PREGNANT holidaymakers can fall foul of travel insurance small print, ending up with hefty medical bills if they go into labour early or fall ill.
Most airlines allow expectant mums to fly until 36 weeks, provided a GP gives the green light, which they mostly do.
Yet travel cover stops as early as 24 weeks, which can mean sky-high bills for anyone falling ill on a trip.
And because the loophole is buried away in small print in policies, many mums-to-be never discover it until it is too late.
Even insurance firm staff can be unaware of the rule. A worker at one companyâ€™s call centre wrongly said there were no limits, our investigation
Big online provider OUL Direct has the lowest limit. Their policy small print states you wonâ€™t be covered for pregnancy related claims if you are returning after 24 weeks.
For anyone taking the average two-week summer break, this in effect means a 22-week maximum at the start of your trip.
High Street chemist Boots has a limit of 24 weeks from the start of the holiday.
Policies from Argos and Direct Travel have a 26-week limit.
Several insurers including Barclays, Sainsburyâ€™s and Columbus Direct impose a 28-week return limit for cover.
This means a 26-week maximum for those heading on fortnight breaks.
Because pregnancy limits are hidden away in the small print, call centre staff donâ€™t always know the rules, which means customers can face conflicting advice.
A Columbus representative claimed there was â€śno limitâ€ť to how far into their pregnancy women could travel.
She later backtracked when pushed, admitting the policy had a 28-week limit.
All the big-name holiday airlines including easyJet, Ryanair, British Airways, Virgin, Thomson, Emirates and bmibaby welcome pregnant women on board until 36 weeks. Some American airlines like United and Delta have no upper limit.