Samantha Way

Samantha Gowers

Expecting a child is one of the most exciting times in most people’s lives. There is planning to be done and time to be cherished before the arrival of sleepless nights. Often parents-to-be want take some time away, to relax or spend some quality time together before the arrival of their new little bundle of joy. However, with the news reporting stories of nearly million dollar hospital bills, what is it that you need to consider before travelling while pregnant?

While most women are cleared to fly up until their third trimester, that doesn’t mean there aren’t risks associated with doing so. Pregnancy is typically an unpredictable process and, while we are fortunate as Canadians to have a medical system to help cover the expenses that can arise from medical necessity, we too often hear of the burden that comes from assuming everything will be taken care of if we have a medical emergency outside of our own province or country. Travel insurance is a great way to protect against this risk, but not everything is covered under these plans and there are a lot of factors that contribute to an insurance company’s decision to deny a claim.

When you purchase any type of insurance, it’s important to be upfront during the application process. Not only does this help the insurance company to determine if they are able to approve your application, but it helps to protect against the possibility that your claim will not be approved. With travel insurance, pre-existing conditions are not covered unless there has been stability for at least three to six months, depending on the condition and your age. This needs to be taken into consideration when it comes to a pregnancy, too – do you have any complications? Have you been advised not to travel by your physician? All of these things will be considered by the insurance company.

We frequently get asked what plan is the best, and every contract is different – it is important to understand how yours works. Most travel policies do not cover you within 6-9 weeks of your expected delivery date for any complications of pregnancy. Additionally, the coverage you purchase is only on yourself – if delivery occurs while out of your province/country, your newborn is not covered by the plan and expenses can add up quickly! We typically recommend not travelling after 23 weeks of pregnancy, as it is likely that your child will survive delivery needing significant medical attention.

The moral of the story is that pregnancy is the beginning of many unknowns – whether you’re welcoming your first child, or adding another to the pack, thought needs to be taken before you venture away from home. Know what you are covered for, and what to expect from your policy when the unexpected happens.