Cover,Take Care

Travel insurance for pregnancy

9 June 2019

Babymoon? Twins? How many weeks? If you’re travelling while pregnant you’re going to want to know exactly what your travel insurance covers, in case of a medical emergency.

Use our guide to answer your pregnancy-related travel insurance concerns.

Bringing a little explorer into the world? We’re excited for you! And if you’re sneaking in a little exploring of your own before D day, we’re even happier for you! That’s because we believe in travel for every body, and expecting mothers should be no exception.

If you’re thinking of taking a holiday overseas while pregnant, you’re not alone. One in five mums are squeezing in one last holiday in their third trimester before their bundle of joy arrives, according to research by finder.com.au. The study found that younger mothers are more likely to make the trip, with almost a quarter of mums under 30 enjoying a getaway while pregnant, compared to 16% of those aged over 40. Unsurprisingly, most mums are looking to stay closer to home that late in their pregnancy, and are about three times as likely to travel domestically rather than overseas. But that doesn’t stop 5% of expecting mums from jetting off overseas, even while heavily pregnant.

The World Health Organization (WHO) however, advises against air travel for pregnant women after the 36th week of pregnancy or four weeks before the expected date of childbirth. Since labour can begin at any time during the last few weeks, it is recommended to avoid traveling during this period. Instead, WHO recommends that the safest time for expecting mums to travel is in the second trimester.

Airlines

It’s also important for you to know any airline restrictions placed on pregnant travellers before you book your trip. Restrictions around flying while pregnant vary from airline to airline, and also according to the length of the flight.

Both Qantas and Virgin Australia for example, allow women without pregnancy complications to travel on flights more than four hours in length up to the end of the 36th week for single pregnancies and the end of the 32nd week for twins or more.

For flights less than four hours, you can travel up to the end of the 40th week in a single pregnancy and the 36th week for a multiple pregnancy.

But both airlines require women travelling after 28 weeks of pregnancy to carry a note from their doctor or midwife confirming their due date and pregnancy details. For Virgin Australia travellers, this letter needs to be dated no more than 10 days before travel.

And if you have complications, you have to travel with a medical clearance form signed by your doctor.

Check out the pregnancy policies of popular airlines departing Australia:

Air Asia, Emirates, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Qantas, Singapore Airlines.

What to expect from Australian travel insurers

Typically, travel insurance offers cover for emergency medical treatment while travelling, and this extends to medical emergencies pregnant women might experience. So if you’re pregnant, and you fall sick, or break a leg, and these events are in no way related to your pregnancy, you’ll be able to claim the hospital trip.

It’s really important to know that cover is provided to you, but not provided for childbirth or the health of a newborn child. When a medical emergency is pregnancy related – let’s say you need help with debilitating nausea – your ability to claim is going to largely depend on 3 questions – your due date, our doctor’s approval, and whether or not your emergency relates to fertility treatment, triplets and known complications. 

Travel with Kit looks after expecting mums with two levels of cover. First we’ll look at the benefits offered under standard cover, and then we’ll explore an optional extra for pregnancy – our Pregnancy Pack.

What we cover as standard

Travel with Kit offers emergency medical cover for expecting mums up to  26 weeks in the case of a single baby, and 19 weeks in the case twins. That’s 2 weeks more than a lot of the competition.

What you are not covered for

Pregnancy-related costs will not be covered in any of the following circumstances if you have not purchased a Pregnancy Pack. (More on that next)

  • if you have experienced any pregnancy complications prior to purchasing your policy
  • multiple pregnancies arising from services or treatment associated with an assisted reproductive program, including but not limited to in vitro fertilisation;
  • a single pregnancy after 26 weeks
  • a pregnancy with twins after 19 weeks
  • for childbirth at any time
  • neonatal care

What we cover in our optional extra Pregnancy Pack

Get extra cover for more weeks with our Pregnancy Pack. We’re really proud of this! An optional extra made specifically for pregnant women.

  • Single pregnancy up to and including 32 weeks gestation
  • Multiple pregnancy up to and including 23 weeks gestation

If you’re up to 32 weeks pregnant with a single child, or up to 23 weeks with twins when an incident occurs, and you have written certification from a medical practitioner that you are fit to travel up to ten days prior to your departure, your emergency medical costs are covered under our Pregnancy Pack. The maximum payout under this benefit is is $1 million.

Just to be clear, even with our Pregnancy Pack, emergency childbirth coverage includes the costs related to your birth and post-birth medical care. It won’t cover your newborn’s medical costs. The costs that come with looking after a newborn after an emergency birth can vary greatly. If we covered this risk, it pushes up premiums across the board.

