Pregnancy & travel insurance

Travel insurance and pregnancy - what you need to know

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Read about common travel misconceptions regarding pregnancy and how to go about securing a travel insurance policy.

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How does travel insurance work during pregnancy?

Everyone who goes on holiday should have travel insurance, and pregnant women are no exception.

If you're going on holiday before the birth of your child, getting a competitive travel insurance quote should be one of your top priorities to ensure you are covered for a range of eventualities.

As with any insurance product, the level of cover you get and the exclusions written in the small print will vary from insurer to insurer, so if you’re pregnant, it’s advisable to read through the terms and conditions of any travel insurance policy before you buy.

But it’s worth remembering that pregnancy is not an illness; being pregnant won’t make it harder for you to get cover, and you won’t be charged extra.

Do I have to pay more for travel insurance if I’m pregnant?

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to pay any more for your travel insurance if you’re pregnant. Despite this, almost 40% of Brits think that pregnant women pay more for their travel insurance.*

40% of people believe travel insurance is more expensive for pregnant women - this is not true!

MoneySuperMarket survey data. Correct as of August 2017.

Will travel insurance allow me to travel up to full term?

Effectively, yes, you’ll be covered by your travel insurance up to full term. But there are a couple of things to bear in mind.

First, as far as medical conditions are concerned, travel insurance only covers you for complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth, not for routine treatments or a normal birth. And there may be some exclusions or time restrictions. For example, a policy might state that you’d only be covered for complications associated with premature birth within the first 32 weeks of your pregnancy.

This might be extended further, to 24 weeks, perhaps, if you know you are having a multiple pregnancy.

Secondly, airlines have separate restrictions on when they will allow pregnant women to fly - this might be 32 or 36 weeks (and you might need a doctor’s certificate to fly this late in your term). So even if you’re covered by your insurance, you might not be able to travel if you’re going by air.

If you’ve yet to buy insurance, it’s worth looking to see what the policy documents say about pregnancy. And if you’re going to be flying, check with the airlines for any restrictions.

What is covered under this policy?

Travel insurance covers medical expenses, medical repatriation, personal liability, lost and stolen luggage and cancellation (basic cover can vary from policy to policy so check the small print).

Many policies are ‘stepped’ in that the cover gets more extensive on the payment of a higher premium. You may also be given the option to increase the limits of cover you enjoy, and to add ‘extras’ to your policy schedule, such as digital gadgets and devices.

It’s worth noting that, with travel insurance, you get what you pay for in the sense that cheaper policies tend to offer lower cover levels. What’s more, with a lower premium policy, you could face higher excess payments in the event of a claim (the excess is the amount you contribute towards any claim you make).

With some policies, you pay an excess per policy (the preferred option) while with others you pay the excess for each individual named on the policy (not ideal unless the policy offers extensive cover at a highly competitive premium).

To find out more about the minimum recommended cover levels in each area, please take a look at our travel insurance guide.

Travelling while pregnant - the myths and realities

There’s lots of confusion around the topic of travelling while pregnant, with around a third of Brits thinking it is risky (29%), a third thinking it’s safe (27%) and the final third not knowing (44%).

Confusion surrounding pregnancy & travel infographic

MoneySuperMarket survey data. Correct as of August 2017.

 

Younger people in particular have many concerns about travelling while pregnant, making them much more cautious than older generations. Among 18 - 34 year olds:

  • 54% think that travelling while pregnant is a risk.

This isn’t true. The risk of travelling while pregnant is relatively small.

  • 49% think that pregnant women should only travel on short-haul flights.

Outside of the danger of giving birth on a flight, there’s no real difference between short-haul and long-haul flights.

  • 44% think that pregnant women shouldn’t travel unless there’s a doctor on the flight.

Since the risk of travelling while pregnant is relatively small, this isn’t necessary. 

Travelling while pregnant: young people's misconceptions infographic

MoneySuperMarket survey data. Correct as of August 2017.

When should I fly during pregnancy?

As long as you’ve had a straightforward pregnancy, flying shouldn’t cause you any problems:

  • The safest time to fly is before 36 weeks, after which there’s a possibility of going into labour.
  • However, some women prefer not to fly during the first 12 weeks due to feelings of nausea or morning sickness, as well as the fact that there’s a higher risk of miscarriage during the first three months.
  • If you want to fly after the 28th week, the airline might ask for a letter from your doctor or midwife confirming the expected due date and whether you’re at risk of any complications. 

When can I fly infographic

MoneySuperMarket survey data. Correct as of August 2017.

Advice for travelling during pregnancy

A well deserved break can be just what the doctor ordered during a pregnancy, but it's important to plan ahead to make sure the holiday runs smoothly and that stress levels are kept to a minimum.

Before travelling, you should consider the following:

Potential blood clots: The risk of developing blood clots in the veins of the legs during a flight (or when remaining stationary on a long car journey) increases when pregnant, so it's important to regularly get up and move around as much as possible. You should aim to do so for around 15 minutes of every hour.

Vaccinations: It's best practice to avoid travelling to high risk destinations as the use of a vaccine may not be safe during pregnancy. Malaria also poses a high risk to pregnant women so speak to your doctor if you need further advice in this area.

How can I reduce the risk of DVT infographic

MoneySuperMarket survey data. Correct as of August 2017.

Is it easy to get a quote?

Yes, getting a travel insurance quote should only take a few minutes and you only need to fill in a few details to start the ball rolling. To start the quotes process all you need to do is enter your details on our online comparison tool.

You'll need to enter the country or countries you are travelling to, the dates you'll be travelling between, along with your date of birth and details of anyone else travelling with you. You’ll also need to disclose if you have any pre-existing medical conditions - but remember, pregnancy is not a medical condition!

With these questions answered, you can proceed to the results page.

Once there you can filter results by cover level in the areas of baggage, cancellation and medical expenses and decide on the excess you wish to pay should you need to make a claim.

After doing this, all that remains is to choose a travel insurance deal best suited to your requirements at a competitive price.

 

*Based on MoneySuperMarket travel insurance survey, 2017

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