Repatriation Insurance

26/04/2013 -- Admin
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Repatriation means being returned to your country of origin.

Alive and unwell or dead, it isn't nice to think about the possible need to use a repatriation clause for you, or your dear departed family member.

Repatriation Insurance Definition

Loosely defined (see insurer's own clauses)

Cover for returning the insured traveller back to his or her home area on medical grounds such as illness or accident requiring in-patient hospital treatment, or because of death. Repatriation may be via regular flight, ground transport or air ambulance.

Inclusions and Exclusions

...or 'What is it'. This is a simplified list of general policy inclusions and exclusions you may want to consider. Inclusions will help you or your family if you are injured or fall ill whilst on holiday or travel outside of the UK. Exclusions are there to limit the risk on the insurer and impose reasonable restrictions on cover.


  • Expenses for medical or surgical treatment, nursing, physiotherapy and ambulance charges
  • Accommodation and repatriation expenses for the insured and other person who is needed to remain or travel with them
  • Travel and accommodation for 2 people to travel from the UK if it is necessary on medical grounds
  • Transport to an appropriate medical facility
  • Expenses for transporting the remains or ashes of the insured to the former UK home, or reasonable funeral expenses abroad


  • Trips made against medical advice, to obtain medical treatment, or following a terminal prognosis
  • Claims caused by intentional self injury, suicide (or attempted), provoked assault, fighting, rioting or criminal act
  • Participation in military type activities
  • Claims due to dangerous activities, eg, Mountaineering and/or rock climbing, potholing, motor competitions or professional sport, riding or motor races
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Pre-existing medical conditions that have had recent change in treatment or advice
  • Conditions because of failure to take medication in accordance with medical advice
  • Pregnancy, childbirth or complications if the delivery is expected during a trip or 2 months afterwards
  • Any claims resulting from sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Medical Repatriation

Falling ill on you travels can cost you and your family dear as the medical costs of falling ill on holiday can easily run into millions, especially in the USA or Canada, so it's vital to have medical emergency cover for serious accidents and illnesses.

EHIC and Repatriation

Even when holidaying and visiting nearby European countries such as France, Germany, Spain and Holland, there are good reasons to take out private medical travel insurance - the European Medical Card (EHIC) won't cover repatriation costs.

The NHS EHIC Card provides good back-up coverage for necessary medical treatment but it certainly won't cover the cost of your transport home in an air ambulance.  See EU Medical Card Alert.

In the worst-case scenario - you meet your Maker - the EHIC (formerly E111) won't meet the expense of transferring your body back to where you're journey originally started.

No caring person wants to burden his or her loved ones with that expense, not to mention the trauma of having to make the final arrangements. So think carefully about the type of policy you buy before you gleefully hop on that boat or plane. Else, someone not so far way is going to have to pick up the bill if it all goes pear shaped.

Repatriation Costs

The cost of bringing you home to the UK depends on just how sick you are.

If you need a stretcher as opposed to an ordinary seat on a normal flight, take a deep breath.

Here are some frightening figures from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office:-

  • £30-35,000 Air ambulance (Jet) - East coast of USA
  • £16,000 Air ambulance (Jet) - Canaries
  • £8,000 Air ambulance (turbo-prop) - Balearics
  • £2,000 Air taxi (propeller driven light aircraft) - Northern France
  • £8,500 Scheduled flight, stretcher and Doctor escort - Australia
  • £4,000 Scheduled flight, seated club, with a nurse escort - West coast of USA
  • £1,300 Scheduled flight, seated economy with a Doctor escort - Mediterranean
  • £300-£500 Scheduled flight, seated economy without an escort - Mediterranean
  • £3,000-£4,500 Scheduled flight, stretcher and Doctor escort - Mediterranean

As far as we are aware there are no Repatriation only travel insurance policies however some companies offer Life Assurance add ons, some have credit card extras built in