ST. PETERSBURG, FL February 4, 2016 — The Zika virus outbreak has caused many travelers to rethink their plans, with pregnancy being the main concern.
“We’re finding the real reason travelers want to cancel is because of the virus’ impact on pregnancy,” said Jessica Harvey, Customer Service Director at leading travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth. “While we understand it can be scary to travel during this uncertain time, travel insurance coverage for pregnancy remains the same, regardless of current events.”
Squaremouth says there are still some options for travelers who are pregnant, or who may become pregnant, and answers the top questions about travel insurance coverage for pregnancy and the Zika outbreak.
What if I am pregnant and don’t want to travel?
Pregnancy is excluded from coverage on many travel insurance policies. This means travelers are not covered to cancel their trip for pregnancy-related reasons, including fear of contracting the Zika virus, despite the CDC travel warning. The best option for pregnant travelers who want to cancel because of the Zika outbreak is to purchase a policy with the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade. While this provides the broadest range of coverage, it also requires the policy be purchased within 14-30 days of the first trip deposit, and only reimburses up to 75% of the trip cost.
What if I become pregnant before my trip?
Travelers who are not currently pregnant may be covered to cancel a trip if they become pregnant before they depart. Some travel insurance policies provide cancellation coverage if a traveler becomes pregnant after purchasing a policy, regardless of their destination.
“This coverage is not specifically related to the Zika virus, but it can apply to women who would want to cancel a future trip if they became pregnant,” said Squaremouth Product Manager Adam Rusin. “However, only some policies offer this coverage, so travelers should make sure to look closely at a policy’s Trip Cancellation benefit before purchasing.”
APRIL Travel Protection, MH Ross and Travel Insured International are among the providers on Squaremouth.com that offer this coverage on some of their policies.
“Our plans do provide cancellation coverage for a traveler who becomes pregnant after purchasing their policy,” said Erin Weiland, a spokesperson for Travel Insured International. “If a traveler buys a policy while she is pregnant, then she can only cancel if she has complications of pregnancy.”
What if I become pregnant on or after my trip?
Generally, policies will only cover medical expenses related to pregnancy if there are complications to the pregnancy. Becoming pregnant while traveling in a destination with the Zika virus is not considered a “complication” in terms of a travel insurance policy. In every case, travel insurance coverage ends when the traveler returns home. However, travelers who contract Zika while traveling may have medical coverage for illness related to the virus, regardless of whether or not they were pregnant.
Squaremouth has launched the Zika Virus and Travel Insurance Information Center to advise travelers on travel insurance coverage related to the Zika virus outbreak. This online resource is updated with official provider position statements, answers to frequently asked questions, and current travel health alerts and notices related to the outbreak.
Squaremouth is an online company that compares travel insurance products from virtually every major travel insurance provider in the United States. Using Squaremouth’s comparison engine and third party customer reviews, travelers can research and compare insurance products side-by-side. More information can be found at www.squaremouth.com.
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