Pregnancy is often considered a pre-existing medical condition which means that you have to disclose that you are pregnant before buying a policy. Fortunately, pregnancy is also automatically covered with most insurers as long as it is within a certain gestation period and is uncomplicated.
Pregnancy will generally be covered if it satisfies the following criteria:
Complications that arise while you're travelling and pregnancy are unexpected
Trip does not arise out of treatment associated with reproductive programs such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), unless noted that the insurer covers IVF
As an 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. Be mindful that while most insurers will provide some level of cover for pregnancy, others may not cover it at all.
Most travel insurance policies will only cover pregnancies if they're uncomplicated.
Insurers consider a complication as 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 medtrcal reasons
What isn't covered by pregnancy travel insurance?
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:
Your travel insurance claim is for antenatal care, childbirth or the care of a newborn child
You are beyond a certain period of gestation (usually between 26-32 weeks). 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 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.
Can I get travel insurance for IVF pregnancy?
Yes - while many brands exclude or don't make it clear whether they cover pregnancy from IVF or fertility treatments, these brands have specifically stated to what point they cover in pregnancies resulting from fertility treatments.
Single pregnancy (Max weeks)
Multiple pregnancy (Max weeks)
Conditions if result of fertility treatment*
Must complete a pre-existing medical declaration form
Is childbirth covered?
A lot of insurers either exclude childbirth from cover or don't mention it at all. We've done some research and found three of our partnered brands that explicitly mention childbirth and the conditions in which cover is provided.
Columbus Direct Travel Insurance
If you add on the Pregnancy Extension, you can get cover for childbirth and the care of your newborn if between 26-30 weeks of pregnancy
InsureandGo Travel Insurance
Cover for emergency childbirth, up until your 32nd week for single pregnancy and 24th week for a multiple pregnancy
Cover for childbirth before the 26th week which was caused by an accidental injury
Pregnancy travel insurance: Australia
Travelling domestically? While Medicare and private health insurance may take care of the costs of medical treatment relating to your pregnancy, you want to consider travel insurance for the unexpected things that come along with it.
Cancellations. To cover fees/expenses if your doctor advises to avoid travel and you have to cancel your accommodation and tickets.
Lost or delayed luggage. Cover for all the expensive maternity clothes and products you might bring with you while travelling domestically.
Compare travel insurance quotes
Finally, some good news! Domestic travel is picking up, so some insurers have started offering cover again 🦘 Just remember, you won't be covered for any pandemic related claims if you do take out domestic travel insurance. International travel insurance is limited and sometimes unavailable at this point.
Most insurers will not provide cover for standard check-ups or scans. If a scan is necessary due to a complication or something unexpected, you may want to contact your insurer directly.
The Zika Virus is considered a pandemic and unfortunately, most insurers will not cover pandemics. As the virus is a 'known event' most insurers will not provide cover if you choose to cancel your trip to affected areas.
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.
It really depends on the insurer. There are many insurers who will not provide any cover for the cost of childbirth or expenses related to the medical care of a newborn baby. If you select such a policy and your baby is born overseas, keep in mind that you will most likely face extensive out-of-pocket expenses and, depending on where you're travelling, may not be able to access the best possible level of care for your baby.
However, some insurers will provide cover if your baby arrives early, as long as your little bundle of joy is born inside the insurer's maximum weeks of pregnancy permitted time limit. As always, check the PDS closely to read the full terms and conditions and contact the insurer directly if there's anything you're unsure about.
If you reach the 32-week mark halfway through your holiday, don't expect your travel insurance to continue providing pregnancy cover all the way through until you return to Australia. In fact, many will refuse to provide any pregnancy cover for your trip unless you're due to return to Australia before the gestation limit has been reached. Once you've reached the insurer's maximum coverable gestation, you will most likely be unable to claim for anything related to your pregnancy or its complications. We recommend making sure your trip ends before you hit the 32-week mark to ensure your whole holiday is covered.
If you're advised against travelling by your doctor, the good news is that your travel insurance policy can provide cover for the cost of cancelling your holiday. This includes cover for any cancellation fees you're required to pay, as well as any pre-paid deposits for accommodation, tours and the like that are non-refundable. You can also take advantage of trip interruption cover from your travel insurer. For example, if an unexpected complication develops during your journey and treating doctors recommend that the best course of action is for you to return home and rest, travel insurance can cover the cost of your forfeited pre-paid expenses and also the additional flights needed to get you home safely.
No. In most cases, travel insurance does not cover childbirth overseas.
If I give birth prematurely while overseas, is childbirth covered? 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. Check with your insurer to make sure exactly what it and isn't covered by your policy.
Yes. If you fail to inform your insurer about your pregnancy you will most likely not be covered.
If I become pregnant after I buy my policy, will I still be covered? It depends on your insurer but generally if you inform your insurer of the change in circumstances you should be able to get cover.
Generally speaking, you do not need to undergo a medical assessment before you can purchase travel insurance. Provided you're inside the insurer's maximum allowable weeks of gestation and you have not had any complications, you should have no trouble finding a policy.
However, some insurers will require any pregnant woman to complete a medical assessment before they can be covered, while others may require you to undergo an assessment if you've experienced complications as a result of your pregnancy.
This assessment typically takes the form of an online questionnaire requiring you to answer a few simple questions about your pregnancy and any complications – there's usually no need to worry about providing a doctor's certificate or any other medical reports. Check with your insurer for details of whether or not you will need to complete a medical assessment before obtaining cover.
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.
Jessica Prasida is an associate publisher for Finder specialising in travel and home insurance. She loves travelling and is a wannabe dumplings master. Jess has a Bachelor of Business from the University of Technology Sydney and a Tier 1 General Insurance qualification. She is currently studying a Master of Marketing.
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