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travel insurance for Europe at 33 weeks - any ideas?

(10 Posts)
Utka Mon 24-Nov-03 10:39:32

We've been invited to spend Christmas with relatives just south of Brussels. We're only going to be away for about 5 days, and my SIL (who had dd2 there) has checked things out with her english-speaking GP, just in case. The GP is on call the whole period.

However, we've just discovered that our annual travel insurance policy won't cover me for the last 10 weeks of pregnancy.

Stupidly, we hadn't checked the policy prior to this, as we are driving and thought the only issues related to flying. I have an E111, and have had no problems with either this pregnancy or the first one. DD1 was 2 weeks late, I have incredibly low blood pressure and my midwife can't see any reason for not going. We also live in the South East, so the journey time is only about 4 hours total.

But of course I am panicking about going into early labour, since at 33 weeks, the baby would be premature, and need incubators etc. The Dept. of Health person I spoke to said that even with an E111, you normally end up paying about 25% of the charges, and this worries me.

Are we mad to be contemplating this? Has anyone come across an insurance co. willing to do special cover? I have tried the Association of British Insurers, who couldn't suggest anyone, so I suspect I know the answer, but any advice would be welcomed!!

outofpractice Mon 24-Nov-03 11:08:19

Sorry can't offer any advice, but it is a risk that I would take, even without insurance, because after all, it is a developed country with excellent medical services if you needed them, second birth, you are so healthy, you have access to your sil's own doctor, and you would have to be really unlucky to have a problem. I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a good break before your new baby is born

udar Mon 24-Nov-03 16:06:54

Give a call. They were the only insurer I found that even covered up to 26wks with no extra charges. They may cover with medical reports which it sounds like you won't have any problems getting.

Fennel Mon 24-Nov-03 20:50:49

I saw this thread and have just checked my own insurance - my annual travel policy (Endsleigh) doesn't cover pregnancy or childbirth at any stage. I'll be travelling in January at 28 weeks and again at 30 weeks but I suppose you just have to take an E111 and not travel if there are any worrying signs beforehand. I don't think any insurers will do this but am asking around - will let you know if I find any.

morocco Tue 25-Nov-03 16:28:57

I'd go - I posted a whole thing about this but it seems to have been wipoed. anyway, I jsut thought that my own insurance covers me anywhere but it's actually just medical insurance (bupa style stuff) - could that be worth trying?

LIZS Tue 25-Nov-03 18:17:06

I *think* an E111 would cover you in the event of a pregnancy related emergency in a public hospital, regardless of other insurance although you might have to pay an amount up front (there is probably an enquiry number in the leaflet). As Morocco has said if you have any private plan in UK such as Bupa , PPP etc, you could see if that would cover you.

Fennel Thu 27-Nov-03 20:58:32

I thought an E111 would only cover you for the same as a local would pay, which won't be free in all EU countries, it will vary.

The E111 generally saves you from having to pay it upfront and claim back (which you often have to do with travel insurance policies). It sounds as though with relatives who live there at least you'd have someone to get you through the system though which helps a lot.

fisil Sat 29-Nov-03 08:14:07

I didn't go last year in the same situation, I'm afraid. Even with the E111, being able to speak the language and the fact that we were going to be staying with a British diplomat whose wife had recently had a baby there. The lack of insurance put us off. Sorry to be so negative. We felt the baby was too important to take the risk (and I would have been too tired to get anything out of it!)

Utka Wed 03-Dec-03 20:00:18

Thanks everyone for your advice. We don't have private medical insurance unfortunately.

The difficult thing about the E111 is that it apparently covers 75% of the regular hospital costs in Belgium (which still leaves 25%), but specifically excludes re-patriation (which would be necessary to return me and baby to UK if born prematurely, which the baby would be at that stage). It also doesn't normally cover things like ambulance trips, and my SIL and co live out in the sticks about 45 mins drive south of Brussels.

Funnily enough, my dh is more apprehensive about it than I am. He's concerned that I just won't feel like being away from home (a feeling I definitely got last time around), and that the anxiety will be worse than the actual liklihood of going into labour early.

However, I've got a 32 week scan on 18th Dec and we've decided to leave it until them to decide, but we may of course not be able to get a train booking then...

It didn't help that I went to an NCT antenatal refresher class today, only to find that 2 of the 4 other women had gone into labour prematurely, at 31 and 34 weeks each!!!

morocco Thu 04-Dec-03 16:24:05

sorry to hear you're still in a dilemma about it but perhaps it is best to leave it until the last minute - you really don't know how you'll feel I suppose until the last minute. It hadn't even occured to me to mention that I'm off to Spain for Xmas at 30 weeks - funny how things slip your mind! - and now I'm starting to worry not about premature birth (might be better off there!) but just the fatigue of travel etc. I think I'd like to stay home under the duvet really.
one last thought - is it possible to buy insurance in belgium via your sil? just normal medical insurance maybe? Grasping at straws I know

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