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.

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.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
2
minute read
Do you know someone who could benefit from this article?
Posted 01 FEBRUARY 2021

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 

The travel traffic light system currently states that trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant government.

Please note: from 4am on 4 October 2021, the current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries.

Currently, if your destination of choice is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you are aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and ensure travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed with short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red list countries. Most insurance policies purchased to cover a trip to a destination where the FCDO has instructed citizens not to travel to won’t be valid, however, some insurance providers may offer reduced cover if you’re travelling for essential purposes. Should you have any queries, please check the policy wording, or contact your chosen provider before purchasing, to ensure the cover meets your needs.

Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions. 

MoneyHelper has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777.

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.

Looking for a quote?

Get a new travel insurance quote in minutes and you could start saving

Get a quote
Compare travel insurance Get a quote