A while back a gentleman called me and said: “I want that travel thing you have.” I thanked him for calling, and I was thrilled that he knew about “that travel thing.” I suggested that I meet with him to explain the benefits of the Secure Return Travel Assurance Plan (SRAP). He said: “No I live in Toronto and gas is too expensive to have you drive here and explain it to me, can we do this over the phone?” I said: “Absolutely!” Little did he know how important that phone call would be.
We proceeded to cover the features of this very affordable lifetime plan:
1. Return of mortal remains if a person died more than 100 kilometers or 60 miles from their legal residence.
2. Lifetime membership regardless of age or medical conditions.
3. Preparation requirements of the mortal remains.
4. Consulate paper work, fees, legal proof of death certificate.
5. Legal translations of documents, interpreter referrals, emergency message transmission to family members.
Over the phone we filled out the personal information needed and he asked me to put a note with the application and indicate where he was to sign and the other steps for him to complete the application. At the end of our telephone conversation, the gentleman said: “I am going on a trip and when I get back I want to talk to you about prepaying my funeral arrangements.”
I thanked him for calling and sent the package to him with a stamped return envelope and a couple of days later the application was returned and submitted to the company.
About 12 days later we had a call at the Funeral Home that this man had died in Bora Bora, an island in the South Pacific Ocean. Over the course of the next few days, we learned that the gentleman had died in a town that did not have a refrigerated mortuary. His remains were flown to another town that did have a refrigerated mortuary and held there until they could locate his next of kin to fill out the documentation needed to start the process of sending his body home. The legal documents were in Spanish and had to be translated into English for his Executor to start closing his Estate in Ontario. This was covered with the SRAP.
The shipping requirements to send a body across international borders are regulated by the sending and receiving Country Consulates and inspected by the Public Health Departments. The preparation of the body and accompanying documents, official seals or stamps and other forms of verification are needed in this process. This was covered by the SRAP. Then the mortal remains were casketed and placed into a shipping container. This was driven to the airport with the supporting documentation, the container was weighed, and the cost to fly the body home was determined. This was covered by the SRAP. A call was placed to the Ontario Funeral Home to let them know when to pick up the mortal remains at Toronto International Airport. The Funeral Home then went to the airport and picked up the shipping container, all the documentation and drove the gentleman’s body back to the funeral home. All this was organized and paid for with the Secure Return Assurance Plan.
What a relief it was for the family; one phone call from the local funeral home telling them they were picking up their father at the airport and there were no financial obligations because their father had the foresight to purchase the SRAP.
Without this type of coverage the family would have been very stressed emotionally and financially to make the necessary arrangements to bring a body across an International border and pay the approximately $12,000.00 it would have cost them to bring their father home. Not all families are as fortunate. Please click here to read another family’s story.
I do not believe he thought he would die on this trip as he had said to me that he wanted to complete his funeral preplanning when he returned home. This is a sad story, and it could have been a lot sadder had this gentleman not had the foresight and courage to purchase the SRAP and take care of this potentiality costly and stressful situation for his family.
What would you do if a loved one died away from home? Unfortunately this is a scenario that families do not consider and unfortunately it does happen. The family is left in chaos and confusion as to where to start, and what has to be done to repatriate a body. Isn’t it a blessing that there is a solution! With the SRAP there is total peace of mind for all your lifetime travel.
As a professional educator, speaker, insurance and living benefits advisor and a funeral director specializing in prepaid funeral planning, I work with families on a daily basis on end of life planning. I would love the opportunity to speak with you. You can reach me by phone or email, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.
Until next time,