Repatriating a body can be complicated, but there are services to help
With travel opening up again, and people going further from home, there is one kind of insurance that advisors may want to recommend to their clients in case they die while they’re away.
At least one funeral home has a Journey Home plan, which travellers can buy for $595. It will cover all the details to deal with the body in the new locale and ensure that it gets home.
“It’s not something that happens often, but it does happen. So, people need to be informed and prepared and have that safety net for peace of mind,” said Patrick Downey, the B.C.-based regional director of sales for western Canada for Arbor Memorial.
“If your clients are going on their ultimate trip or even to their cottage, this is an added layer of security that they can have in case something happens, so they wouldn’t have all the responsibility without any help. Then, they wouldn’t have to navigate getting to the consulate on their own or even managing the costs if the death occurs outside Canada, in another province, or even at their cottage.
Downey said it can cost up to at least $10,000 to repatriate a casket with a dead body, especially if it’s being flown home from an international location. But, more than that, there are a lot of logistics to registering the death in another location, getting the paperwork done to make the trip, and then transporting the casket. All of that can be problematic for families who have never done it before.
“We have a plan that can provide all the services with one toll-free phone call. It will provide the answers and assistance, and partner with the professional assistance from home to take care of all the things that need to be done because there are quite a few details that need to be looked after and they can be very daunting for anyone to do when they’ve just lost someone.”
Buying this kind of plan would allow the deceased’s family or travelling partner to make one toll-free call to manage all the logistics. Otherwise, they’d have to choose a funeral home in the new location to help them register the death, perhaps with a consulate, and then do the paperwork at that end, arrange the ground or air transportation, and arrange for a receiving funeral home where they live..
“It’s a lot of work and a lot of difficulty in a time of grief for anyone to work with both funeral homes,” said Downey. “We can help the family make the calls and connect them with a provider.”