Don’t fall into this pregnancy travel insurance trap
Article by Kelly Emmerton
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have finished their great Australian tour, during which all eyes were on the blooming Royal Baby Bump.
But if you’re heading off on an overseas trip with a bun in the oven, it’s important to double check your travel insurance policy before jetting off, because Mozo has found pregnancy is an excluded condition on 24% of the policies in our database.
“If like Meghan Markle you’re travelling overseas while pregnant, it pays to read the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy as a number of policies will not cover you if something goes wrong,” said Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont.
“It’s also important to remember that many policies that offer cover for pregnancy come with conditions such as not travelling if you’re more than 20 to 26 weeks along.”
Our recent Mozo Experts Choice Travel Insurance Awards analysed 271 policies from 60 travel insurers in order to find the best quality policies for Aussies travellers, and that included taking note of common exceptions to cover.
Along with pregnancy, other common travel insurance exclusions included extreme sports activities like mountaineering (83% of policies), rock climbing (70% of policies) and sky diving (63% of policies), although the more sedate surfing and trekking were usually covered.
When it comes to medical conditions, there were a couple of very common exclusions, including travellers on blood thinning medications (excluded from 87% of policies), cancer (excluded from 82% of policies) and cardiovascular disease (excluded from 81% of policies).
“With pre-existing medical conditions often excluded from travel insurance it pays to get your insurer on the phone before you go and discuss the best option for your individual circumstances,” Lamont said.
Earlier Mozo research also found that mental health could be a tricky hurdle for some travellers, with 51% of travel insurers excluding mental health related claims from their policies. The other 49% would cover mental health only under certain circumstances and only for an additional premium.
“For customers who have suffered from past or present-day mental health issues, it’s an absolute minefield to wade through PDS forms to determine the level of cover a travel insurer is willing to provide you,” Lamont said at the time of the study.
“Mozo’s research found that many travel insurers have a very black and white view of mental health, where a period of stress 15 years ago could fall into the same category as present-day diagnosed schizophrenia when considering eligibility for cover.”
Tips for finding the right travel insurance for you
- Make a list of any exclusions that may apply to you. If you’re travelling pregnant, with a medical condition, visiting certain countries or doing activities that may not be covered, make a list and check off each thing in the policy PDS before buying. Each policy will have different exclusions and conditions, so checking the fine print is well worth your time.
- Consider your budget. No one wants to pay more than they have to, but consider how much you can really afford to spend on travel insurance, and then find the best quality cover for that price. There may be cheaper options that will let you put some extra dollars into your shopping budget instead, but check that they offer a good level of cover before getting sucked in by the low price. Check out our Mozo Experts Choice Travel Insurance winners to find the policies that offer great coverage and cheap prices.
- Compare your options. Buying travel insurance might be the boring part of any holiday, but simply picking the first policy you lay eyes on could be setting yourself up for trouble later on. Instead, take the time to find the right fit. The good news is, comparing a range of policies is actually way easier than you might think - just head over to our travel insurance comparison tool to get started.