Do you need repatriation insurance with your international health insurance?

Expatriates have sometimes lost their ties to their home countries. In this case, is repatriation insurance for return to the country of origin appropriate? This is a recurring question for people – often referred to as expatriates – who have been living abroad for many years.


Their focus is abroad, and these expatriates sometimes have very few ties with their home country. They have built their lives abroad , often in areas of economic development. Some French people have been living in Asia, such as China, Singapore or other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, etc., for years. Others have gone to the Americas: to the United States, which is still the stuff of dreams, or to Latin America. Others have chosen more exotic destinations where economic development is accelerating, as in some African countries.

Some have gone on to highly-skilled jobs and successful careers, while others are still proving themselves. Some of them have met their soulmate either with a fellow expatriate or with someone from their adopted country. Some have had families for many years.

International health insurance for long-term expatriates

In all these cases, expatriates or people living outside their home country can benefit from international health insurance, which offers real advantages and often lower rates than local insurance. This is particularly true in countries where medical costs are high, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, or in particularly expensive Asian countries like Singapore and Hong Kong.

Repatriation insurance covers unforeseeable situations

Since these expatriates have been living abroad for a long time, they often wonder about thebenefits of repatriation insurance when choosing international medical insurance.

The reasoning is often: “My family and my life are in my new country, so I don’t need repatriation insurance. I don’t want to be repatriated to my country of origin. This is my home and there’s no going back to my country of birth”.
Repatriation insurance can be used to repatriate you to your country of origin, but this “use” is especially true of travel insurance. If you take out international health insurance covering expatriates, repatriation also takes place in your adopted country. Imagine you live in Thailand and decide to go on vacation to Australia. You have a car accident. You will need to be hospitalized and will unfortunately not be mobile for 3 weeks of rehabilitation.

If you have international health insurance, you may be covered outside the country in which you live , so in our example in Australia for this car accident.

If you have not taken the additional option of repatriation insurance, you will either stay in Australia or return to your country of residence – Thailand – at your own expense.
If you’re not mobile, you’ll have to pay for your own repatriation, for example with a medical plane costing up to €50,000, or you’ll have to pay for accommodation and living expenses in Australia until you can return home. With repatriation insurance, the decision to repatriate you is a medical one and will be based on your state of health, your country of residence at the time of the operation and your choice of insurance. Repatriation insurance for expatriates can be particularly attractive.

Common examples of the benefits of repatriation insurance

Another regular occurrence is the return to one’s country of origin to visit a family member, often unfortunately a parent, who is hospitalized or dying, and whom one wishes to accompany through this ordeal, which may be one’s last. Repatriation insurance will pay for your travel to your home country, and certainly part of your accommodation costs.

Another example: if you live in a country with a poor medical infrastructure, it may be necessary to send you to another country to access quality medical care, and repatriation insurance will be very useful in this case.

How much does repatriation insurance cost?

In response to the various examples given above, we recommend taking out repatriation insurance in conjunction with travel insurance – which is usually systematically included – as well as expatriate medical insurance. When you combine a repatriation option with an international health insurance policy, the cost is low compared to the amount of expenses it can represent, and therefore to the savings you’ll make with repatriation assistance cover. The monthly fee will be around €20 per person. Don’t hesitate to ask us for advice and more information on our various international insurance solutions.

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