By Vicky Anscombe on 08 April 2015

Every year, we receive lots of questions about travel insurance coverage and pregnancy, and we’ve decided to look at them in detail here.

Pregnancy is a special situation when it comes to travel insurance, and related risks aren’t automatically covered by all insurers. You should always check the relevant detail carefully before buying a policy, paying special attention to your personal situation and timings.

Every insurer handles pregnancies differently. Some insurers regard them as a pre-existing condition that needs to be declared, and others have general exclusions for pregnancy-related risks. Some insurers offer special products or cover certain risks as standard when certain criteria are met (like we do). Whatever the case, if you’re in doubt as to what cover a policy will provide in relation to your situation it’s always best to contact the insurer.

The information we’ve put together in the first section of this article is of a general nature and doesn’t tell you what other insurers may or may not cover in terms of pregnancy travel insurance. Always make sure you read the PDS and understand the terms and conditions of the travel insurance policy you're buying.

Things to check before you buy

These are some of the important questions to address to determine if your pregnancy can be covered:

  • Timing: how far along will you be when you travel? (Calculate this with our travel insurance pregnancy date calculator.)
  • Complications: are there any, and has your doctor advised against travelling? Note: seemingly unrelated medical conditions may also be seen as complications. It’s always best to check
  • How many babies are you expecting: multiple pregnancies are harder to get cover for
  • Have you conceived naturally or with assistance?

Then, check the policy details to ensure everything you need covered is actually covered:

  • Will you be able to claim back the cost of your holiday if you cancel, due to complications preventing you from travelling? It’s also worth bearing in mind that, if you want others to be covered for cancellation if you can’t go, they usually need to be on the same policy as you
  • Childbirth and care of a newborn: you need to carefully consider the potential costs you might incur for a premature birth. Many policies will exclude these costs, even if there is certain cover for the pregnancy itself
  • What are you planning to do on your trip? Many physical or more hazardous activities usually aren’t covered when you’re pregnant

Common questions about our pregnancy cover

Here are some FAQs that we’re often asked about our pregnancy cover:

If a complication occurs with my pregnancy and my doctor says I’m no longer fit to travel, will you refund me the cancellation costs?

We provide certain cover for unrecoverable travel and accommodation costs if a new or unexpected complication occurs with your pregnancy after you’ve purchased a policy with us and the complication prevents you from travelling.

Should I deliver prematurely while on holiday, will childbirth and care of the newborn be covered? And are there any exclusions that I should be aware of?

Provided you meet the criteria for cover as per the PDS & Policy Wording, Section 17 (also listed below) and purchase the Pregnancy Extension option, there is certain cover for childbirth and care of the newborn where the birth happens after the end of your 25th week of pregnancy.

Should you prematurely go into labour during a trip (from your 26th week onwards), this extension provides cover for medical costs and certain other expenses that would arise. You can purchase the Pregnancy Extension if you meet ALL of these criteria.

Do you offer cover for IVF pregnancies?

Unfortunately, we can no longer cover pregnancies that have resulted from an assisted reproductive programme such as IVF.

I am a UK citizen but currently living in Australia. Can I purchase a policy with the pregnancy extension?

Columbus Direct Australia provides policies to residents of Australia. This means that those who have been residing here for at least 3 months prior to purchasing a policy. We do not require that you be a Citizen of Permanent Resident and you can be living here on a Visa (e.g. work, student, and holiday).

The policy must be purchased prior to your departure and the trip must commence from Australia. If the above conditions apply to you, then even as a UK Citizen you are able to purchase a policy with us with the addition of the Pregnancy Extension. You should however note, as per our PDS & Policy Wording Section 17 – Pregnancy Extension. You can purchase the Pregnancy Extension if you meet ALL of these criteria.

Can we take out a policy without the pregnancy extension option, then once I am pregnant, notify you and pay the extra premium?

In the event you fall pregnant after you have already purchased a policy, you can contact our office to amend your policy to include the Pregnancy Extension option.

However, at the time you call to add the extension, you must meet the criteria required to purchase it. As per our PDS & Policy Wording Section 17 – Pregnancy Extension. You can purchase the Pregnancy Extension if you meet ALL of these criteria.

We're always happy to answer your individual questions around our pregnancy travel insurance. Just give us a ring at 1300 669 999. If you're after a quote for pregnancy travel insurance, you can also get this online (our Pregnancy Extension can be added at step 3 of the quote process).

Pregnancy Extension cover eligibility criteria

  • your trip does not extend beyond your 30th week of pregnancy (calculate this with our travel insurance pregnancy date calculator)
  • you are not travelling against your doctor’s or midwife’s advice, have not been given a terminal prognosis and are not planning to get medical treatment or convalescent care on your trip
  • the pregnancy is not multiple
  • the pregnancy did not result from assisted reproductive programmes
  • no complications exist at the time that you purchase this insurance or book your trip, whichever is later.

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