Before taking off on a babymoon, business trip or other journey abroad, it’s important to consider your travel insurance plans carefully. You could be in for a big surprise if you expect your plan to cover ALL pregnancy-related expenses.
Long story short, it does not.
Read on to find out what you need to know about buying travel insurance when pregnant – what’s covered, what’s not, and which plans are best for travellers who are expecting.
Can I get travel insurance if I’m pregnant?
The short answer is yes…but depending on your travel insurance plan, certain pregnancy-related ‘events’ and complications might not be covered.
For instance, medical costs relating to pregnancy are not covered by most travel insurance or such coverage may be quite limited
So for example, if you travel to a foreign country and go into labour before you are due, or suffer from gestational hypertension – a basic travel insurance plan is unlikely to cover the related medical costs.
So… Do I need special travel insurance when pregnant?
Pregnant travellers generally receive the same coverage and benefits for delays, trip cancellations, medical expenses and other events (if offered by their plan), WHEN UNRELATED to their pregnancy.
For instance, if your travel insurance plan provides a maximum cover amount of $5,000 for trip cancellation – you should be able to claim for covered events, whether pregnant or not.
More comprehensive travel insurance plans may provide better cover, or the option to add-on coverage for pregnancy-related sickness, etc.
Thus, if your plan provides such pregnancy-related benefits, you may be able to claim reimbursements for necessary or emergency medical treatments related to pregnancy complications (due to sickness or bodily injury).
For these reasons, it is better to have comprehensive coverage or to add-on to your travel insurance plan when you are pregnant and travelling so that you won’t have to foot these costs out-of-pocket if the unthinkable happens.
Does travel insurance cover trip cancellation due to pregnancy?
It is unlikely that you will be able to use pregnancy alone as a reason to claim trip cancellation or interruption expenses from most travel insurance plans.
However, if your plan does provide cover for trip cancellation or curtailment due to pregnancy complications, then you may be able to make a claim as allowed by your plan.
For instance, if you are suffering from pregnancy complications that would make it dangerous to travel –and your doctor agrees and advises against it – then you might be able to cancel or cut your trip short and get reimbursed, up to the limits of your plan.
But do also note that most plans do not cover claims related to pre-existing conditions. So if your doctor finds that you are unfit to travel, for example, due to a complication of pregnancy prior to your trip, you may not be allowed to make a claim.
Do remember however, that the specifics of the terms, coverage amounts, and other limits, vary with plans and providers.
Thus, it’s a must to read through the details of the travel insurance plans that you are considering and to compare between plans to find one that makes the most sense for your needs.
Best travel insurance policies for pregnant travellers
Find out which plans cover medical and other expenses for pregnancy-related issues when travelling.
American Express travel insurance
American Express travel insurance
offers three categories of plans that provide a Women’s Benefit - some medical coverage for pregnancy-related expenses (from the second trimester).
Here are the cover amounts for pregnancy-related sickness based on each plan:
- Essential plan - covers up to $2,000
- Standard plan - covers up to $3,000
- Superior plan - covers up to $5,000
These plans cover overseas medical expenses (up to the limit of each plan) if you suffer from a covered pregnancy-related sickness.
And again, bear in mind that pre-existing conditions are generally not covered.
So what else is not covered? With these plans, benefits do not apply when:
- Receiving treatment for pregnancy-related sickness in Singapore or your home country
- Expenses are incurred during the first trimester (that is 0 to 12 weeks)
- The insured suffers an ectopic pregnancy and childbirth
- The insured has an abortion or miscarriage, unless it is related to bodily injury
* note that there may be other exclusions applied; please read the policy or check with your provider more information.
Tokio Marine travel insurance
Tokio Marine offers two travel insurance plans that provide cover for pregnancy-related medical expenses.
For example, pregnancy-related sickness that results in hospitalisation.
