Health

Wednesday, August 03, 2011 12:19 PM

By Kate Saines

There’s enough to think about when you are pregnant from dealing with morning sickness, to finding polite ways to ask for a seat on the train, and that’s before contemplating preparations for the biggest event of your life.

but if you are also planning a holiday while you are pregnant, then finding travel insurance will certainly rear its head among the list of challenges you face.

Don’t be deterred, however. Provided you are less than 27 weeks into your pregnancy there should be no problems. and even if you are as many as 36 weeks pregnant on your return flight, you may still be able to find an insurer to cover you.

Here’s everything you ever needed to know about pregnant travel insurance.

What are the rules on travelling when pregnant?

Before you even consider travel insurance, you’ll need to find out whether you are allowed to fly. Most airlines will allow you to travel with them, without question, until you are around 27 weeks’ pregnant.

After this you’ll need a letter from your doctor or midwife confirming your due date and that you are safe to fly. once you reach the 36th week of your pregnancy, most airlines will completely refuse to carry you as the risk of going into labour is now higher.

these dates do vary from airline to airline, so it’s worth checking with your carrier before you fly. Some might refuse to carry you if you’ve reached 30 weeks.

The rules on pregnant travel insurance

once you know your airline is happy to have you on board, and your midwife or doctor has given the go-ahead, it’s time to find insurance. Insurers, like airlines, do not like risk. and a pregnant woman poses more risk than the average customer.

For this reason you will find if you have reached the 27-week stage of your pregnancy, you may be refused insurance by some companies. Don’t despair, as there are insurers who specialise in providing policies for pregnant women and many will be happy to insure you up until your 36th week.

as with all insurance – shopping around will secure you the best value product. Check out price comparison websites, many of which include details of pregnant travel insurance, or go to an insurance broker to find the best deal.

you can buy ‘mainstream’ travel insurance policies which automatically include cover for pregnant women as standard.

if you choose one of these, make sure you check the small print for any exclusions as certain pregnancy-related complications might not be covered under these policies.

and you can also buy individual policies. those tailored specifically for pregnant women are more likely to cover you if you are in the latter stages of pregnancy, at 28 weeks and beyond.

if you are a frequent traveller and already have an annual multi-trip insurance policy, phone your insurer to inform them you are pregnant. They may not be able to cover you fully now you are pregnant, in which case you’ll need to buy a single-trip policy for your holiday.

and don’t forget, the ‘cut off’ dates after which an insurer may refuse to insure you apply to your return trip. so must be less than 32-weeks’ pregnant (or however many weeks your insurer stipulates) when you fly home to qualify.

use the Myfinances.co.uk comparison tables to find the best deal on all types of insurance

What should I look for in a good pregnant travel insurance policy?

It’s vital you pay particular care to the medical cover and repatriation section of your policy. In other words, you need cover for treatment connected with your pregnancy and for the cost of an emergency flight home.

to provide ultimate peace of mind you should check a policy covers you in case you go into labour early and for any medical care during labour. make sure you are also covered for any expenses built up as a result of you going into early labour.

Most standard insurance policies will provide you with £2 million worth of cover for medical expenses. a good pregnancy travel insurance policy will cover you for up to £10 million.

of course, on top of this, you’ll need all the other basic travel insurance policy essentials such as lost luggage cover and cancellation or delay cover. Price-wise you should be able to buy a single trip travel insurance policy to European destinations for between £7 and £15, even when you are pregnant.

but price should not be your main driver when it comes to choosing insurance. It’s far more critical you choose a policy which is comprehensive to your needs.

you may be a little nervous about going abroad while pregnant. so having peace of mind that you will receive the medical care if necessary will probably help you relax on your holiday far more than saving a fiver on your insurance deal.

What other problems might I encounter?

if you are expecting twins or a multiple birth, the restrictions on when you can fly become more limited. Most airlines will refuse to carry you after 30 weeks and you might find many insurers will also be reluctant.

The NHS advises the best time to travel is between your 14th and 28th week of pregnancy as, not only is it easier to get insurance before week 28, you’ll be feeling at your most energetic and this is the time there is least risk of miscarriage or an early birth. This applies no matter how many babies you are expecting. 

you may also find it difficult to find cover if you are planning an adventurous trip, such as a skiing holiday, while you are pregnant. Be prepared for refusal, or high premiums, in this case.

What do I need to take with me?

always pack a copy of your travel insurance policy and the emergency helpline number. keep it in a safe place where it’s unlikely to go missing or get lost.

if you are travelling to Europe, you will also need your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This entitles you for the same state-provided medical treatment as a national of the country you are visiting is entitled to.

it applies to all EU and EEA countries. make sure if you already have one that it’s valid and has not expired. but remember it is not a replacement for travel insurance. and don’t forget your medical notes, which may be needed if you do go into labour early or need medical attention.

use the Myfinances.co.uk comparison tables to find the best dela on pregnant travel insurance  

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