Travel While Pregnant – 2020 Review
Travel insurance is a good idea for any vacation, but even more critical if you or a family member travel while pregnant.
No matter why you're traveling, insuring your trip can give you the security and peace of mind you need when expecting a child.
As with any type of policy, be sure to review your options carefully when making a travel insurance comparison.
Here are the answers to some of the most common questions pregnant women and their families have about how to pick the best policy.
Can I insure my unborn baby?
No, unfortunately not.
Policies vary, but most require that an infant is age 14 days or more before they can insure them.
Does a Trip Cancellation Policy apply to pregnancy?
If you are pregnant at the time you purchase your policy, it will probably not cover cancellation due to the pregnancy.
Most policies specifically exclude pregnancy as a reason for cancellation.
Some policies can cover pregnancy cancellation IF you become pregnant after purchasing it. Make sure to read the fine print when comparing travel insurance quotes.
What if I have a doctor’s note saying I cannot travel due to being pregnant? Isn't that a covered illness?
In most cases, travel insurance does not cover doctor's orders forbidding travel while pregnant.
However, you have two options. First, try to find a policy with Cancel For Any Reason (more info later). Or, (more difficult) find a plan with a cancellation clause like this:
Your or Your Traveling Companion's normal pregnancy or attending the childbirth of Your Family Member. The pregnancy must occur after the Policy Effective Date and be verified by medical records
This phrasing means that if the traveler is not pregnant when the policy was purchased, and the doctor requires you to cancel because you are now pregnant, medical records must verify that.
If you think you might be pregnant, we recommend Cancel For Any Reason instead.
Can I get travel insurance medical coverage while pregnant?
No, travel medical insurance will not cover anything relating to your pregnancy or normal childbirth.
However, it will cover any illness or injury that is unrelated to your normal pregnancy.
What is covered for pregnancy?
Here is what we see with the popular Worldwide Trip Protector plan:
Benefits are not payable for any loss due to, arising or resulting from normal childbirth or pregnancy (except Complications of Pregnancy or as specifically provided under Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption) or voluntarily induced abortion;
Travel insurance does not cover normal childbirth or pregnancy unless it's a Complication of Pregnancy, or the policy says explicitly that it includes normal childbirth. But again, the traveler must not have been pregnant when she purchased the travel insurance policy.
What are the Complications of Pregnancy? Are these covered?
Yes, they are, but policy language will be different in each policy, so please check.
Complications of Pregnancy means conditions (when the pregnancy is not terminated) whose diagnoses are distinct from pregnancy but are adversely affected by pregnancy or are caused by pregnancy. These conditions include acute nephritis, nephrosis, cardiac decompensation, missed abortion, and similar medical and surgical conditions of comparable severity. Complications of Pregnancy also include non-elective cesarean section, ectopic pregnancy which is terminated and spontaneous termination of pregnancy, which occurs during a period of gestation in which a viable birth is not possible.
Complications of Pregnancy does not include false labor, occasional spotting, Physician-prescribed rest during the period of pregnancy, morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum, preeclampsia, and similar conditions associated with the management of a difficult pregnancy not constituting a nosologically distinct complication of pregnancy.
As always, check with your Travel Insurance Carrier if you think you will need medical treatment.
This situation is another reason why we prefer Primary Medical Insurance over Secondary. The Insurance Carrier works with the hospital and pays directly.
What if I have to cancel my trip because the airline will not let me board while pregnant?
Each airline has different restrictions that apply to flying while pregnant. Most limitations are related to how late you are in your term.
Make sure to read your airline's pregnancy requirements carefully when planning your trip.
Your trip cancellation and interruption policy does not cover your losses if the airline does not allow you to board.
Does my pregnancy count as a Pre-existing Medical Condition?
With most travel insurance policies, you do not need to declare your pregnancy as a Pre-existing Medical Condition.
However, if you have an underlying condition that may lead to complications in your pregnancy, you will need to declare this as Pre-existing. As always, be sure to review your options very carefully before purchasing travel insurance and ask questions if you're confused.
