your claim is for medical expenses incurred in Australia
- Your claim is for regular antenatal care and routine pregnancy check-ups, for example standard ultrasounds, blood tests or pregnancy tests
Please note that the above list of exclusions is by no means a comprehensive guide to pregnancy cover exclusions. Some insurers will provide cover where others won’t, while in some cases it may be possible to remove specific exclusions by paying an extra premium or completing a medical assessment form.
For more information on when pregnancy is and isn’t covered, contact your travel insurer.
What are some excluded pregnancy complications?
When reading travel insurance product disclosure statements (PDSs), a common clause you’ll see is that pregnancies will only be covered if they’re uncomplicated. A complication is a secondary diagnosis that could adversely affect the pregnancy, and it can occur before, during or as a result of pregnancy. Some common pregnancy complications include:
- Toxaemia (toxins in the blood)
- Gestational hypertension (high blood pressure arising as a result of pregnancy)
- Gestational diabetes (diabetes that arises as a result of pregnancy)
- Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure, swelling of hands and feet, and protein in urine)
- Hyperemesis gravidarum (excessive vomiting as a result of pregnancy)
- Ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that develops outside of the uterus)
- Placenta previa (when the placenta is in the lower part of the uterus and covers the cervix)
- Placental abruption (when part or all of the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus)
- Emergency caesarean section
- A termination needed for medical reasons
As for whether or not these complications will be covered, once again you need to check with your insurer. In many cases, if complications exist before you apply for travel insurance then you may not be able to find cover. If complications develop after you have purchased a policy, however, you need to check with your insurer to find out which (if any) complications will be included in cover.
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 travelling when pregnant
Pregnant and planning a ‘babymoon’ before your life is turned upside down by the new arrival? Keep the following tips in mind to help you stay safe when travelling while pregnant:
- Travel during the second trimester. Generally speaking, the safest time to travel during pregnancy is in the second trimester, provided that you don’t have any complications. This is the period when you’re hopefully past the worst of your morning sickness and when most travel insurers will still provide cover.
- Check with your doctor. Before booking anything, check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to travel. Even if you’ve already booked, it’s still a good idea to make a doctor’s appointment to check whether there’s anything you should avoid or any advice you should follow during your journey.
- Be careful with medications. Be extremely wary of using any medications while pregnant, including those used to treat traveller’s diarrhoea. Only use medications prescribed by your doctor who is fully aware of your pregnancy.
- Choose your destination accordingly. A secluded desert island in the middle of nowhere might seem like a romantic holiday spot, but it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you need urgent medical help. At the same time, if you plan on travelling to a developing nation you’ll need vaccinations from your doctor, but most vaccinations can be dangerous to unborn babies. With this in mind, make sure any destination you choose is suitable for you and your bump.
- Take it easy. If you’re known for your keen sense of adventure, make sure you stay sensible on your holiday. Scuba diving, rock climbing and bungee jumping might all be normal holiday activities for you, but perhaps now is the time to be cautious. Ask your doctor for recommendations of activities you should and shouldn’t do.
- Food poisoning. Take all reasonable steps to avoid food poisoning and other infections that may be harmful to your baby. Avoid dodgy street food, undercooked meats and any other eateries that look unhygienic, and drink bottled water if the quality of the local water supply is questionable.
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Extended periods of not moving during long-distance travel can cause DVT, a condition which can potentially be very serious. Pregnant women have an increased risk of DVT in certain circumstances, so discuss travel plans with your doctor. Staying moving, doing frequent leg exercises and avoiding dehydration during long-distance travel can all help reduce your risk of DVT.
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.
Questions you may have about pregnancy and travel
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