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Pregnancy and travel insurance

Things to think about when taking out travel insurance when pregnant

Pregnant traveller

A relaxing break can be just the tonic when you're pregnant. And for women with a normal pregnancy who take the right precautions, it's possible to travel until quite late into pregnancy.

When you become pregnant there are 101 things to think about. But most important is your health and the wellbeing of your baby, whether you’re home in the UK or overseas on holiday.

Travel insurance is important for any holiday you take, but even more so if you’re pregnant.

Whilst most insurance companies don't class pregnancy as a 'medical condition', there may be some restrictions about what you're insured for and when.

So let's take a look at what you need to think about when taking out travel insurance during pregnancy.

Check with the airline before you fly as each airline has a different approach.

When should I travel?

This depends on how you feel. Many women find the first trimester of pregnancy to be quite tiring and this is often the worst time for morning sickness (which unfortunately can occur any time of the day!).

By the second trimester, things tend to calm down and between months four and six can be a good time to take a break, as long as your medical team are happy for you to travel.

Towards the end of your pregnancy you may find you're feeling fairly uncomfortable and tired, so the thought of travelling any distance is less appealing, particularly if you’re in a cramped aircraft.

There may also be restrictions about when you can travel by certain types of transport as you get towards the end of your pregnancy.

Airlines usually impose restrictions on travel for women in late pregnancy, but ferry companies may also refuse to carry women who are in their final trimester. Eurostar however don’t impose any restriction on travel for pregnant women.

It's best to check with your operator before you travel. And remember, if you ignore the restrictions imposed by your travel operator, you won’t be covered by your travel insurance.

What type of travel insurance policy should I take out?

Check that your travel insurance provides enough medical cover for women who have a normal pregnancy and plan to take a holiday before they are 28 weeks pregnant.

At LV= we don't regard pregnancy as a medical condition, nor do we consider it to be a pre-existing condition. This means that if you travel during your pregnancy and you need urgent medical care overseas, you can be sure we’ll be there to cover the cost. We don't provide cover for routine medical care though. This includes if you go in to labour and have a normal delivery overseas.

If you've been advised by your doctor or midwife not to travel and you decide to travel anyway we won’t pay out for any medical claims linked to your pregnancy. However, if you booked your holiday before you were pregnant, and then you’re told you can’t travel on medical grounds, we’ll provide cancellation cover, as long as you bought your insurance before you had to cancel your holiday.

Do I need to tell my travel insurance company that I’m pregnant?

Not usually, no, but check your travel insurance details before you set off. You don’t need to tell LV= that you’re pregnant before you travel.

Do I need to tell the airline I’m pregnant?

Yes, it’s best to call your airline to let them know how many weeks pregnant you are when you plan to fly.

Although flying isn't harmful to you or your baby, there is an increased risk of going into labour from about the 36th week. That’s why many airlines won't let you fly at all after you're 36 weeks pregnant (32 if you’re carrying twins).

Plus, some airlines will want a letter from your doctor or midwife that proves you are fit to fly after 28 weeks pregnant. This includes if you’re going to be 28 weeks pregnant before your return flight.

Check with the airline before you fly as each airline has a different approach.

What will my travel insurance cover me for?

The most important thing to check you’re covered for is overseas medical care during an emergency.

If you go in to labour prematurely, if you're involved in an accident or there are unforeseen complications with your pregnancy when you’re abroad, you want to know you have enough insurance to cover potentially expensive medical bills for both you and your baby.

Your travel insurance should also cover the cost of your holiday if you are unable to travel because your doctor advises you not to.

LV= can also provide cover if you decide to abandon your holiday because your transport is delayed by more than 24 hours or it gets cancelled.

What should I think about before I travel?

Destination

If you’re planning to get pregnant or are already pregnant you and your partner should avoid travelling to countries where there is a risk of contracting the Zika virus.

Vaccinations

Try to avoid travelling to places where you need vaccinations. But if you need to travel, speak to your GP who can advise which types of vaccinations are safe for you and your baby.

Food and drink

Check if you can drink the water from the taps locally. If in doubt, buy bottled water and drink that instead. Take care that what you eat is thoroughly washed in suitable drinking water) and well cooked.

Take your maternity notes with you

Just in case anything happens, it’s best that the doctors locally know how your pregnancy has progressed so far. If you're travelling to Europe, take your EHIC as well.

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