Pregnancy


The most important thing to remember about pregnancy and travel insurance is that the insurers generally do not consider a normal pregnancy to be an "illness" or a "sickness". Instead they consider it to be a condition that you chose to have. This means that for the most part the normal consequences of a normal pregnancy are not going to be covered. However, most insurers will cover for unforeseeable serious complications of a pregnancy. 

Unfortunately, most don't give much guidance on what complication is serious enough to justify cancelling a trip and getting covered for any penalties. They usually leave it up to your doctor -- if he or she decides that it would be risky for you to take the trip and will provide the necessary documentation that probably is going to be enough. Others list a set of covered complications that they'll cover and others that they will not cover. For example, this is from Travel Guard:


"Complications of Pregnancy" means conditions whose diagnoses are distinct from pregnancy but are adversely affected by pregnancy or are caused by pregnancy. These conditions include acute nephritis, nephrosis, cardiac decompensation, missed abortion and similar medical and surgical conditions of comparable severity. Complications of Pregnancy also include nonelective cesarean section, ectopic pregnancy which is terminated and spontaneous termination of pregnancy, which occurs during a period of gestation in which a viable birth is not possible. Complications of Pregnancy do not include false labor, occasional spotting, Physician-prescribed rest during the period of pregnancy, morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum, preeclampsia and similar conditions associated with the management of a difficult pregnancy not constituting a nosologically distinct complication of pregnancy."

 

What can make this coverage sometimes hard to find in the plan wording is that it can be "an exception to an exclusion" like the examples from Travelex and TruTravel shown below. Pregnancies are excluded from coverage EXCEPT for unforeseeable complications. Kind of a backwards way of saying that these unforeseeable complications ARE covered.

This is from a Travelex plan:

"Benefits are not payable for any loss due to, arising or resulting from:
11. normal childbirth, normal pregnancy (except complications of pregnancy) or voluntarily induced abortion; "


Or this from TruTravel's list of exclusions:

"13. Pregnancy and childbirth (except for complications of pregnancy) except if hospitalized; "  


That's it -- short and sweet but it doesn't give you much guidance as to what they consider to be a serious enough complication to justify cancelling your trip and be covered for your losses. Some plans try to make it simple -- if the complication is serious enough that you require hospitalization you're covered. Short of a hospitalization you're not.

If your primary concern is with the pregnancy of a non-traveling family member it gets a little tougher. Perhaps your daughter is giving birth to your grandchild six weeks earlier than planned and you cancel your trip to attend the birth and generally help out. Are you covered? Even though almost any plan will cover you if you cancel your trip due to the illness of a non-traveling family member, remember that a normal pregnancy isn't generally considered to be an "illness".

Several plans from Allianz and Travel Insured directly address this in their list of covered reasons for trip cancellation:
 

Childbirth
You need to attend the birth of an immediate family member's child ( trip cancellation coverage only ).


Note that this does not apply to the trip interruption coverage so if you cut your trip short to attend the birth the coverage would not apply. Very few other plans  (unless you have purchased Cancel For Any Reason coverage) even address this situation. So if you're looking for a plan for your upcoming trip and a family member is either pregnant or may become pregnant you had best contact the insurer to find out exactly how they would handle cancelling your trip to attend the delivery.

As always, be sure to check the plan's state exceptions. For example, this is from the Montana state exceptions from a TravelSafe plan:
 

MONTANA : The definition of Sickness is amended to read:

Sickness means an illness or disease, including pregnancy that is diagnosed or treated by a Physician after the effective date of insurance and while You are covered under the Policy.


So if you're a Montana resident, a pregnancy will be treated as an illness in itself and you will have all of the plan's benefits that would normally apply as with any other illness.


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