Conditions you’re covered for

If you purchase the Pregnancy Pack, any medical expenses related to specific pregnancy-related complications otherwise excluded by this policy (see: What we don’t cover at all p. 59 of the PDS) are covered subject to policy limits and exclusion. This includes:

    • toxaemia (toxins in the blood);
    • gestational diabetes (diabetes arising as a result of pregnancy)
    • gestational hypertension (high blood pressure arising as a result
      of pregnancy)
    • pre-eclampsia (where you develop high blood pressure, carry abnormal fluid and have protein in your urine during the second half of pregnancy)
    • ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that develops outside of the uterus)
    • molar pregnancy or hydatidiform mole (a pregnancy in which a tumour develops from the placental tissue
    • post-partum haemorrhage (excessive bleeding following childbirth);
    • retained placenta membrane (part or all of the placenta is left behind in the uterus after delivery)
    • placental abruption (part or all of the placenta separates from the wall
      of the uterus)
    • hyperemesis gravidarum (excessive vomiting as a result of pregnancy);
    • placenta praevia (when the placenta is in the lower part of the uterus and covers part or all of the cervix)
    • stillbirth
    • miscarriage
    • emergency caesarean section
    • a termination needed for medical reasons
    • premature birth more than 8 weeks (or 16 weeks if you know you are having more than one baby) before the expected delivery date.

What you are not covered for

Your pregnancy-related medical costs will not be covered  by Travel with Kit’s Pregnancy Pack in this situations:

  • if you have experienced any pregnancy complications prior to purchasing your policy
  • multiple pregnancies arising from services or treatment associated with an assisted reproductive program, including but not limited to in vitro fertilisation;
  • a single pregnancy after 32 weeks
  • a pregnancy with twins after 23 weeks
  • neonatal care

Worried you’re not covered?

Travel with Kit offers a really great benefit in that we can cover specific medical conditions, at an extra premium. We access our ability to cover your pregnancy-related condition based on a medical screening – a questionnaire, which you can find during while creating your quote.

If you are pregnant when buying your travel insurance, you  can complete a medical assessment to apply for extra cover if:

  • You’ve had complications with this pregnancy or a previous pregnancy
  • You have multiple pregnancy e.g. triplets
  • You had a medically assisted conception e.g. using assisted fertility treatment including hormone therapies or IVF.

Main health risks of flying

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is the main health concern for pregnant women on planes.

This is when a blood clot forms in a deep vein of the leg, which can cause complications such as pain, inflammation and swelling. The greater danger with these clots is that they can dislodge and travel through the circulatory system, blocking blood supply to the lungs.

The risk of DVT is higher when pregnant and being immobile for long periods is also a risk factor, so it’s worth keeping in mind for any sort of travel, including long car trips.

To reduce your risk keep well hydrated, make sure you’re well mobilised during the flight and wear compression stockings.

Childbirth overseas

If you are travelling in your third trimester OR you unexpectedly go into labour overseas there are a few things to consider. Citizenship rules change from country to country, so it’s a good idea to understand the local laws before travelling.

If you are an Australian citizen and you give birth overseas, you’ll need to apply for your child’s Australian citizenship and passport before you can return home. For application forms and more information visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Vaccinations for pregnant women

As a pregnant woman, you are at risk of serious complications if you contract malaria or viral hepatitis E. Certain standard vaccinations can also be harmful to your baby when you’re pregnant.

We recommend you get in touch with your doc before you travel to ensure you have the right vaccinations for your trip. Nothing is more important than protecting the health of you and your baby.

Check here to see the list of vaccines recommended by the Australian Department of Health

Babymoons

Whether it’s a week in the tropics or a local trip reached by car, planning a babymoon is one of the latest trends in pregnancy. But what is a babymoon exactly? It’s a chance for expecting parents to get away, unwind and emotionally prepare for the exciting changes that lie ahead.

Choose the Best Seat
If you’re travelling by airplane, try to get a spot on the aisle so you can get up and stretch your legs. The same goes for a car ride -factor in time to stop along the way so you can get out and take a short stroll and toilet break.

Take It Slow
A babymoon probably isn’t the time for mountain biking or other strenuous physical activity. Be smart by pacing yourself and building in lots of downtime to nap and read.

Suitable accommodation
You’ll want to make sure that wherever you pick, you have access to:

  • A large comfy bed with extra pillows
  • Healthy menu options
  • Quality, hygienic food service setup
  • Day spa with staff trained in ante-natal massage and therapies
  • A nearby hospital or doctors

A local OB/GYN
Try not to worry in advance, but be prepared for any kind of pregnancy complication by obtaining the name and number of a local OB/GYN. You’ll have peace of mind just knowing you can call someone if you have a concern.

Pregnancy travel checklist

It’s good to be well prepared for an upcoming journey. It’s even more important when you’re pregnant, with more to consider for you and your unborn baby. Check these steps before you jet off.

  • Check the airline restrictions for flying while pregnant
  • Register with Smartraveller – let the Government know where you’re going, so they can contact you in an emergency.
  • Visit your GP  or OB/GYN– discuss your travel plans and get the relevant vaccinations. You will most likely need a medical certificate confirming you’re fit to travel.
  • Research your destination – consider the foods, cultures and climates of the places your visiting. Know what to avoid, particularly while pregnant.
  • Pack correctly – pack clothes that take your changing shape into account and keep you comfortable.

 

Understand your cover

Conditions and exclusions apply to every cover level and optional pack. View our Combined Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide for full details. Sub-limits apply. Not sure? Our friendly team are here to help. Get in touch

icon-pdf