In general, normal pregnancy is excluded from all travel insurance coverage with exclusion language like this: ‘normal pregnancy or resulting childbirth, other than complications of pregnancy.’ So, if normal pregnancy is specifically excluded from coverage how does travel insurance cover cancellation due to pregnancy?
Most travel insurance plans specifically exclude pregnancy as a covered reason to cancel. After all, many women travel during their pregnancies and experience no problems. Trip cancellation and trip interruption due to complications of normal pregnancy are covered however (medical treatment is too).
What’s a ‘complication of normal pregnancy’?
Every travel insurance plan defines this differently, but essentially ‘a complication of pregnancy is any condition of which the diagnosis is distinct from pregnancy but is adversely affected or caused by the pregnancy.’
This means that while the pregnancy itself isn’t covered, you will have coverage (up to the limits listed in the plan) for medical expenses, trip cancellations, and travel interruptions that are due to complications as long as the plan you choose allows ‘complications of pregnancy’ as covered events.
Depending on the plan, here are a few examples where travel insurance benefits will be paid:
The day before your trip starts, you’re hospitalized for severe dehydration due to vomiting caused by morning sickness.
While cruising the Bahamas on your ‘babymoon’, you experience severe dizziness, fall and break your wrist.
These situations were caused by complications due to the pregnancy and are not related to the pregnancy itself.
Limitations on travel insurance cover for pregnancy
Just as an existing pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition by your health insurance provider, your travel insurance provider considers an existing pregnancy a pre-existing condition as well. Take a look at the timing: if the insured traveler is pregnant before the travel insurance plan’s effective date, then it’s a pre-existing condition.
If you have to make a claim – for medical care or cancellation – on your travel insurance plan, the travel insurance provider will look at your medical records to determine if the reason for the claim was due to a pre-existing condition. If you’re already pregnant when you purchase your travel insurance plan and you want the ability to make a claim for cancellation or travel medical care you’ll need to purchase a plan with coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Some travel insurance plans automatically cover pre-existing conditions if the plan is purchased within a certain number of days after the traveler’s initial trip purchase. Otherwise, you can add the pre-existing coverage as an upgrade to your base plan.
How do travelers cover trip cancellations due to pregnancy?
If you are planning on or think you might be pregnant, find out before you purchase your travel insurance. If you have to make a claim and the travel insurance provider finds out you were pregnant before your plan was in effect, that claim will be denied on the basis of a pre-existing condition.