Typically, travel insurance plans only cover pregnancy-related complications that have arisen post-purchase of your policy. Furthermore, most doctors advise against travel during the later stages of gestation.
Pre-existing medical condition exclusion waivers allow women to avoid normal pregnancy while complications arising during gestation may still be covered by their policy.
Although most travel insurance policies don’t cover pregnancy, there may be exceptions. For instance, some policies offer trip cancellation coverage if you discover you are expecting after purchasing your plan; this typically only applies if the pregnancy was unknown prior to the purchase date and verified through medical records. You could also obtain a pre-existing condition exclusion waiver should your doctor advise against traveling because of expected complications from previous pregnancies that made complications more likely than expected.
As pregnancy and childbirth are expected events, travel insurance typically does not cover them. Furthermore, emergency medical coverage in many plans often excludes costs related to gestation. For instance, if you experience severe dizziness while vacationing and fall and break your wrist due to gestation complications – likely no medical expense would be covered as this would fall under emergency medical coverage and not on vacation health plans.
To prevent such an occurrence, purchase the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade with your policy. This coverage enables you to cancel for any reason up to and including health concerns up until the day of departure, making cancellation easy and accessible. Simply add it online when quoting or speak with one of our travel insurance experts about how this could work for you.
What types of travel insurance policies offer pregnancy coverage will depend on both their terms and your personal medical situation, though many comprehensive plans with emergency medical coverage allow for complications-related claims.
Pregnancies and childbirths that don’t pose complications typically don’t fall under travel medical insurance coverage, even with pre-existing condition exclusion waiver (or pre-travel diagnosis exclusion waiver), according to Beth Godlin of Aon Affinity Travel Practice. You would need to request this waiver within 14-21 days after making your initial deposit on your trip deposit.
As you and your partner plan a two-week trip to Japan, which you have booked well in advance, but three weeks prior to its departure date you discover you’re pregnant and are advised by your physician not to travel due to risks from Zika virus infections.
At least you have a CFAR plan or cancel for any reason plan, which covers most of your non-refundable costs and reimburses if your doctor determines you to be medically unfit to fly. Unfortunately, during your first trimester your doctor diagnosed you with hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness; hospitalized the day before your trip for severe dehydration; then while on your ‘babymoon’ cruise through the Bahamas, your dizziness caused you to fall and break your wrist!
Travel insurance plans typically do not cover pregnancy-related complications or the possibility thereof; however, you can purchase a policy with Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage which allows you to cancel if your doctor determines that traveling is unsafe. These policies tend to be more costly than standard policies but may reimburse prepaid expenses such as flights and hotels that you prepaid in advance.
Let’s imagine you are a pregnant woman planning a two-week ski vacation in January but finding out she is expecting. While skiing, she experiences severe drowsiness that causes her to fall off a chair and break her wrist; such an injury would likely fall under CFAR as being due to an unexpected medical event.
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists considers flying safe for pregnant women up to 37 weeks gestation (32 weeks for twin pregnancies), although many airlines may require you to obtain approval from your physician in order to travel late into a pregnancy. To travel safely late into a pregnancy they might request an official letter from them outlining your eligibility to fly – though in general, this rule holds.
Pregnancy-related complications are typically not covered by travel insurance as they do not constitute medical emergencies that would necessitate canceling or receiving treatment during travel. In certain instances, complications associated with normal pregnancies may be covered if a pre-existing condition exclusion waiver request is submitted within the required timeframe specified by your plan’s Description of Coverage – typically 14-21 days post making your initial trip deposit.
If traveling while pregnant, medical evacuation coverage should be added as a separate policy. This coverage reimburses any costs related to transporting you from one country or state to another with better healthcare services should you go into early labor or experience other complications that require urgent attention.
Normal pregnancy, on the other hand, is not typically covered by travel or visitor insurance plans. Many insurers consider it to be a pre-existing condition and even with an exemption waiver allowing you to purchase your plan without medical exclusions for pre-existing conditions, you won’t be reimbursed any expenses related to prenatal office visits and ultrasounds that occur as part of your gestation.
Medical evacuation coverage typically does not provide care for newborns of pregnant travelers who travel while expecting. One exception may be if an airline does not permit your newborn on board until two weeks old or there are other obstacles that prohibit you from being able to bring home your newborn immediately postbirth.
Some travel insurance providers list pregnancy as a covered reason to cancel a trip if the insured becomes pregnant after purchasing her policy, though this varies by provider and case by case. You will generally need to provide proof that you were not pregnant at the time of purchase to make this claim valid.