What is Repatriation Insurance?

In the unfortunate event of a death abroad, the process of repatriating the body and arranging for its safe return to their home country can be a complex and costly undertaking. The burden of managing the documentation, customs negotiations, and costs typically falls upon the family of the deceased traveler.

Dealing with these challenges can be overwhelming, particularly during an already difficult time. Navigating the regulations and procedures of a foreign country, often in an unfamiliar language, adds an additional layer of complexity to the situation.What is Repatriation Insurance?

Repatriation refers to the return of a deceased person's remains to their home country. Repatriation insurance, also often referred to as return of mortal remains, will cover the cost of repatriation of mortal remains (up to the policy limit) in addition to making arrangements for transporting the remains back home and negotiating with customs agents and authorities.

Having visitors insurance with benefits for repatriation of remains can provide significant relief for your family during the distressing time of a death overseas. Most visitors insurance plans will include repatriation insurance, which is why having this coverage is critical in the case of death in a foreign country. With adequate visitors insurance, the cost and effort of recovering your body from a foreign country will be managed by people who are experienced with the laws and regulations.

What is the Cost to Transport a Body?

According to travel experts, the cost of repatriation from the U.S. to Kenya, for example, can range anywhere from US $6,000 to US $10,000.

Paperwork requirements, medical costs, mortuary charges, and embalming fees vary widely from country to country. The cost of repatriating a body depends on two main factors: the distance to be traveled and fees levied by the surrendering and receiving governmental offices.

What is the Cost of Evacuating a Seriously Injured Person?

For serious injuries and evacuation you'll need to have medical evacuation insurance. This type of insurance is very popular on events like cruises, where the nearest hospital on land may be hundreds of miles or more away.

What Does Repatriation Insurance Cover?

Most visitors insurance plans are similar when it comes to the definition and coverage for repatriation of remains. Repatriation benefits are focused around the appropriate preparation and transportation of the deceased traveler back to their home country. As such, the eligible expenses include the following:

  • Reasonable preparation of the body for transportation, including cremation or embalming, a minimally necessary container appropriate for transportation, shipping costs and the necessary governmental authorizations.
  • Air or ground transportation of bodily remains or ashes to air or ground terminal nearest to the principal residence of the deceased.

Facts About Repatriation Insurance

Here are some key points to consider regarding repatriation insurance:

  • The death must occur outside of the traveler’s home country.
  • The focus of repatriation coverage is isolated to the proper care and treatment of the body and its safe return to the traveler’s home country.
  • The repatriation must be coordinated and managed by the insurance company; any costs not approved or arranged by the insurance company will not be reimbursed.
  • Costs for a domestic burial are not included with repatriation coverage in a visitors insurance plan, but many plans do cover the costs of a burial abroad.

Repatriation can be very expensive, so it is important to consider the possibility of such incidents and to select a policy maximum that would provide sufficient coverage.

By selecting a policy with an appropriate maximum coverage amount, you can ensure that the financial burden of repatriation is alleviated, providing peace of mind for you and your loved ones during challenging times.


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