You are expecting and you would like to take short pregnancy holidays? You are wondering whether you need specific travel insurance when pregnant in case you need medical care abroad?
You’ve come at the right place.
In the below guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about pregnancy travel insurance: what cover you should get? How many weeks pregnant can you fly? What are the best travel insurances for pregnant women and how much does it cost?
Table of Contents
Is pregnancy covered by standard travel insurance?
|Covered by most travel insurance companies|
|Any medical expense not related to pregnancy||Yes|
|Situations caused by unforeseen pregnancy |
(including trip cancellation, emergency medical treatment abroad etc.) up to 8 weeks before your due date
|Normal pregnancy or childbirth||No|
Standard travel insurance companies cover pregnant women for any medical treatment, emergency or repatriation expenses they may have to face abroad just as for any other regular traveller.
If you are pregnant and travelling, you will therefore be compensated for all medical expenses that do not result from your pregnancy and that are provided for in your pregnancy travel insurance contract.
However, you must know that most insurers consider any maternity care as a general exclusion clearly stated in their policy booklets (‘no cover for normal pregnancy or resulting childbirth, other than complications of pregnancy’). If you make a medical claim related to your pregnancy condition, you will most likely not get compensated for this as risks are simply too great for insurers.
On the other hand, most insurance companies extend their medical guarantees for pregnant women up to 30 or 32 weeks, or a certain age of the mother, covering also any treatment needed due to complications resulting from being pregnant (emergency caesarean or miscarriage treatment for instance).
If you have to undergo a medical examination or take a blood test abroad, you will be compensated for the medical costs incurred. After the 32nd week, finding an insurer (not specialized) who will cover you becomes very complicated.
Note that some additional restrictions may exist for any pregnancy due to fertility treatments or for twins or triplets pregnancy.
Why do I need travel insurance being pregnant?
Just like for anyone else, travel insurance is absolutely necessary (although not compulsory) whether you are expecting or not.
It will cover you for medical expenses, trip cancellation, personal belongings, repatriation or any other unexpected event that may occur during your trip.
Just to show you how important applying for travel insurance is, here are a few examples of what an unfortunate and unexpected event might cost you during your pregnancy holidays:
|How much it will cost without travel insurance (nor EHIC)?||How much it will cost with travel insurance?|
|I get involved in a car accident and I need surgery abroad||£30 000||£0|
(in medical compensation limit)
|I need air rescue||£3500||£0|
(in medical compensation limit)
|I need to cancel my trip for unforeseen pregnancy complication||£7000||£0|
|I need to interrupt my trip for unforeseen pregnancy complication||£5000||£0|
|I lost my baggage||£800||£0|
(in personal belongings limit)
Depending on your destination, you may already have some financial assistance either with European Health Insurance Card or with healthcare cooperation systems between countries for example UK and Australia or New-Zealand.
Note that your EHIC will only cover medical treatment in public hospital (you won’t be covered for any air ambulance, surgery in private hospitals etc.). It can’t be seen as a substitute for travel insurance.
What are the best travel insurances for pregnancy?
|Travel Insurers||Premium||Our reviews||See offer|
*Quotes above are for a 30 years old person applying for a one week trip to Europe travel insurance.
Do you need special travel insurance when pregnant?
No you don’t need to apply for specific travel insurance that covers pregnancy. As long as you do not suffer from any pregnancy complications or pre-existing medical conditions.
Pregnancy is not seen as a pre-existing medical condition. Most women travel up to 36 weeks without experiencing any sorts of problems.
We would advise you however to:
- go for a travel insurance policy with high medical expenses limit.
- carefully check small prints regarding medical and maternity care as well as general exclusions – make sure you are going for a pregnant women’ friendly company.
- choose your holiday destination depending on health facilities (and if possible in Europe, to be able to get routine maternity care covered by European Health Insurance Card).
Does EHIC covers pregnancy?
UK residents holding a valid UK passport benefit from the free of charge European Health Insurance Card until the 31st of December 2020.
