Medical Evacuation & Repatriation for Australians

Medical evacuation & repatriation for Australians

This information is for residents of Australia only

Emergency medical transport is available to the nearest medical facility, most suitable medical facility (in another city or country) or even back home.

Read on for details on what you need to do if medical evacuation is necessary.

You’re surfing and suddenly succumb to severe sickness; you’ve had an accident and broken bones in an area with poor medical facilities; you’re in hospital with a serious tropical disease or broken bones where recovery time will be lengthy.

It can and does happen unfortunately, which is why emergency transport is available when it’s necessary to get to proper medical facilities or for repatriation home if you’re unfit to continue your trip when:

  • you’re seriously injured or suddenly ill; or
  • you’re assaulted, hijacked or kidnapped and suffer physiological trauma; or
  • you die overseas.

What's covered

Depending on where you are and what’s happened to you, there’s cover for emergency medical transport by road ambulance or other suitable transport (including by helicopter if available and medically necessary) to transfer you to:

  • the nearest, most appropriate hospital/medical facility;
  • more suitable medical facilities in another city or nearby country for more appropriate medical care;
  • your home back in Australia if your treating physician has determined that you’re unfit to travel because of your sudden illness or injury and the insurer agrees.

If it’s agreed that repatriation is necessary, there’s cover for reasonable, additional travel expenses to get you home (your return flight ticket will be used to reduce the insurer’s cost) and other reasonable and necessary additional expenses such as for a medical escort or a friend/relative to travel home with you (or accompany your child if you’re not able to).

How it works

If something happens and you need emergency transport, you (or someone else) MUST:

  • contact our We.Assist emergency assistance team as soon as you can for pre-approval.
  • work with the emergency assistance team and your treating doctor to decide and arrange the most appropriate transportation.

Circumstances such as your location and your specific medical situation will determine when and how you are transported to appropriate medical facilities.

We won't cover you when:

Refer page 33 in the PDS: 

  • If you weren't taking care of yourself.
  • Your death comes from a medical condition that we don't cover.
  • Your claim relates tp you being pregnant.
  • You were taking part in a sport or activity that doesn't comply with our conditions. See cover for Sports and other activities page 22.
  • You were particitpating in a  winter sport without the Winter Sports Option included in your policy.
  • You are working or volunteering on your trip and you don't comply with our conditions. Refer page 22.
  • Always read the entire PDS on order to fully understand the conditions and exclusions that apply. In particular refer pages 71 and page 72. 

Here are the main things that aren’t covered:

  • The full cost of the return flight. The insurer will use your pre-booked return flight to help recover some of the cost or, if you don’t have a return flight booked, you’ll be charged the cost of a one way economy class airfare at the carrier's regular published rates to subsidise the journey home. (See conditions related to travelling on a one way ticket in the policy wording for more details).
  • If you refuse to be repatriated after being declared medically unfit to continue on your trip, then any ongoing or additional costs are yours.
  • Any expenses that relate to a pre-existing medical condition, unless it’s listed as an automatically covered medical condition as explained in the policy wording.
  • Any costs incurred once you get back home.
  • Anything else that's listed in the specific and general exclusions on the policy.

Travel insurance is not designed to cover everything, so take the time to read terms, conditions, limits and exclusions of the PDS wording, particularly Section 2 - Medical Evacuation and Repatriation and the General Exclusions, so there are no surprises if you do need to use it.