Repatriation of the deceased - insurance

Repatriation Insurance

What to do if a person died while abroad? Before you start arranging the funeral or repatriation of the deceased, make sure you clarify several important points below. Did the deceased travel as a tourist or on business? Was a travel insurance obtained or does it cover repatriation costs?

Let's consider the following scenarios:

1. A Russian citizen on a tourist trip abroad:

If a person died on a tourist trip it is important to find out how the trip itself had been organized.

If a tour had been purchased at a travel agency:

Insurance is almost certainly included in the tour price. In this case, first of all contact the tour operator on all affairs related to arranging the funeral in the country of travel or bringing the deceased home. The tour operator will provide you the contacts of the insurance company responsible for the compensation.

If a tour was a self-guided trip:

Insurance is purchased for each participant of the trip separately, while some insurance companies offer family packages. The insurance policy should include compensation of post-mortem transportation expenses.

Note! Some insurance companies don't include this in their basic policy. Most often, it is not included in the budget policies that meet just the minimum visa requirements.

The lack of a suitable policy in the event of death entails high expenses and significantly complicates transportation.

Having an insurance covering post-mortem repatriation is an important and reasonable step when you are planning a self-guided tourist trip. This matter must be taken most seriously. Before you leave, make sure your authorized representative has a copy of your insurance policy.

2. A Russian citizen on a business trip abroad:

If a person died during a business trip it is important to find out the legal status of the trip apart from the insurance: a business trip, labor migration, studies, etc. Each of these cases may be treated differently with respect to the insurance.

The deceased was on a business trip and had been working for a Russian company:

When planning a trip abroad, the employer does not have to provide an insurance to the employee, however they must compensate travel expenses (article 168 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation). Having an insurance is required to enter many countries. Choosing the right insurance in this case is the responsibility of the employee, while the employer will compensate it as transportation costs.

If the deceased was abroad and had been working for a foreign company:

In this case the compensation payment depends on labor laws in the employer's country of tax residence, and the contract with the employee.

Although legislation varies from country to country, it is usually required to get an insurance for employment abroad. The fact that the deceased had been working abroad does not deny the right of the deceased person's family to the social payments and compensations under the Russian laws.

If the deceased person had been working abroad illegally:

In such cases, any compensation is governed by the contract between the deceased and their direct employer. Such contracts are often called work, employment, labor contract / agreement.

It is the traveler who is responsible for their insurance while traveling abroad. In most cases an insurance policy is required to get a simple visa, and even more so a work permit.

In case of illegal labor migration, the family might face legal and financial problems if the insurance hadn't been obtained by the deceased person beforehand.

If the deceased person was abroad on an internship or an educational program:

Like with a work visa, a study visa requires insurance for the entire period of study. Some universities offer their own insurance programs, which can be much cheaper than regular ones. As a rule, they cover a smaller range of medical services, but include reimbursement of expenses for the repatriation of the body.

Sometimes an insurance policy is included in educational grants. You can find more information about such programs when you apply for a grant or an overseas educational program.

3. A foreign citizen on a tourist trip to Russia

According to Federal Law No. 114, every foreign national entering the Russian Federation must have an insurance.

To obtain a visa, it is required to submit an insurance policy.

The body transportation costs in the event of death are covered by the insurance company.

Foreign nationals with a visa-free entry to the Russian Federation should take care of their life insurance and post-mortem repatriation on their own. If there is no insurance, and for whatever reason it had not been checked on entry, then in the event of a major illness or death on the Russian soil, it is the family of the deceased who are solely responsible for the costs.

The rules and recommendations on insurance options remain the same as ones for persons traveling outside of Russia: Choose the insurance company carefully, read the terms and conditions of the contract and check if it includes the post-mortem transportation of the body home.

4. A foreign citizen working in the Russian Federation

If a foreign national stays in Russia on a working invitation, then life insurance and repatriation are required for them. However, it is the Russian employer who is responsible for providing such a policy (article 327 of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation).

Migrant workers must have an insurance policy to stay and work in the Russian Federation. They should take out their insurance on their own. It is important to remember that since 2016 the minimum coverage amount for migrant workers is 100,000 rubles. Policies offering less are invalid whatever the insurance company might claim. With such a policy, it is impossible to obtain a valid work permit in Russia. Moreover, failure to have an insurance with a coverage of 100,000 rubles may result in an administrative fine of up to 7,000 rubles.

Foreign nationals who stay in Russia for a long period of time and have a residence permit have the right to get a Compulsory Medical Insurance (CMI) policy that gives them access to the National Healthcare.

To comply with the Russian legislation, the foreign citizen's insurance policy must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be valid for the entire period of stay
  • Must cover any costs related to medical care and transporting the body home in case of death;
  • Must be valid throughout the Russian Federation.

5. A foreign citizen stays in the Russian Federation on an educational program:

Like with Russian citizens studying abroad, the Russian study visa requires insurance.

The insurance company and

  • The insurance company uses its established communication channels to notify of an insurance case and provides contact information of the deceased person’s representative.
  • employee works together with the deceased person’s representative on documents preparation, transportation of the body, and the funeral arrangements.
  • The insurance company and sign a Certificate of completion.
  • Payment of the invoice in accordance with the Certificate of completion.

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