The European Health Insurance Card will cover pregnant women for any routine and emergency maternity care in public hospital in any any EU country as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland just as any local national. That includes unplanned child birth abroad.
For specific maternity care treatment, EHIC provides you with great cover as any maternity care and treatment is considered necessary and therefore covered.
|What if…||Covered by EHIC||Covered by travel insurance|
|I get in labour abroad and need to stay in surgery||Yes |
as long as you stay in public hospitals
if not anticipated
|I need pregnancy screening examination||Yes||No|
|My airline does not want me to travel because of pregnancy||No||No|
|I need emergency treatment due to complications of pregnancy||Yes||Yes |
in both public and private hospital up to X weeks as stated in the contract
|I travel abroad for better maternity care reasons||No||No|
If you are travelling to give birth abroad, you will need to contact local health authority and get the appropriate authorization filling in the S2 form.
How many weeks pregnant can I fly?
Can you fly when pregnant? Yes you can, as long as you do not wait for the very last moment of your pregnancy to fly.
|Before 12 weeks||From 13 to 28 weeks||From 29 to 36 weeks||From 37 weeks until the end|
|Some women prefer not to travel feeling tired or nauseous, having potential blood clots (DVT) or to prevent any miscarriage risk.||You should be fit to travel if you haven’t had any pregnancy complications.||You can fly, but you might carry a valid medical certificate with you. Be careful as the risk of deliver prematurely exists.||You are definitely advised not to fly because of the risk of deliver prematurely and can only board with your GP consent and letter|
Most airlines sets the limit at 36 weeks for flying during pregnancy, if you are pregnant with one baby (and didn’t experience any complication), and 32 weeks if you are pregnant with two or more.
From the 28th week and beyond, most flight operators will also ask you to get a medical certificate saying you are fit to travel from your General Practitioner or midwife.
Airlines terms and conditions for pregnant women
Of course, each airlines has its own restrictions when it comes to pregnant women. You will find below ‘flying while pregnant’ terms and conditions of most famous airlines operating in the UK.
|Needs medical certificate for flying when pregnant||Single pregnancy max gestation cover||Multiple pregnancy max gestation cover||Comment|
after 28 weeks
|36 weeks||32 weeks||Women can fly after 48 hours after delivery or 10 days if there was any surgery performed|
|No||35 weeks||32 weeks|
after 28 weeks
|36 weeks||32 weeks||No need to fill in med form from BA|
after 28 weeks
|36 weeks||32 weeks|
after 29 weeks
|36 weeks||32 weeks|
after 28 weeks
|36 weeks||32 weeks||Medical certificate must be dated max 14 days before your departure|
Be aware that most airlines will not accept new born babies before they turn 2 weeks old. Always remember also that your return flight must be included within the 36 weeks or 32 weeks limit of pregnancy.
Although not recommended, you may be able to fly after 32 weeks (for twins or triplets) and 36 weeks (for single baby) if you have a specific letter from your doctor or midwife.
What is a “fit to fly” form for pregnant women?
After the 28th week of pregnancy, most airlines operators will ask pregnant women to fly with a valid fit to fly form from their doctor or midwife. Why? Because the later you are in your pregnancy, the more risk you have to deliver prematurely. And this is a risk airlines do not want to take.
This medical certificate must:
- clearly states pregnancy terms
- describes any pregnancy complications if any
- dated no earlier than 14 days before your flight departure date
Here is an example of ‘fit to fly’ form (from Ryanair):
Do I have to declare that I’m pregnant on travel insurance?
Pregnancy is usually not seen as a pre-existing medical condition.
Most often, you can fly up to 28 weeks for single pregnancy, and 32 for multiple pregnancy without having to tell insurers or airlines.
However, you must disclose any pre-existing medical conditions related (or not) to your pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia, gestational diabete or high blood pressure.
Pregnant women are more likely to develop deep Vein Thrombosis and blood clots problems during flights than the average. Our advice would be to drink water, get up and walk as soon as possible and wear elastic compression stocking.
Am I covered if I want to cancel my trip because of unexpected pregnancy?
