What is Repatriation?
Repatriation put simply means ‘to return you back to your home country’. There are a number of different forms of repatriation, but in the context of travel insurance, we are referring to if a traveller becomes sick, is injured or dies while overseas and needs to be brought back to Australia. The most important thing to understand is that repatriation is NOT the cost of medical expenses but medical transportation in the event of your death.
What is Repatriation and Emergency Evacuations used for?
Repatriation is used for emergency medical situations or death.
When we travel, the last thing we are looking out for is the worst-case scenario. Whilst life-threatening events are uncommon, the unexpected does happen such as critical medical conditions, car accidents, skiing accidents, terrorism, random acts of violence and natural disasters that can result in serious sickness, injury or death.
Repatriation is to bring your remains back to Australia in the event of your death.
What does repatriation travel insurance provide cover for?
Repatriation travel insurance provides:
- Cover for your emergency medical evacuation
- A team of medical professionals to manage your case and provide advice for the best course of action
- A specialist team experienced in arranging transportation via air ambulances and returning remains to Australia
How does Repatriation work?
Repatriation is a service provided by our Emergency Assistance team and needs to be approved and arranged by us. In the event of an emergency, you should contact the for advice on what you need to do in such a scenario.
To use our Repatriation benefit you will need to know:
- Medical evacuations must be approved in advance by us before a team will be sent to you
- Emergency evacuation and repatriation cover only extends to Australia and no other country where you may have stayed in or where your family resides
- Repatriation costs are unlimited^
Costs for Repatriation
Repatriation costs vary from scenario to country to insurer.
As Repatriation can be a very complicated and expensive exercise, all scenarios are managed on a case by case basis by our Emergency Assistance team. Some situations are easily attended and do not require specialized assistance. Some instances call for specified transportation such as a MediVac service helicopter with medical assistance readily on hand.
Who decides whether Repatriation is necessary?
The decision to repatriate is made by our 24/7 Emergency Medical Assistance team and the insurer to decide whether Repatriation is necessary. This is judged by the impact of the situation on your health and how to best solve your situation.
The Emergency Medical Assistance team and claims team would decide whether bringing you back home to Australia for treatment is the better option or to place you in a facility closer to your travel region.
If your loved one or travel companion dies while travelling
If your loved one or travel companion dies while travelling, by law you should contact the nearest Australian consulate or embassy as they require notification of the death of an Australian while overseas, for their records.
Examples of Repatriation
A claimable event under Repatriation may be:
- In the event of car accident, you are seriously injured.
- You are seriously injured at the top of mountain or ski field where you can’t physically remove yourself from the area you are in.
- You suffer a serious medical condition such as a stroke or heart attack and it is deemed that it is best for you to be repatriated back to Australia to receive further medical treatment that will paid for by Medicare or private health care. Your cover for medical expenses ends once you return back to Australia.
- An illness that results in death.
- An accident that leads to accidental death.
In any emergency situation, contact an ambulance, police or relevant authority as your first point of call and our 24/7 Emergency Medical Assistance team as soon as possible.
- We will not pay for medical evacuations, funeral services or cremation or bringing your remains back to Australia unless first approved by us.
- In the event of an emergency, you must contact our 24/7 Emergency Assistance team.
- If you do not contact us when you need medical attention, we may not pay for any evacuations or airfare costs unless they have been approved by us.
^ Benefits subject to limits and exclusions of the insurance policy and may vary depending on policy type. Read the Product Disclosure Statement for further details.