Victoria Zidwick a RoamRight Blog Author

Do You Need Extra Travel Insurance If You Are Pregnant

Traveling while pregnant can present a unique set of challenges, but, don’t let that stop you, so long as your travel is approved by your physician. If you are planning a trip in the middle of a pregnancy, it can be a good idea to purchase a travel insurance policy, but take the time to review and fully understand the coverages as they relate to pregnancies.

What does travel insurance cover for pregnancy?

Arch RoamRight travel insurance plans include pregnancy-related benefits in addition to the other benefits standard in most Arch RoamRight plans, such as trip delay, emergency medical coverage, luggage benefits, and others.

In Arch RoamRight travel insurance plans, pregnancy can be a covered reason for trip cancellation and trip interruption if the pregnancy occurs after the effective date for coverage, as verified by your medical records. The day the pregnancy occurs is not the date that you find out you are pregnant, but the date of the first pregnancy symptom documented by your medical records.

However, under the Pre Existing Conditions Exclusion clause, benefits are not payable for any claim resulting from normal pregnancy and/or child birth, except as otherwise covered under the trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits. A normal pregnancy is defined as a pregnancy that does not feature any of the Complications of Pregnancy as defined by your travel insurance policy.

Also, trip cancellation coverage is available for family members who have planned a trip, and wish to be present at the time of birth, so long as their travel insurance policy was purchased before the pregnancy occurred.

What are “Complications of Pregnancy” as defined by the policy?

Arch RoamRight travel insurance policies define Complications of Pregnancy as:

“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.”

Does travel insurance cost more since I am pregnant?

No, your travel insurance will not cost more if you are pregnant, but it is important to understand your coverages and possible exclusions related to your pregnancy under your travel insurance plan.

Can I travel up to full-term under my travel insurance plan?

Check with your physician about how late in your pregnancy they are comfortable with you traveling. Your destination may also play into their decision. Before you travel, you need to be aware of the exclusions in your travel insurance policy as it relates to your pregnancy.

What happens if I become pregnant after booking my trip?

If your pregnancy occurs, as verified by medical records, after the effective date of your travel insurance policy, you have coverage for trip cancellation and trip interruption.

What should I do if I’m already pregnant, but still want to book a trip?

If you are already pregnant, but want to plan a vacation, you may want to consider upgrading to “Cancel For Any Reason” coverage. With this optional benefit, you can cancel your trip for any reason – up to 48 hours prior to departure. However, to be eligible for this upgrade, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Purchase your insurance within 21 days of making your initial trip deposit,
  2. Insure all of your trip deposits that are subject to cancellation penalties,
  3. Are not disabled from travel at the time your premium is paid, and
  4. This must be your first and only booking for this travel period and destination.

While the other exclusions as they related to emergency medical coverage will still apply, the Cancel For Any Reason coverage gives you extra benefits in case you decide to cancel your trip.

What pregnancy documents should you take on your trip?

While there are no pregnancy documents per se, there are a few travel documents you should make sure you take with you if you are traveling while pregnant.

One of the most important pieces of documentation is your travel insurance ID card, especially for travel outside of the country. When you buy an Arch RoamRight travel insurance policy, your ID card is emailed to you immediately after purchase.

You should also review any pregnancy travel restrictions your airline, cruise line, or other mode of transportation may have. Some may require pregnant passengers to present a doctor’s note. It may be a good idea to get a note from your doctor documenting that you are fit to travel just in case.

What are airline restrictions for pregnant women?

When booking your flights, it is important to check how late in your pregnancy the airline will let you fly. Many airlines will let you fly until you are 36 weeks pregnant, but others have earlier cutoffs.

If you aren’t traveling via airplane, there still may be some restrictions. For example, cruise lines may have their own cutoff dates, too. Many cruise lines will not let you board if you are more than 24 weeks pregnant, but you should check with your cruise line. They may also require you to have a note from your doctor stating you are fit to travel.

While not restrictions, there are other things to consider when you are traveling while pregnant. Blood clots are common for pregnant travelers taking long flights or car rides, so it is recommended that you stand up and move around frequently.

Of course, you should also be careful not travel to high risk areas for viruses such as Malaria or Zika. Before you book your trip, you can schedule a visit with a travel medicine specialist who can review your planned itinerary, make suggestion based on your health risks, and give you any vaccines you may need.

What is the ideal time to travel while pregnant?

Part of the travel preparation for traveling while pregnant is planning the trip during the “sweetspot” of your pregnancy.

Medical professionals do not recommend traveling before 12 weeks because of your high risk for morning sickness during those early weeks. After 28 weeks, you risk of going into labor increases. And once you reach 36 weeks, it is recommended that you stay close to your doctor (and some airlines may not let you fly anyway).

So when is that sweetspot? From 14 to 28 weeks is the ideal time to travel while you are pregnant. But even though that is the ideal time, you should still follow all the recommended preparations.

What are some misconceptions about traveling while pregnant?

The biggest misconception about traveling while pregnant is that, well, you shouldn’t. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says pregnant women can generally travel safely with a little preparation.

Many people also think that pregnant women should only take short trips and avoid longer ones, such as anything that requires plane travel. Some even believe that pregnant women should only fly if there is a doctor on board. While those practices may have been true decades ago, with advancements in modern medicine, pregnant women are fit to fly with just a little preparation.

Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.

About the Author

Victoria Zidwick

Victoria Zidwick, a RoamRight Blog Author RoamRight's Marketing Communications Specialist, Victoria Zidwick, has worked in the travel insurance industry for more than five years. She has traveled extensively throughout the United States and has a handful of international travel experiences.Victoria's travel experiences have changed in recent years, as her family grows and she is learning the ins and outs of traveling with children. Connect with Victoria on LinkedIn or follow her onTwitter or Google Plus.

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