“pregnancy, childbirth, or elective abortion, other than Complications of Pregnancy;”
And this exclusion language (from Travelex’s Travel Select plan description):
“normal pregnancy or resulting childbirth or elective abortion;”
So, if normal pregnancy is specifically excluded from coverage, what coverage does travel insurance provide for pregnancy?
Is medical care covered?
First, let’s look at the timing. Just as an existing pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition by health insurance providers, and therefore not covered, an existing pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition by travel insurance companies if the insured is pregnant before the travel insurance plan’s effective date. Makes sense, right?
If you have to make a claim, the travel insurance company – just like any health insurance company – will ask for doctor’s records to determine whether there was a pre-existing medical condition. Therefore, if you’re already pregnant when you purchase your travel insurance plan, you’ll need to purchase a plan with coverage for pre-existing conditions or add that as an upgrade to your plan.
Even then your travel insurance medical coverage will only provide coverage for medical conditions that are defined as complications of pregnancy, a term that’s defined differently by each travel insurance provider, but in essence is defined as:
“Complication of Pregnancy means a condition whose diagnosis is distinct from pregnancy but is adversely affected or caused by pregnancy.”
That means while the pregnancy itself isn’t covered, you will have coverage (up to the plan limit) for medical expenses that result due to complications as long as the plan you choose has medical coverage and complications of pregnancy are covered events. (Review the details of medical coverage.)
See Does Travel Insurance Cover Premature Delivery? for more details.
Is trip cancellation covered?
Not all travel insurance plans allow you to cancel if you become pregnant. In fact, most consider pregnancy not to be a covered reason to cancel. After all, many women travel during their early pregnancies just fine. There are, however, some plans that do allow cancellations due to unexpected pregnancies.
Travel Insured International’s Worldwide Trip Protector Gold plan includes pregnancy as an unforeseen event that qualifies as a covered reason for trip cancellation benefits. See the following covered reason for cancellation language:
“Your or Your Traveling Companion’s normal pregnancy as long as the pregnancy occurs after Your or Your Traveling Companion’s Effective Date of coverage and can be verified by medical records.”
Of course, note the language indicates that the pregnancy must occur after the policy’s effective date of coverage and it must be verifiable. Again, any health insurance provider would expect the same level of verification. (Review the details of trip cancellation coverage.)
What about trip interruptions?
Covered reasons for trip interruptions are inclusive of the covered reasons for trip cancellation, so whatever coverage you have for trip cancellations is likely to determine your coverage for interruptions.
If you experience a medical condition due to a complication of pregnancy, for example, and are hospitalized, that trip interruption will be covered up to the plan limits. For some plans, that means return air only and for others that means you’ll be refunded your unused pre-paid trip costs as well. (Review the details of trip interruption coverage.)
We hope this clears up the questions you have about pregnancy and travel insurance. If you have questions about your travel insurance plan’s coverage for pregnancy, it’s a good idea to spend a little time reviewing the policy description, which is available online at the travel insurance company’s website or in your e-mail with your policy purchase details.