Purchasing travel insurance which provides cover for pregnancy can help expectant mothers to feel more confident and relaxed on their babymoon.
More importantly, travel insurance can provide cover for the unexpected costs if you experience an emergency overseas. Buying travel insurance is one way you can steer away from worrying about the risks that come with travelling overseas, and instead focus on the excitement of travelling!
The following guide has been created to simplify travel insurance and answer some of the most frequently asked questions for mums-to-be. It makes it faster to find out what you can be covered for and makes it easier to search and find a travel insurance policy that suits your needs.
Table of Contents
- How do travel insurers classify pregnancy?
- Will I be able to get cover for pregnancy?
- What to consider when looking for a policy
- Benefits of travel insurance for pregnancy
- In what situations would I seek medical attention?
- What are some exclusions related to pregnancy?
- What are the benefits of buying travel insurance early?
- Travel insurance for newborn babies
- When should I buy travel insurance?
- What do I do in an emergency?
How do travel insurers classify pregnancy?
When it comes to travel insurance, a ‘pre-existing medical condition’ refers to:
- A condition that you see a medical specialist for
- A condition that you take medication for
- A condition that you have had surgery for
- Any condition for which you take prescribed medicine
In the case of pregnancy, it’s a condition a pregnant traveller sees a medical specialist for and is therefore classed as a pre-existing medical condition.
Travel insurance companies may provide cover for a range of pre-existing medical conditions, including pregnancy.
Will I be able to get cover for pregnancy?
It’s important to keep in mind that exclusions will apply to most travel insurance policies. These exclusions, if they apply to you, may alter the cover your travel insurer will provide you with in regards to your pregnancy.
Examples of common pregnancy travel insurance exclusions:
- Your doctor has advised you NOT to travel
- You’ve experienced complications with the pregnancy or previous pregnancies
- Your trip extends beyond the number of weeks of pregnancy your travel insurer provides cover for (limits vary from about 20 weeks pregnant to a maximum of 34 weeks pregnant)
- The pregnancy is a result of assisted reproductive programs such as IVF
- You are travelling to obtain fertility treatment
- If you’re having a multiple birth e.g. twins or triplets
Before buying travel insurance, make sure to look at all the exclusions in the company’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to verify that you’ll be covered.
What to consider when looking for a policy
It is important to read through the terms and conditions of any travel insurance policy that you’re considering purchasing.
Your past pregnancy complications, your due date, how you conceived and other factors about your pregnancy may mean you won’t be provided with cover from particular travel insurance providers.
Some things you may wish to consider when comparing travel insurance options include:
How pregnant will I be when I am travelling?
When you’ve found a travel insurance policy which provides cover for pregnancy, check the insurer’s limit for the number of weeks of pregnancy they’ll cover. Some may only cover up to the 20th week of pregnancy while others may cover you into the third trimester.
Keep in mind how many weeks pregnant you’ll be when you arrive home from your holiday, rather than how pregnant you’ll be when you leave.
You will most likely NOT be covered for any period you are still away beyond the limit of weeks stated by your travel insurer.
Remember to always check your insurer’s Product Disclosure Statement to see if your stage of pregnancy is covered, or ask if you're not sure.
Have I experienced a medical complication?
A complication is a secondary diagnosis which may adversely affect the pregnancy outcome, which:
- occurs prior to the pregnancy
- during the course of the pregnancy
- concurrent with the pregnancy or
- as a result of the pregnancy
Examples of common pregnancy complications:
- Toxaemia or pre-eclampsia
- Hyperemesis gravidarum
- Gestational diabetes
- Placenta praevia
These are the most common complications, but there are other complications not listed here which may affect your travel insurance.
If you’ve experienced any complication, check with your travel insurance company if you’ll have cover for pregnancy.
Will travel insurance cover multiple pregnancies?
Multiple pregnancies is a common exclusion across travel insurers.
If you’re expecting twins or more, double check that your policy will provide cover should you have a medical emergency while travelling.
Is cover for an IVF pregnancy included?
