Pregnancy: is it covered by travel insurance?

This article has been updated and expanded to show available plans.  It can be found on our Buyers Guide.

One question that we get several times a week is about trip insurance for a traveler who is pregnant or might become pregnant. Is there coverage available? The answer is yes & no.

Yes, there is coverage available under some but it only applies to trip cancellation coverage and the pregnancy must begin after the policy is purchased.

Generally all travel insurance policies exclude pregnancy and childbirth. However, they usually have an exemption to the exclusion for complications of pregnancy. This exemption traces it’s origins back to New York State Insurance Department Regulation 62 which requires health insurance sold in New York to cover complications of pregnancy. They define complications as:

Complications of pregnancy means:
(1) conditions requiring hospital stays (when the pregnancy is not terminated) whose diagnoses are distinct from pregnancy but are adversely affected by pregnancy or are caused by pregnancy, such as acute nephritis, nephrosis, cardiac decompensation, missed abortion and similar medical and surgical conditions of comparable severity, and shall 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; and
(2) nonelective caesarean 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.

So no, you don’t have coverage for a normal pregnancy or childbirth (unless you bought before you became pregnant and it’s one of the limited number of plans that include that coverage) but if you have a serious complication that fits the above definition and it occurs after you’ve purchased the insurance than you travel insurance plan should cover you.

If you’re concerned about possibly having to cancel your trip due to childbirth or pregnancy than you might want to consider a plan that offers a “cancel for any reason” option. That option allows you to cancel your trip for a reason that is not otherwise covered by the basic trip cancellation coverage.

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