But similar to other travel insurance plans that cover pregnancy-related medical expenses, these events will not be covered:
- Pregnancy-related sickness in the first trimester (0 to 12 weeks of pregnancy)
- Ectopic pregnancy, childbirth, including premature childbirth or stillbirth
- Abortion or miscarriage – except if it is related to accidental injury
- Tests or treatments for fertility, contraception, sterilisation, birth defects or congenital illnesses
- Any depressive, psychological or psychiatric illness, including post-natal depression
- Travelling overseas or participation in activities whilst overseas against medical advice (“from Your Medical Practitioner in Singapore.”)
Here’s a look at the maximum cover amounts for pregnancy-related expenses:
Aviva travel insurance
Aviva provides three travel insurance plans: the Aviva Lite, Aviva Plus and Aviva Prestige plans – where all three options provide cover for pregnancy-related expenses.
As mentioned, pre-existing medical conditions are not covered.
Let’s take a look at the cover limits for the benefit Overseas Emergency Medical Expenses – Pregnancy:
- Aviva Lite - covers up to S$1,000
- Aviva Plus - covers up to S$5,000
- Aviva Prestige - covers up to S$8,000
Note that coverage applies to pregnancy-related, emergency medical treatment outside of Singapore where the expected date of delivery is more than 12 weeks for single pregnancies and 16 weeks for multiples (e.g. twins, etc.) before your return date.
Air travel tips when pregnant
In general, travel insurance will not cover you if you are denied boarding by your airline (or cruise line). Common reasons for refusing carriage of pregnant women typically include them not having the right medical documents to travel or if they are too far along.
Thus, it’s important to prepare the documents you’ll need, in addition to taking note of other airlines' (cruise line) rules for pregnant passengers to avoid being denied boarding.
Prepare the documents you need
Depending on which airline you’re flying with – travel rules for pregnant women tend to differ.
For Singapore Airlines, pregnant travellers in their 28th week (or earlier) of pregnancy may fly without having to show a medical certificate of fitness.
But if your return trip sees you flying after your 28th week, then you will need to produce a medical certificate that states your fitness to travel, your expected due date, and how far along you are (number of weeks of pregnancy).
You will also need to provide a medical certificate if you are travelling from the 29th to the 36th week of pregnancy if carrying an uncomplicated single pregnancy (and up the 32nd week, for uncomplicated multiple pregnancies).
Another important point to note is the date of the certificate. It must be dated within 10 days of the first flight (when flying beyond 28 weeks of pregnancy). And do have it ready with you, to be presented at check-in if requested.
When pregnant travellers are not allowed to travel by air
Air travel is not allowed for pregnant travellers who are beyond 36 weeks for uncomplicated single pregnancies and beyond 32 weeks for uncomplicated multiple pregnancies.
For more info, do contact the local Singapore Airlines office.
Cruise travel tips while pregnant
Again, the specifics of terms for cruise travel when pregnant differs with cruise lines, but general rules dictate that pregnant women must provide a letter or medical certificate from their doctor to confirm that they are fit to travel.
Cruise lines also typically do not accept bookings for pregnant travellers cruising after entering their 24th week of pregnancy.
Some may require additional info/documents like ultrasounds and the estimated date of delivery.
See: Top 5 family cruises from Singapore in 2020
How to choose travel insurance when pregnant
It’s incredibly important to buy a travel insurance plan that provides as much coverage for pregnancy complications (to cover medical and other expenses) as you can afford. This way, you’ll get to travel with peace of mind, knowing that your health, as well as that of your unborn child, is insured.
And since not all travel insurance plans are created equal, you’ll have to source for and compare between them to find one that will have your back! But you’re not alone; GoBear is here to help you discover an affordable plan that makes the most sense for your needs!
Here’s wishing you safe and happy travels!
Coverage amounts stated in this article are the standard for adults and may not be applicable to you. Please refer to the applicable Policy Wording for the actual coverage amount applicable to individuals your age. This article is for informational and promotional purposes only; it does not constitute advice or recommendation and does not take into account of your own individual circumstances. The information in this article may not be updated and you should always refer to the relevant Policy Wording and insurer. In the event of any inconsistency, the Policy Wording and/or information from the insurer shall prevail.