Normal pregnancy can be a covered reason for trip cancellation depending on your insurer as long as your pregnancy occur after your effective date of coverage.
It will depend on your travel insurer. Carefully check your pregnancy travel insurance booklet.
Am I covered if I go into labour abroad?
|Covered by travel insurance|
|Natural labour and childbirth that could have been planned (including premature labour)||No|
|Childbirth resulting from pregnancy complications such as emergency cesarean||Yes|
|Complications arising during natural childbirth||Varies from one insurer to another|
In most of the cases, you will not be covered for natural labour and childbirth after 32 weeks, or 24 weeks if pregnant with several babies. However, you will be covered for any emergency childbirth due to pregnancy complications.
If you are in one of the EU country, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you will be covered for any childbirth as long as you stay in public hospitals.
What stand for pregnancy complication whilst travelling?
You will find below a non-exhaustive list of pregnancy complications that may arise whilst you are travelling:
- Gestational hypertension
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Hyperemesis gravidarum
- Emergency Caesarean
- Molar pregnancy
- Placental abruption,
- Hydatidiform mole
- Placenta praevia
- Retained placenta membrane
- Premature birth more than 12 weeks in advance
- A termination needed for medical reasons.
Does being pregnant affect my travel insurance premium?
You’d like to find out how being pregnant may affect your travel insurance premium?
Being pregnant, you should not face any inflated travel insurance premium as pregnancy is not considered as a medical condition.
The cost of your travel insurance should therefore remain the same as for any other traveller and only depends on the number of days, your destination, the cover you would like to get etc. The table below give you indicative quotes:
|Single trip of 7 days / couple||£17.63||£45.36|
|Single trip of 7 days / individual pregnant women||£7.61||£25.43|
In general, the insurer will determine the cost of its contracts based on the following criteria:
- The type of trip
- The duration of your trip
- The destination of your stay
- Your age and medical record
- Insured persons.
What does pregnancy travel insurance should cover?
Here is a common list of what you should pay attention to while applying for travel insurance for pregnancy:
|Compensations||Average||What you should pay attention to|
|Medical expenses compensation amount||From £5M to £10M |
depending on your medical situation and your destination
|Repatriation compensation amount||Real fees|
|Trip cancellation||£5000 – £10 000 |
depending on your destination
Always carefully check the age limit and compensation amounts as well as deductibles you’ll have to pay in case you need to make a claim. For medical expenses, always get your insurer to accept them before paying if you need to advance fees.
As nice-to-have features, you may want to get in addition to your golf travel insurance included features:
- business trip insurance
- emergency dental treatment
- loss of passport or documentation
- gadget cover
- Schedule Airline Failure (at least £1500)
- money and cash cover.
Is it easy to get a travel insurance quote if I’m pregnant?
Yes, as for any regular traveller.
Pregnancy is not seen as a medical condition and getting a quote for travel insurance when pregnant takes a few secs only on our online comparator.
You will only need to select:
- your destination
- the length of your stay
- your age.
The 12 top tips for travelling safely when pregnant
- Travel is not recommended during the 1st and 3rd trimesters of your pregnancy.
- Always ask your obstetrician, doctor or midwife if you are safe to travel.
- Avoid Zika virus destination.
- If you are travelling to Europe, always take your European Health Insurance Card – free, with you, as it will cover you for any maternity care or even childbirth fees you may have being abroad.
- Carefully check on your airlines’ terms and conditions until when can you fly and if you need any medical certificate.
- Be sure you have the right vaccinations.
- Avoid eating on local markets.
- Avoid destinations where the health environment is not suitable for pregnant women.
- If you have a twin pregnancy (if you are expecting twins), the risk of preterm delivery is higher. For security reasons, it would be better to postpone your trip abroad, even if you have booked a year earlier …
- Avoid destinations culminating at more than 2000 meters above sea level.
- Avoid sports, including those you consider “gentle.” For example, a formal ban on diving, regardless of the stage of your pregnancy.
- Avoid long journeys by car or similar modes of transport (bus, tuk tuk, etc.) prioritize the plane or, even better, the train..