Repatriation cover: What is it and why is it important?

Added 25/04/2023

You may hear people say, ‘why do I need travel insurance when we have a reciprocal health care agreement with the country I’m travelling to?’

The answer is repatriation. 

Repatriation means bringing you back to the UK; either back to your home, or to a UK hospital for further treatment.

When there is a reciprocal health agreement in place, such as the GHIC within Europe, you may get healthcare at the same cost as a local (which may or may not be free of charge), but it won’t cover your costs if you need to stay longer or require alternative transport home.

That’s where repatriation cover comes in.  Without it you would either have to foot the bill yourself or stay overseas until you are well enough to return home on a standard flight.  

Repatriation can mean varying degrees of support and assistance for your return journey, as deemed medically necessary, including:
  • Arranging and paying for an alternative flight because you missed your pre-booked flight due to receiving medical treatment.
  • Organising more than one seat on a plane because you are required to keep your leg raised or lay flat.
  • Providing a stretcher if you are required to lay flat.
  • Providing a medical escort to monitor your condition throughout your journey.
  • Providing an air ambulance to get you back to a hospital in the UK.
We have a medical team who are experienced in aviation medicine, they will advise on both the timing and method of repatriation which is best suited to your individual needs and your recovery. Remember, coming home straight away is not always an option even if you are considered ‘fit to fly’ by the treating doctor.  

If you do need to stay overseas for longer due to receiving emergency medical treatment our travel insurance policies also cover additional travel and accommodation costs for you and any one other person who is required for medical reasons to stay with you.

Now you know why repatriation cover is important, make sure you have travel insurance cover for your next holiday.

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