Are you pregnant and thinking of going abroad? The recent news story of a woman who gave birth on holiday after 28 weeks – and has a nasty scare when her insurers quibbled over the hospital bill – has reminded us that it’s well worth checking your insurance so you know exactly what you’ll be covered for in case of an unexpected delivery.
In the much-publicised case of Sharon Hall, who gave birth while away in the Dominican Republic, the insurers did pay up in the end but it was a close call. Her insurance policy had technically ended as the time difference of 5 hours between the UK and her holiday spot meant she gave birth at just a squeak over the 29-week mark.
Sharon’s was a pretty unusual case but it does illustrate that we’re generally not, as we might presume, insured to travel for much of our 3rd trimester.
What you need to know about travelling while pregnant
Most insurance companies will only cover you up to 28 weeks pregnant. Some will cover a longer period, though most of those will probably state that you need to return to the UK 8 weeks before your due date.
A few insurers have started offering cover up to full-term, but this will also depend on the airline you book tickets with being happy for you to travel. If they’re not, you won’t be covered; in fact, you won’t be able to board.
Pregnant woman on the beach
What does the insurance cover?
Pregnancy travel insurance covers all the things you’d expect from regular travel insurance (claims for lost luggage and cancelled flights). If you want enhanced medical cover in case of an emergency, you’ll have to shop around.
If you’re having twins, or perhaps triplets, you’ll need to double-check your insurance closely, as not all of them cover multiple births – or the cover they do offer could be different.
Read the you-know-what
We know it’s been said a million times, but there really is no substitute for going over the small print and being aware of what exactly you’re being covered for.
Don’t panic! And don’t let the details put you off. After all, you’re going away to have fun and relax before the baby arrives. So, sort the insurance, read the small print – and enjoy every minute!