Not all travel insurers that provide cover for pregnancy will provide cover for IVF pregnancies.
Double check with the travel insurer if IVF pregnancies are covered or you may find yourself without cover if something goes wrong with the pregnancy while you’re travelling.
Is childbirth included in the cover?
Your travel insurance company may provide cover for pregnancy but not for childbirth. This means if a baby is born prematurely, you may be responsible for the cost of intensive care and treatment.
Always check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the full terms and conditions of a policy.
Benefits of Travel Insurance for Pregnancy
Overseas Emergency Medical and Hospital Expenses for Pregnancy Complications
If your travel insurance policy provides cover for pregnancy, it may include cover for the unexpected cost of medical treatment and staying in hospital due to pregnancy complications.
For example, if you experience hyperemesis gravidarum and seek a medical consultation or treatment, these medical expenses may be covered. Without specific cover for pregnancy, you would be responsible for the medical costs of seeking or receiving medical attention due to a pregnancy complication.
Unexpected Cancellations Fees and Lost Deposits
If you have to cancel your babymoon due to a complication with your pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia, your travel insurance policy may cover your lost deposits such as the cost of a cruise, airfare and accommodation.
However, keep in mind that cancellations will generally only be covered if they’re unexpected and related to sickness, injury or resulting from the advice of medical professionals.
This means you’re unlikely to have a successful claim if you cancel your holiday for another reason, or simply decide to return early. For example your claim is unlikely to be successful for cancellation or lost deposits:
- If you decide without consulting a doctor that you feel too sick to continue your trip.
- If you don’t follow the advice of your insurer’s Global Assistance team.
- If you buy a policy when you are aware of an event already occurring at your destination (such as a known viral outbreak like the Zika virus) but later decide not to travel due to this known event and the risk to your unborn child.
- If you decide it’s too risky to travel at all while pregnant when that decision is not supported by information from Smartraveller or your healthcare provider.
- If you change your mind and no longer want to travel because you’d prefer to stay home in your familiar surroundings.
- If you’ve pre-booked accommodation but on arrival decide you don’t want to stay there as you believe it isn’t appropriate for you while pregnant (for example you think the accommodation isn’t comfortable or hygienic enough).
- If you return home early because you weren’t enjoying the holiday. For example, if you found you weren’t enjoying the babymoon due to having little energy or finding travelling uncomfortable and so return home.
- If you return home early because you miss your family or your familiar surroundings.
Depending on the level of cover you choose, your travel insurance policy may include a lot more than cover for unexpected pregnancy complications. Compare cover for other medical expenses, cancellations, luggage, travel delays, loss of income, accidental death and many more benefits.
Check out What We Cover in our policies here!
In what situations would I seek medical attention?
There are a number of complications you may experience with your pregnancy overseas which may lead to you seeking out emergency medical attention.
Examples of these include:
Unexpected Pregnancy Complications
Becoming injured and needing to go to hospital or seek urgent medical attention. For example, if you fall down a flight of stairs and need to check your health and the health of your baby as well as treatment for cuts, scrapes or broken bones.
A medical situation such as toxemia, hyperemesis gravidarum, gestational diabetes or placenta praevia while you’re overseas.
Symptoms of a Pregnancy Complication
If you experience symptoms of a complication such as cramping, vaginal bleeding or excessive vomiting, you can claim for the cost of a medical consultation.
Other Unexpected Medical Complications
If you become sick or injured, your travel insurance may provide cover for medical consultations, assessments and treatment. For example, if you experience deep vein thrombosis, which is more likely when you’re pregnant, you may have cover for the costs of medical assistance.
If you’re unsure whether particular medical complications may be covered or not, check with the travel insurance company before purchasing a policy.
What are some exclusions related to pregnancy?
Different travel insurance policies will have different exclusions to their cover.
Be aware that even if you’re able to get cover for your pregnancy with a travel insurer, there may still be exclusions to keep in mind.
Examples of common exclusions include:
- Fertility treatments
- Regular antenatal care and routine pregnancy check-ups (including blood tests and ultrasounds)
- Any expenses occurred if you travel against medical advice
- Medical expenses incurred in Australia
- Care for a newborn
What are the benefits of buying travel insurance early?
