Enjoy your babymoon, work trip or whatever’s taking you away while you’re pregnant, without having to worry. We’ve analysed New Zealand travel insurance brands to see how they cover pregnancy and found you can get cover up until 30 weeks of pregnancy (your third trimester!) with some brands.
Compare travel insurance for pregnancy
What does pregnancy travel insurance cover?
Pregnancy travel insurance generally covers:
– Medical conditions except birth up to a certain point in your pregnancy (from 18-30 weeks depending on the insurer; less for multiple births)
– Cover for all non-pregnancy-related conditions after that
– Emergency medical treatment
– Cancellation cover
– Cover for things unrelated to your pregnancy, such as luggage delays, cancellation and personal liability
When is pregnancy automatically covered?
Pregnancy will generally be covered if it satisfies the following criteria:
- Complications that arise while you’re travelling and pregnancy are unexpected
- The trip falls within the number of weeks covered by the provider
- Trip does not arise out of treatment associated with reproductive programs such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), unless noted that the insurer covers IVF
- If the above criteria are satisfied, no extra premium will be charged for pregnancy.
Is pregnancy considered a pre-existing medical condition?
When you buy a travel insurance policy, pregnancy is classed as a pre-existing condition. This means that you’re legally required to disclose your pregnancy to an insurer during the application process in order for it to be covered.
However, you’ll need to check with your insurer to find out whether it will still provide cover for your pregnancy, as some insurers classify pregnancy as an automatically covered pre-existing condition and others do not.
For 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.
But there are some providers who will simply refuse to cover pregnancy, so read the fine print closely before purchasing a policy.
What are some excluded pregnancy complications?
When reading travel insurance product disclosure statements (PDSs), a common clause you’ll see is that pregnancies will only be covered 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 medical reasons
What is generally excluded from my pregnancy cover?
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:
- You are beyond a certain period of gestation, usually 26-30 weeks depending on the insurer. 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 travel insurance claim is for childbirth or the care of a newborn child
- 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 New Zealand
- 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.
For more information on when pregnancy is and isn’t covered, contact your travel insurer.Back to top
Depending on your medical history and your current health, as well as on how far into the pregnancy you are, you may or may not be able to get cover for your trip. You should therefore look into whether you will be able to get pregnancy travel insurance before you book your trip, to ensure there are no surprises in the event of a claim.
Some important considerations when it comes to travel insurance for pregnancy include:
- Do you have to pay more for cover? It’s possible to find reasonably priced travel insurance plans for pregnancy. However, travel insurance brands base the cost of cover partly on the level of risk and if you are travelling while pregnant you naturally pose a higher risk. Therefore the cost of insurance with cover for pregnancy is generally higher than the cost of standard travel insurance.
- What is the maximum number of weeks into the pregnancy that is covered by the policy? When it comes to travelling whilst pregnant, there are a number of restrictions that you need to be aware of in relation to travel insurance. Your due date plays an important role in whether you can get cover or not. Most insurance companies cover for up to 26 weeks into the pregnancy, with some extending to 30 weeks. Many insurers will only insure you if you are planning to return home 8 weeks or more prior to your due date.
- Are IVF pregnancies covered? Many travel insurance policies that cover pregnancy exclude cover for pregnancies that were the result of IVF treatment.
- Are you having twins? Just like IVF babies, many insurers exclude cover for multiple pregnancies or offer coverage for a shorter term than single pregnancies.
- Are you travelling against your doctor’s advice? Never travel against a doctor’s advice. In the event that a complication arises while you are travelling and the insurer discovers that you were advised not to travel by a certified medical practitioner, your claim will be rejected.
- Have you ever had complications with a pregnancy? If you have experienced issues or complications with pregnancy in the past, you may not be able to find cover. Failure to disclose any past complications will result in any claims related to pregnancy being rejected by the provider.
Is it safe to fly while pregnant?
Flying while pregnant can be safe, as long as your pregnancy fulfils the following criteria:
- You are in the second trimester (13-27 weeks) and are not experiencing any complications
- You have consulted a certified medical practitioner and have been approved to fly
- Your insurer has agreed to cover you if flying overseas (read your policy carefully)
- Your airline has agreed to carry you (airlines have different policies regarding pregnancy)
- Your pregnancy is not classed as high risk
- You are not travelling to a country where vaccinations are required that could be dangerous to your baby (influenza vaccine is the exception)
- You are not over 35 years of age and pregnant for the first time
You should avoid flying if any of the following criteria apply to your pregnancy:
- You are in the last six weeks of your pregnancy (flying could trigger premature labour)
- You are travelling to a destination where limited medical facilities are available (i.e. a third world country)
- Your pregnancy is high risk (i.e. you are experiencing cervical problems, vaginal bleeding, a multiple pregnancy, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, abnormalities of the placenta, or have had a prior miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or premature labour)
- You are flying long distance and have had a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) in the past
General conditions from specific airlines for travelling when pregnant
Carriers have different policies regarding pregnancy and flying and you will need to find out whether your airline will carry you while pregnant and what conditions must be met. Note that even if an airline allows you to fly if you are over 30 weeks this may not be the case with your travel insurer.Back to top
More tips for travelling when pregnant
Pregnant and planning a ‘babymoon’ before your life is turned upside down by the new arrival? Keep the following tips in mind to help you stay safe when travelling while pregnant:
- Travel during the second trimester. Generally speaking, the safest time to travel during pregnancy is in the second trimester, provided that you don’t have any complications. This is the period when you’re hopefully past the worst of your morning sickness and when most travel insurers will still provide cover.
- Check with your doctor. Before booking anything, check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you to travel. Even if you’ve already booked, it’s still a good idea to make a doctor’s appointment to check whether there’s anything you should avoid or any advice you should follow during your journey.
- Be careful with medications. Be extremely wary of using any medications while pregnant, including those used to treat traveller’s diarrhoea. Only use medications prescribed by your doctor who is fully aware of your pregnancy.
- Choose your destination accordingly. A secluded desert island in the middle of nowhere might seem like a romantic holiday spot, but it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you need urgent medical help. At the same time, if you plan on travelling to a developing nation you’ll need vaccinations from your doctor, but most vaccinations can be dangerous to unborn babies. With this in mind, make sure any destination you choose is suitable for you and your bump.
- Take it easy. If you’re known for your keen sense of adventure, make sure you stay sensible on your holiday. Scuba diving, rock climbing and bungee jumping might all be normal holiday activities for you, but perhaps now is the time to be cautious. Ask your doctor for recommendations of activities you should and shouldn’t do.
- Food poisoning. Take all reasonable steps to avoid food poisoning and other infections that may be harmful to your baby. Avoid street food, undercooked meats and any other eateries that look unhygienic, and drink bottled water if the quality of the local water supply is questionable.
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Extended periods of not moving during long-distance travel can cause DVT, a condition which can potentially be very serious. Pregnant women have an increased risk of DVT in certain circumstances, so discuss travel plans with your doctor. Staying moving, doing frequent leg exercises and avoiding dehydration during long-distance travel can all help reduce your risk of DVT.
When should expectant mothers buy travel insurance?
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.
Questions you may have about pregnancy and travel
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