Covid-19 - Important information 22nd June 2021
International travel has restarted, governed by a traffic light system. The system will help travellers to understand COVID requirements when travelling back to England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland from a green, amber or red country.
Before buying travel insurance, you should think about what could happen if your destination moves from a green list country to an amber or red list country. You may face extra costs and face travel restrictions that won't be covered by your travel insurance policy.
The traffic light system only tells you what you have to do when returning to England or Scotland, as there will be strict border control measures in place. So even if a country is on the green list, you still need to check your destination's entry requirements and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice for travelling there. If the Foreign Office has advised against travel to your destination and you still decide to travel, you won’t be covered by any travel insurance policy you buy.
A few insurers do offer cover if you're an essential traveler, but if you have any questions, you should check the policy wording or contact your chosen provider before you buy.
Is it safe to fly when pregnant?
If you take the proper precautions, travelling during pregnancy should be perfectly safe.
Current NHS advice doesn’t advise against travelling while pregnant. However, the first 12 weeks of pregnancy can be associated with nausea, vomiting, tiredness, and higher risks such as miscarriage, which may mean you want to avoid travelling during this time.
Travelling towards the end of your pregnancy can be tiring and uncomfortable for you, but it’s also generally riskier. The chances of going into labour increase at around 37 weeks (32 if you’re carrying twins) so you may want to avoid travelling after this time.
Can I fly when pregnant?
During your first two trimesters most airlines won’t have any issues with you travelling when pregnant. However, in your third trimester, towards the end of your pregnancy, some airlines won’t let you fly with them or may ask you for a letter from your doctor or midwife confirming your due date, and that you’re not at risk of complications.
Each airline has different procedures in place when it comes to flying when pregnant. So before booking any flights, we recommend that you check with the airline on the policies they have in place on travelling while pregnant.
We’d always recommend speaking to your doctor before deciding to travel.
Is pregnancy classed as a medical condition for travel insurance?
No, most insurers don't consider pregnancy to be a medical condition. So getting a travel insurance policy while you're pregnant shouldn't cause any issues.
It is worth thinking about what stage of your pregnancy you'll be in when you're planning on travelling. Speaking to your doctor will help clear up any concerns you have around travelling.
If you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), you should carry this with you. It's not a replacement for travel insurance, but it will entitle you to state-level medical care in most European countries.
If you have a serious pre-existing medical condition, you can still use our site to get a quote. These conditions could include cancer, stroke, serious heart, respiratory and terminal conditions. You’ll need to declare any pre-existing conditions before buying your policy. If you don’t do this and go on to make a claim for a medical condition that you didn’t declare, then your insurer may not pay out.
Some insurers might not cover you if you already have a serious medical condition, or if you have a number of conditions. Others might only offer insurance at a much higher price.
If you’re unable to find suitable cover, the Money and Pension Service (MaPS) has also set up a directory of insurers willing to cover customers with pre-existing medical conditions.
Other things to know about travelling when pregnant
Travel vaccinations - Depending on where you’re travelling, you may need to get one or more jabs. The NHS doesn’t recommend vaccines that use live bacteria or viruses during pregnancy because of concerns that they could harm the baby in the womb. However, if you must travel somewhere requiring inoculation, their advice is to get the jabs if the risk of infection outweighs the risk of live vaccination. Non-live (inactivated) vaccines are safe to use in pregnancy.
If you’ve got any questions around this, check with your doctor before travelling.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - If your trip involves long-distance travel for 4 or more hours, there's a small risk of developing blood clots - known as DVT. If you're flying, the advice is to drink plenty of water and move around every 30 minutes or so to help reduce the risk of DVT.
Extreme sports and activities - This includes things like skiing, water sports or other any other higher risk activities when travelling. Unsurprisingly, these activities aren't recommended when you're pregnant and it's very unlikely you'll be covered to do them by your insurance policy. As well as high risk activities, it's also best to avoid anything that exposes you to extreme temperatures or changes in pressure, such as scuba diving and saunas.
You might think that getting travel insurance when you're pregnant is more difficult, but you can get a quote just as easily as you did before. Most insurers don't consider pregnancy to be a medical condition, so it shouldn't impact the cost of your policy.
Travel insurance product executive
Need more help?
If something unexpected happens while you’re abroad, like going in to labour, then you’ll need medical treatment in the local hospital wherever you are. To avoid being stuck with the medical costs you’ll need a travel insurance policy with the right level of cover.
Carrying a valid EHIC or GHIC card will help provide with state-level care in most European states but also having travel insurance in place will cover all bases.
With most travel insurance policies, there’s a list of things that you won’t be covered for if you decide to make a claim. These normally include:
- Travelling against Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice will mean that any travel insurance policy that you’ve got will be void. If you go on and try and make a claim, it’ll be rejected.
- Not declaring a pre-existing medical condition before you travel means your policy won’t cover that condition or illness. If you need medical treatment or assistance on your trip for that specific condition, you won’t be covered.
- Any incidents involving alcohol or drugs while you’re away on holiday are also not normally covered by insurers, so any claims will be deemed invalid.
- Delays in reporting incidents will also mean that your claim is likely to rejected. The best way to avoid this is to report any stolen or lost property within 24 hours of the incident, otherwise some insurers may question the validity of your claim
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