If you purchase a policy which includes cancellation cover, it may be in place as soon as your policy is issued.
This means that if you experience a complication with your pregnancy after purchasing your travel insurance policy, or become sick or injured and can no longer travel, your policy may cover the deposits already put towards your trip.
Example scenarios for cancellation claims include:
- If you purchase travel insurance after getting your doctor or midwife’s okay to travel but two weeks later show signs of pre-eclampsia or toxemia and have to unexpectedly cancel your trip.
- If you’re injured in a car accident before you travel and you’re advised by medical staff to cancel your holiday due to the risk to you or your unborn baby.
- If a natural disaster occurs and you’re no longer able to get to your destination or medical staff advise it’s unsafe for you to travel there while pregnant.
Travel Insurance For Newborn Babies
Various travel insurance policies providing cover for pregnancy will have an exclusion stating that medical emergencies such as childbirth and the care of a newborn are not covered.
Before buying travel insurance, make sure to look at all the exclusions in the company’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to verify that you’ll be covered if you're expecting to give birth overseas, or planning to travel with a newborn baby.
Cover for unborn and newborn babies
Your pregnancy cover may not extend to the care of unborn or newborn babies. This means that should your unborn baby require medical assistance or you give birth prematurely, the medical costs won’t be covered by your insurer, nor would any other associated expenses such as extra nights of accommodation or missed flights.
Would in utero surgery be covered?
If you’re injured overseas your travel insurance may pay for the reasonable medical or hospital expenses you incur until you return to Australia. If in-utero surgery is a consequence of an injury, is part of your reasonable treatment and is incurred on the advice of a medical advisor, then it may be covered.
Medical situations will always be accessed on a case-by-case basis. Check your travel insurer's Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to verify that you’ll be covered before you purchase a policy.
Buying cover for a newborn before travelling
There is generally no minimum age for travel insurance policies. However, if you give birth before leaving on your trip, you may need to alter the policy to include cover for your newborn if they’re travelling with you.
Cover for your baby may be included free of any additional charge, or you may need to pay an additional premium to add them to your policy. Either way, make sure you advise your travel insurance company so you know you're both covered.
When should I buy travel insurance?
Imagine being a few days out from your trip and starting to have severe morning sickness – a condition called hyperemesis gavidarum. Your doctor tells you that you won’t be able to travel on your planned departure date, but you’ve already paid for flights, tours and a rental car! If you have travel insurance which provides cancellation cover you’ll be able to make a claim for your lost expenses and hopefully save that money for a future trip.
While you can put off buying travel insurance until you start your holiday, keep in mind that you won’t have cover for unexpected cancellations, including those related to unforeseen pregnancy complications, until your policy is issued.
As soon as your policy is in place you can have cover for the deposits you’ve made towards your babymoon.
Remember to read the travel insurer’s Product Disclosure Statement before purchasing a policy to better understand the benefits, limits and exclusions.
What do I do in an emergency?
1) Seek out medical assistance immediately
If you’re on a tour, tell your tour guide what symptoms you’re experiencing or if you feel unwell. To see a doctor you can get a recommendation from your accommodation or look online for doctors that speak english.
You can also contact your travel insurer's 24 hour emergency assistance team for help and advice.
2) Contact your insurer
As soon as possible, contact your travel insurance company’s emergency assistance team and let them know what is happening. They may also be able to advise you on where you can go to seek medical assistance.
The emergency assistance team can confer with the doctor or hospital staff who are taking care of you. They may also act as a guarantor (that is, they will pay for medical treatment) in cases where expenses are over $2,000.
They may organise your transferal to a particular hospital or your repatriation home if their specialists deem it necessary.
3) Get everything in writing
If you lose luggage or personal effects, or they’re stolen or damaged, report the incident to the local authorities within 24 hours. If this isn’t possible, report the incident to your hotel, airline or cruise company. Obtain a copy of the report so that you’re able to submit a claim to your travel insurance company.