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.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
2
minute read
Do you know someone who could benefit from this article?
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

Following new restrictions implemented on 5 January 2021, you can only travel internationally or within the UK if you're legally permitted to do so while the UK is under full lockdown restrictions.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. See latest FCDO advice for further information.

Any insurance policy purchased to cover a trip to a destination where the local authority, or the FCDO, has instructed citizens not to travel, will not be valid.

For more information, please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

Until then, stay safe.

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

Our panel includes insurance providers who quote cover for all medical conditions declared on our website, with no exclusions.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) has also launched on its Money Advice Service website 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 the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers’ Association on 0370 950 1790.

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 £4**.

**Based on a single trip travel policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling in Europe for 2 nights. Prices correct as at September 2020.

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