When we plan to travel, we often do it months ahead of time. As all of you know, sometimes circumstances come up that would make continuing on that planned trip to be hard. For many women, pregnancy has been one of these obstacles. While not all travel insurance plans include coverage for normal pregnancies, some plans do. Below we outline several situations travelers may come across if pregnant while planning a trip or actually traveling.
Trip Cancellation Due to Unexpected Pregnancy
While not all travel insurance plans cover cancellation due to unexpected pregnancy, some will. In this case, you’ll most likely need to provide proof that the pregnancy occurred after the effective date of your plan. This will need to be a medical document signed by your physician.
Traveling while Pregnant
If you would like to cancel your trip due to a healthy, “normal” pregnancy, unfortunately most comprehensive travel insurance plans will not cover your trip costs. If you purchase a comprehensive plan and select the Cancel for Any Reason benefit, you will be able to cancel and be reimbursed for a portion of your trip cost.
Cancel for Any Reason reimburses a percentage of your pre-paid, non-refundable trip cost, and you must qualify for the coverage by purchasing within a certain number of days after making the first payment toward your trip.
Also, in most cases, you must insure the full cost of the trip and typically will need to cancel your trip 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure date. Cancel for Any Reason coverage will not allow you to cancel on the day of departure if you decide that you just don’t want to go.
Pregnancy Complications and Travel Medical Coverage
While your plan may not cover cancellation due to a normal pregnancy, it may extend coverage due to complications to a normal pregnancy. If your doctor provides documentation that says you cannot travel due to a complication or prenatal condition, your travel insurance plan may cover reimbursement for trip cancellation.
If you encounter complications while traveling, a comprehensive plan with emergency medical coverage may reimburse for any costs associated with the care for that condition. This could include evacuation back home if deemed necessary. Make sure to read the details of your plan as it may only offer coverage for complications during a certain time frame of your pregnancy.
What if My Doctor Advises Against Travel?
Unfortunately, unless your doctor won’t allow you to travel due to the presence of a covered complication of pregnancy, you often won’t qualify for trip cancellation coverage. Travel insurance won’t cover cancellation of your trip if you are concerned that there may be a chance of a complication. For instance, it won’t extend coverage if your doctor advises you not to travel due to prior pregnancies (unless you have Cancel For Any Reason coverage).
Refusal of Travel by Carriers
You and your doctor are 100% comfortable with traveling while pregnant, but the travel carrier may not be. Different carriers (such as airlines and cruise lines) have various rules and regulations when it comes to pregnancy.
Travel insurance will not cover the trip cost if you show up to depart on your trip and are refused service by the carrier. It’s the traveler’s responsibility to know the rules of the travel carriers from which they purchase tickets.
Childbirth on a Trip
If you’re traveling in a late stage of your pregnancy and go into labor, medical reimbursement will not be available as normal childbirth is excluded from coverage.
If you are pregnant and traveling, contact your travel insurance company with any and all questions you may have about your coverage. It’s best to discuss the risks with your doctor prior to leaving to determine if traveling is best at your current stage of the pregnancy.