Table of contents
Table of contents
Regular prenatal care is crucial to a healthy pregnancy. Unfortunately, if you’re traveling while pregnant, your regular health insurer may not cover you if you’re out of state or out of the country. That’s because many insurers provide coverage only within their local networks, which often include health providers only near where you live.
Travel insurance can provide some coverage if you’re traveling while pregnant, but the protections available may be more limited than you think.
Here are some types of travel insurance you can consider if you’re going away while expecting.
What is travel insurance for pregnancy?
Travel insurance protects against losses you experience when things don’t go as planned. This includes events that happen before or during a scheduled vacation. Some types of travel insurance you could purchase include:
Trip cancellation insurance: Trip cancellation insurance will reimburse you for non-refundable expenses if you can’t take your vacation for a covered reason.
Trip interruption insurance: Trip interruption insurance provides reimbursement for the unused portion of your vacation if you must cut the trip short for a covered reason.
Travel medical insurance or medical benefits coverage: Travel medical insurance provides short-term medical coverage, so your healthcare bills will be paid if you unexpectedly require medical care while on a trip.
Emergency medical evacuation insurance: This insurance pays for the costs if you must be evacuated from your location to an adequate medical facility.
Each of these types of coverage could be useful if you’re traveling while pregnant, as your condition could leave you unable to depart on a trip or continue the trip. However, it’s important to understand the limitations of the travel policy you’re buying before purchasing coverage.
While many travel insurance companies reimburse for medical expenses related to emergency complications associated with pregnancy, normal pregnancies wouldn’t usually be viewed as a reason to cancel or interrupt your trip, nor would routine prenatal care generally be paid for by travel medical insurance.
What does travel insurance cover when you’re pregnant?
Travel insurance doesn’t cover every potential medical need or every potential reason for cancellation or interruption of a trip. Compensated losses must occur for a covered reason. However, travel insurance does provide coverage for certain pregnancy-related issues.
While the specifics vary by policy, you can expect most travel insurance policies to cover the following:
Trip cancellation, interruption, or medical needs due to unexpected illnesses or accidents not related to your pregnancy
Emergency medical care due to complications of pregnancy, including hospitalization, ambulances, or medical evacuation if necessary
Trip cancellation or interruption due to complications of pregnancy
Unforeseen complications of pregnancy that are often covered by travel insurers include:
Good to Know
Some insurers provide coverage for pregnancy-related complications only during specific times during your pregnancy. And many insurers don’t specifically list the complications that would be covered but instead make the decision on a case-by-case basis.
What does travel insurance exclude for pregnant travelers?
Travel insurance plans aren’t meant to pay for routine medical care associated with normal pregnancy. Most policies won’t cover:
Medical costs associated with normal labor or childbirth
Routine pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness
Trip cancellation due to an airline carrier rejecting you because you’re traveling outside of its normal guidelines
Pre-existing medical conditions that are exacerbated by pregnancy
Routine prenatal care
Travel insurance policies generally won’t reimburse you for a canceled or interrupted trip if your doctor simply advises you not to travel due to your pregnancy, unless there’s a specific unexpected medical condition or complication.
You also won’t be covered if you travel against the advice of your doctor or if you were medically unable to travel at the time you booked the trip.
How to buy travel insurance when you’re pregnant
You should purchase travel coverage as soon as you book your trip when pregnant due to the increased risk of a covered complication. If you don’t buy coverage right away, make sure to purchase it at least 15 days prior to your trip to avoid added costs.
Remember, travel insurance excludes pre-existing conditions, so it’s a good idea to purchase a policy immediately because any complications that arise before you purchase a policy wouldn’t be covered.
Keep in Mind
You should shop around for a policy carefully and read the fine print to understand what types of medical treatment and pregnancy-related complications would be covered. If you want to be able to cancel your trip due to routine issues associated with pregnancy or due to a potential future pregnancy, you should consider purchasing “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage.
How much travel insurance costs for pregnant travelers
Travel insurance typically costs 4% to 10% of your total prepaid non-refundable trip cost. If insurers view your pregnancy as adding risk, you can expect to pay more for coverage. Pregnant travelers may also pay more for travel insurance when buying add-ons, such as CFAR coverage.
What to know about airline restrictions when pregnant
If you’ll be flying while pregnant, it’s important to know that some airlines restrict travel for people who are expecting. If you can’t fly due to airline policy, travel insurance generally won’t cover the costs of your canceled trip.
Here are some airlines’ rules for when pregnant people are allowed to travel.
- Seven days before and after your delivery date for domestic flights under five hours
- Four weeks of your due date or seven days before or after delivery for international travel or travel over water
For domestic flights under five hours, pregnant travelers must have approval from a physician as well as a completed medical form and must work with a special assistance coordinator.
For international flights, you must have a completed medical form and a physician’s note indicating you were examined and declared fit to fly within the 48 hours before the flight.
- End of your 36th week if you’re pregnant with one baby
- End of the 32nd week if you’re pregnant with multiples
|British Airways recommends you carry a letter or statement from your physician dated as close to your travel date as possible indicating your due date, the number of babies you’re carrying, and that there are no complications.|
|Delta Airlines||None||Delta recommends you confirm the safety of flying with your doctor and won’t waive cancellation or change fees due to pregnancy.|
- Seven days before your delivery date unless you have documentation from your doctor
|If you’re within seven days of your due date, you must have a letter from your doctor dated within 72 hours indicating you’re fit to fly and not estimated to deliver until after your last flight.|
|Southwest Airlines||None||Southwest recommends against flying after your 38th week, and you may be asked not to sit in the exit row.|
- 36 weeks without documentation
- Your due date must be after your last flight on your itinerary
|If you’re in or after your 37th week, you’ll need a certificate dated within three days of your trip indicating you’re fit for travel.|