When can Travel Insurance cover Pregnancy Cancellation?
If you are already pregnant and buy the travel insurance policy early, you may have the option to include Cancel For Any Reason. You must buy it right after you make the initial deposit or payment for the trip.
With CFAR, you can cancel the trip due to pregnancy (even though it's excluded) because Cancel For Any Reason lets you cancel for any or no reason at all.
CFAR does not explicitly bring pregnancy into coverage, but it gives you the flexibility to choose whether you should travel or not. If you decide not to go due to pregnancy, simply use Cancel For Any Reason to receive 75% of your prepaid, non-refundable trip costs back.
Cancel For Any Reason has a few rules. Here we list the requirements from the Worldwide Trip Protector Plus, but the details will vary between policies:
If You cancel Your Trip for any reason not otherwise covered by this policy, benefits will be paid for 75% of the Prepaid, forfeited, non-refundable Payments or Deposits You paid for Your Trip provided:
- Your payment for this policy and enrollment form are received within 21 days of the date Your initial Payment or Deposit for Your Trip is received;
- You insure 100% of the Prepaid Trip costs that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions and also insure within 21 days of the Payment or Deposit for those Travel Arrangements the cost of any subsequent Travel Arrangements (or any other Travel Arrangements not made through Your travel agent) added to Your Trip; and
- You cancel Your Trip 48 hours or more before Your Scheduled Departure Date.
In general, you must purchase CFAR within 14-21 days of your initial payment, insure 100% of the total trip cost, and use the CFAR benefit at least 2 days or more before departure. Then, the policy reimburses you 75% of the total trip cost in cash.
Remember, Cancel For Any Reason only affects cancellation benefits. Medical treatment is still excluded.
What if I experience pregnancy-related problems during the trip that aren't covered by the policy?
You may be able to go home early if you experience one of the Complications of Pregnancy, as stated in the policy. Otherwise, the policy excludes pregnancy-related medical treatment.
Interruption For Any Reason (IFAR) lets you curtail your plans after 72 hours and return home early, and receive 75% reimbursement of the unused portion of the trip.
If you were pregnant on the trip and decided you wanted to leave early to visit your OB-GYN back home right away, you may find this benefit helpful.
Here is how IFAR works in the Worldwide Trip Protector Plus plan:
If You interrupt Your Trip, 72 hours or more after Your actual Departure Date, for any reason not otherwise covered by this policy, benefits will be paid, up to the lesser of a) the Maximum Benefit Amount shown in Your Confirmation of Benefits; or b) 75% the total amount of coverage You purchased, to reimburse You for unused non-refundable land or water Travel Arrangements; Plus the Additional Transportation Cost paid
- to join Your Trip if You must depart after Your Scheduled Departure Date or travel via alternate travel arrangements by the most direct route possible to reach Your Trip destination (Airfare limited to the cost of one-way airfare using the same class of fare as the original travel ticket); or
- to rejoin Your Trip or transport You to Your originally scheduled return destination, if You must interrupt Your Trip after departure, each by the most direct route possible (Airfare limited to the cost of one-way airfare using the same class of fare as the original travel ticket)
Not all CFAR policies offer Interruption For Any Reason, so we recommend reading the policy very carefully or asking a licensed agent at AARDY for help.
This sounds very complicated. Should I risk traveling without insurance while pregnant?
Pregnancy is a special for women and their families, but it can be costly and worrisome. The risk is perilous when traveling overseas. If you fall ill while pregnant and do not have adequate coverage, the financial and emotional burden can be devastating to mother and child.
There are plenty of great travel insurance options for pregnant women, but finding the one that fits your needs will require a bit of research and careful planning.
It’s too risky to consider traveling without insurance during pregnancy. You deserve the security and peace of mind the right travel insurance provides.
Got an upcoming trip? Compare travel insurance at AARDY with our free quote tool.