Pregnancy is an exciting time in a couple’s life and it heralds massive lifestyle changes ahead.
For some couples, pregnancy leads to thoughts of a babymoon – a sneaky trip away before baby takes over.
Pregnancy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re stuck at home. Many expectant mothers can travel without problem but having a baby onboard means you need to make sure you have the right travel insurance policy.
Do you need to declare it when applying for insurance?
Yes you do. Most travel insurance policies cover pregnancy but there are some qualifications.
Automatic cover is generally provided up to a certain number of weeks gestation. This varies between providers with many offering cover for up to 16 or 20 weeks gestation and a select few covering up to 32 weeks. If you will be in your second or third trimester at the time of travel, you will need to make sure your chosen provider offers cover for later stages of pregnancy.
Take care too to ensure the airline you plan to travel with will allow you to fly – many have restrictions on late term travel.
Generally speaking, travel insurance provides automatic cover where conception was natural and you have not had any complications with this or any previous pregnancy. If conception was assisted (eg fertility treatment, IVF or GIFT) or you have suffered complications, you will need to declare this to the travel insurer so that it can assess whether it can offer cover. Also if you are carrying twins, make sure you declare this as some travel insurance policies have differing terms for single versus multiple pregnancies.
There is also an expectation that your doctor considers you fit for travel. If your pregnancy is fragile, you might be better to postpone overseas travel and stay home or take a domestic trip.
What is (and isn’t) covered?
Travel insurance is an accident style of cover – that is, in terms of medical expenses it responds if you suffer an accidental injury or illness.
This means that your travel insurance policy will cover the cost of treatment for complications of the pregnancy but it will not compensate you for the cost of routine scans or doctor visits while you are away.
Also, most policies will exclude the cost of childbirth and medical treatment for the newborn should you go into labour overseas.
What about cancellation?
Finding out that you are pregnant isn’t necessarily a valid reason for cancelling a trip and claiming against your travel insurer. Many women are medically able to travel whilst pregnant and want to do so. However, if your doctor believes the proposed travel would jeopardise your health and/or that of your unborn child, then yes – this is a valid reason to cancel the trip. Bear in mind though that if you find out you are medically unfit for travel before you purchase travel insurance, the insurer would be unlikely to pay out a claim. It’s always best to arrange travel insurance at the time of booking a trip to ensure you are covered for unforeseen circumstances.