repatriation insurance

What is repatriation insurance?

If you’re planning to travel or expatriate abroad, you’re bound to hear about repatriation insurance. Whether advised by your insurer or your loved ones, it’s sometimes hard to understand why you need this kind of insurance. Is this really necessary?
To answer this question, we explain the benefits of repatriation, its costs and the different assistance options available to you.

Reasons for repatriation

When we travel abroad, we rarely think about the possibility of having an accident, falling ill or being stranded. Unfortunately, whether due to natural disasters or accidents, accidents abroad are not uncommon. But not all countries are equal in terms of medical infrastructure and quality of care.

Repatriation assistance comes into play when you need to travel from the country of the accident to a medical center that can treat you. Repatriation can therefore be to France, or to a country closer to your travel destination that meets international standards of care.

Repatriation is a choice made by the medical team in charge of the patient and the insurance company’s assistance service. Depending on the medical team’s assessment, the assistance service will determine the means of transport and destination best suited to your state of health. Indeed, if your condition requires immediate attention and presents a vital risk, assistance may choose to send you to a nearby hospital for emergency care.

Cost of repatriation without insurance

The cost of repatriation varies depending on how the patient is transported. Depending on the medical condition and the distance to be covered, the repatriation assistance center may choose to mobilize an ambulance or helicopter for a short distance, for example. For longer distances, air travel is recommended, but the crew can vary: normal travel or accompanied by medical staff, or chartering a dedicated medical aircraft.

Costs also vary according to the distance between the scene of the accident and the country of medical treatment. Repatriation does not necessarily return you to your country of origin, but can take you to the nearest country best able to care for you.

Repatriation costs average €40,000. But when the distance becomes longer or the patient’s condition more delicate, the cost can rise to over €250,000. Indeed, mobilizing a medical aircraft dedicated to the emergency patient, with medical and resuscitation teams on board, can quickly add up.

As the need for repatriation may be linked to an emergency, and the sums involved are high, it is strongly recommended that you take out repatriation insurance to cover these costs.

As a guide, repatriation insurance for you and your family will cost you less than €50 per month. This can go down to less than €20 a month on an individual basis.

The different types of repatriation assistance available

If you need to be repatriated, you can call on various assistance services.

Private health insurance generally offers the best repatriation cover. Mondassur offers repatriation cover in its insurance packages.

Your credit card (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) can also cover repatriation costs. Please note that in this case, repatriation cover will be limited to stays of less than 90 days, with very limited reimbursement ceilings. This solution is not available to complete an expatriate insurance policy with persons permanently residing abroad.

In exceptional cases involving a vital risk for a French national, it is possible to appeal to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The latter can then advance the cost of repatriating the patient to France, but the costs will have to be paid by the patient or his or her family. If the amount cannot be paid directly, the patient’s family can sign an IOU. It must then reimburse the costs advanced by the French state within six months of the patient’s repatriation. The amount announced for this emergency medical repatriation was between €87,000 and €250,000, depending on the destination.

What guarantees should be included in my contract?

The guarantees offered vary from contract to contract. Repatriation insurance covers at least the transport and repatriation of the insured.

But there are other benefits to consider when choosing your repatriation insurance:

  • Search and rescue costs: this cover may be necessary in the event of a natural disaster or serious accident leading to the disappearance or inability to contact the insured.
  • Hospitalization and treatment costs until repatriation
  • Sending essential medicines that cannot be found abroad
  • In the event of death: search for and repatriation of the body in a coffin or urn, according to the wishes of the deceased, to the place of burial.
  • Coverage of round-trip transportation and accommodation costs for one of your family members in the event of hospitalization abroad. In this case, check with your insurer to find out the maximum amount and duration of coverage.

Repatriation insurance is often offered as an option when you take out travel health insurance or expatriation insurance. Don’t hesitate to ask your insurer for a free quote and compare the rates and cover offered by MONDASSUR international insurance.

If you have any questions about insurance abroad, please do not hesitate to contact our international insurance advisors.

Scroll to Top