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Travel insurance and repatriation

Travel insurance and repatriation

What happens if you suffer a serious illness or injury while you’re abroad and you need to come home? If you have travel insurance, the costs may be covered by your policy. Let’s take a look.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
2
minute read
posted 21 JANUARY 2020

What is repatriation cover?

Repatriation cover can offer protection against the high cost of bringing you (or a family member) home after illness, injury or death suffered while abroad. It may be necessary to transport you home because you can’t get the appropriate treatment where you are, or because it will work out cheaper (for the insurance provider) to bring you home and complete your treatment in the UK.

Travel insurance policies typically provide up to £10 million of cover for repatriation. This reflects the high costs of bringing you home on a private plane, for example, and for the extra costs of any specialist equipment and medical treatment.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

As of 23rd Match 2020, the UK Government announced a series of restrictions to travel, public spaces and gatherings. For a minimum of three weeks, people are being instructed to stay at home whenever possible. For this reason, travel insurance policies purchased from this date, for trips within the UK with a start date before 13th April 2020, will not be valid.
 
The UK Government also instructed all British tourists and travellers, that are currently abroad, to return to the UK as soon as possible.
 
As of 17th March 2020, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have advised against all non-essential travel abroad for an initial period of 30 days. This means that any travel insurance purchased from this date, for trips outside of the UK with a start date before 16th April 2020, will not be covered by the provider.
 
Coronavirus was declared a pandemic on 11th March 2020, so this may also affect your policy, particularly those taken out on or after that date. Please check any existing policies carefully, to find out what you’re covered for.
 
For more information please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

Does travel insurance cover repatriation?

Repatriation insurance is included as standard in most travel insurance policies. There will typically be a section, sometimes called the ‘Key Features’, where you can see the list of circumstances where a travel insurance provider will offer repatriation.

The high levels of cover represent the realistic costs of repatriation, especially from remote locations and places where costs are relatively high. If, for any reason, you want more cover than is provided as standard, you can shop around for a policy with higher limits.

What else should I think about when it comes to repatriation?

Once you’ve found the right policy, make sure you keep your provider’s details with you in case you need to get in touch with them during your trip.

The UK government has advice on coping with a death abroad if the worst happens to a loved one while you’re away.

Why compare travel with Compare the Market?

Our comparison service takes the hassle out of finding great-value travel insurance. What’s more, cover starts from as little as £8**.

**50% of people could achieve a quote of £7.26 for single trip travel insurance for 2 nights in Europe based on Compare the Market data in February 2020.

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