What is Repatriation?


Posted in General Travel Travel Insurance, Repatriation on 27 May 2022

Repatriation is often something holidaymakers overlook or don't really consider when purchasing their Travel Insurance, however, it is a pivotal part of any quality Travel Insurance product.

Many unexpected incidents can happen whilst travelling and in some cases repatriation is needed to get you back to your home country in order for you to receive the medical care you need.

Voyager Plus Travel Insurance explains what repatriation is, when it may be needed and why it is important to ensure you are covered for this on any upcoming trip.

What is Repatriation?

Repatriation is the act of returning someone to their country of origin (Merriam-Webster, 2022). In terms of Travel Insurance, this most commonly occurs due to requiring medical treatment.

Why Would I Need Repatriation Cover?

The emergency medical assistance team of your Travel Insurance policy may decide that it is better for you to be repatriated. This could be for a number of reasons. It may be that the country you are visiting lacks the medical facilities to take care of you properly. Equally it may be decided that repatriation may be the better option, in terms of treating you under National Health Services, rather than incurring expensive medical bills overseas.

Unfortunately, the cost of repatriation isn't cheap. Should you need to be returned to your home country for emergency medical care or following emergency medical care in a foreign country, the cost of this can easily run into the tens of thousands of pounds, with you having to personally foot the bill if you don't have an extensive travel insurance policy that provides cover for repatriation.

In 2017, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reported that the average cost of an air ambulance from spain is £25,000 and that figure is likely to have increased since then.

Should you need to be transported home following a medical problem abroad, the reason the costs are so high for repatriation is because you may require a medical escort (for example a nurse or a doctor), a specialist air ambulance and expenses for your treatment and hospital stay to name a few.

Depending on the facilities and the level of care available to you in the country you’re visiting, there could be a need for you to be repatriated to your home country to undergo treatment and recover. However, in some cases it might be medically unsafe for you to travel. This is usually judged by a doctor treating you in the country you’re visiting. However, the final decision is down to the emergency assistance provider as to whether or not it is medically necessary to be repatriated or if there is another solution available.

It is also worth considering that if you are traveling within Europe and have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), neither of these provide cover for repatriation and so should not be considered as an alternative to travel insurance.

Repatriation cover provides comfort, peace of mind and confidence to travel that should the unexpected happen and even in the worst case scenario, death, you can safely be returned to your home country without receiving hefty medical bills.

Get Covered with Voyager Plus Travel Insurance

When you do decide it’s the right time to travel, don't forget the importance of purchasing an extensive travel insurance policy from Voyager Plus Travel Insurance.

Voyager Plus Travel Insurance policies include cover for the following:

  • COVID cover included for Cancellation and Emergency Medical Expenses
  • Emergency Medical Expenses up to £10,000,000 (including repatriation!)
  • Cancellation or Curtailment up to £10,000
  • Baggage up to £3,500
  • Missed Departure / Journey Disruption up to £1,000
  • Personal Liability up to £3,000,000
  • And much more.

You can get a Voyager Plus Travel Insurance quote by clicking the “ Get A Quote” button on our website or by calling our helpful team on 01483 806 680.

This article is for information and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute advice in any way. The information provided here is correct at the time of writing however please check the latest policy wording here for the latest policy terms, conditions and exclusions.


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