If you are abroad and are unable to travel home on your planned flight for a number of reasons, the term repatriated is likely to be used. This refers to the process of returning a citizen to their country of origin. This could happen due to an accident or serious illness.
Repatriation costs are likely to be covered as standard in your travel insurance policy, but it is worth checking the details of your policy and make sure that you have the cover that you need in place.
Why is repatriation cover important?
If you have an accident or become ill you might find that you are either unable to travel home on your original flight. There’s also the risk that you miss your flight home because you had to remain in the country you are on holiday to receive treatment. Repatriation cover will pay for accommodation costs if you have to extend your stay as well as the cost of returning home on an alternative flight.
In most travel insurance policies, repatriation cover is often bundled together with cover for emergency medical expenses. Without this cover the costs of receiving treatment abroad can be extremely high. We are lucky to have the NHS in the UK, which means that we don’t need to pay for medical treatment. However, this is not the case in many other countries and medical bills can range from hundreds to thousands in the case of more complicated medical treatment. Repatriation means that you can return home to receive the treatment needed without the added costs.
This will need to take place if you, or a member of your party, need to return home in an emergency. This might be because the injuries are so severe that immediate travel is necessary or because you cannot receive the treatment that you need in the country that you are in.
In this case you will be assessed to determine the nature of the repatriation and an agreed method of getting you home will be established. The costs in this situation can be extremely high, running into tens of thousands!
What does it cost?
Costs will vary depending on the type of holiday that you are taking and the nature of your accident or illness. For example, if you are a climbing mountains during your holiday your costs for getting off a mountain and getting home are likely to be higher than if you are next to a swimming pool on a family holiday.
What does repatriation include?
Typically travel insurance with repatriation policies will cover the following:
– Costs for you and 1 party member to stay beyond the end of your trip if necessary, to receive treatment
– Costs to return home for you and 1 party member who may have remained with you once you are fit to travel
Top tips for getting the right cover
– Shop around and ensure that you have the right level of cover in place. Make sure that you have a minimum of £2m in cover. This might sound a lot but the cost of treatment and returning home can be extremely high, so it is worth making sure that you have adequate cover in place.
– Ensure that you tell your insurance provider about the type of holiday that you are going on, including details of any hazardous activities. For example, if you get cover for a holiday but don’t mention that it is a skiing trip you might find that you are not protected as you might need specific insurance to cover you and your repatriation costs.
– Disclose all previous medical conditions as failure to do so might make your travel insurance policy null and void.
When you look at your travel insurance in detail you might feel that the costs are unnecessary but a policy with the right level of repatriation cover will give you and your family the peace of mind that should the worst happen, you will be able to return home to receive the treatment needed.