What All Expats Should Know About Life Insurance

could your family afford it if
your life cover failed to payout?

learning something new!

So you may be a new expat or a seasoned veteran of some years, either way it doesn’t really matter the outcome is the same.
The thing is you need to get some life insurance.
You might have discovered that your old policy from back home no longer covers you because you’re living in another country. The thing is that this is very common and if you haven’t checked with them then you should. So that you know a change of address notification doesn’t count you have to ask specifically if you’re covered where you now live.
Or a life event such as the arrival of a baby or property a purchase was your prompt.
Either way, you’re probably discovering that insurance companies back home don’t want your business.
So what do you do?
We’re going to take a look and explore what your best options are as an expat.
Though before we do if you want an in-depth guide on how you as an expat can make sure that you’ve got life insurance that works for you.
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what are your best options

Here are the only viable options available to you:

  1. Take out an International Term Life Insurance.

You might be think that we’re joking and there are way more alternatives to that, though we’re not and we’ll let you know why this is your only and best course of action.

Get A Policy From Back Home

We’ve already mentioned that one of the reasons that you might be looking for a new life policy if because your old provider no longer covers you now that you live in another country.

So that’s our first clue right there…

Most providers won’t take a new policy when you live outside of the country. In fact most providers won’t allow you to continue with an existing policy after you’ve lived overseas for six months. So, setting up a new policy with a company back home as an expat will be very difficult.

If you do manage to find a company that’s willing to insure you, it is most likely depends on the country where you currently live.

You could be on the same continent as them, in a country with similar risk factors.

If for example you’re from the UK and living in Switzerland then they could accept your business. There’ll be conditions, for example you’ll have to pay premiums from a UK bank account.

If you move to a location that is less desirable to them because risk factors and therefore a chance of a claim increases. Then they may well decide to end your cover leaving you looking for a new policy.

You’re in the exact same position that you started, looking around for Life Insurance

getting a policy in your new home

There are many reasons why this isn’t the best course of action for you.

For starters, it’s not uncommon for a country to have restrictions on foreigners buying life insurance. For example Malaysia puts maximum limits on the cover that expats are allowed to take out. This could leave you underinsured and your family exposed financially unable to clear debts or meet ongoing obligations.

The other issue is that if and when you move to another country you’ll be in exactly the same boat again. Your cover will become invalid and the insurer won’t pay claims.

Again all because you’re residing outside the country. You’ll be looking to get another life insurance set up, yet again.

This will keep happening each time that you relocate if you keep doing the same thing.

what's the big deal with swapping and changing your life insurance anyway

To start with there’s the hassle of making the application in the first place. Lots of paperwork, health and financial questionnaires even if everything is straight forward.

If you participate in any hazardous sports such as flying or diving then that’s more paperwork.

Suppose you frequently travel internationally or have had any health issues some more paperwork.

All this will result in more forms and additional supporting documents.

Then you have the medical that you’ll need to complete the underwriting process. Most people don’t enjoy going through this every couple of years.

The most important of all though is the question of insurability.This is like your insurance credit rating and it changes over time.

Your health and physical well being determine how insurable you are…

Losing weight or stopping smoking can improve your insurability. Though time itself always has a negative effect, each year we get a little bit riskier to insure.

Some factors damage our insurability forever and mean that we are uninsurable.

So if you needed to set up life insurance because your policy no longer covered you. Only to find at that there was no way that you could get a new policy.

What would you do then?

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john's story

Let’s give you an example of such a situation that we experienced with one of our clients.

Let’s call him John.

John moved away from the UK to take up a position in South East Asia. After moving he found that his insurance company in the UK would no longer cover him.

He had a property back home with a mortgage that would need paying off. His wife didn’t work and he wanted to make sure that if anything happened to him she would be debt free.

So, he wanted to replace the policy which was now void.

He asked us to help him set up a new life insurance policy. We got quotes found the best policy for him and presented it to him.

He was happy and said that he wanted to get it set up…

We started the application process, then made arrangements for a medical examination.

Unfortunately, one of the tests showed an elevated cancer marker.

The insurer let us know and made a request that we get John to go to a doctor and get more tests. 

The tests revealed that John had a large tumour growing in his abdomen. He underwent an 18 hour surgery to get the tumour removed.

He also had to undergo further post-operative treatment and in the end he was completely fine.

Sadly, this meant that he couldn’t get any life insurance cover. Insurers now saw him as being uninsurable. He’d had cancer and they weren’t prepared to take the risk.

At best he may have got something that excluded any form of cancer though this was unlikely.

John had no idea that he had this health issue in fact he’d had a medical only six months before.

Apparently the tumour had been growing for years and it had been completely missed even though he’d had regular check ups and he thought that he was healthy.

why international cover is your only choice as an expat

The moral to this story here is that you buy insurance with your health. This may not always be as good as it is right now, unfortunately, you’re not bulletproof and you might not know that something is wrong.

If you keep having to chop and change your life insurance because you’re no longer covered, then you’re taking a big gamble with your family’s future. 

Because if you’ve had an illness, are now on medication or developed a chronic condition since you set up your last policy. Setting up a new life insurance may not be an option for you.

And if you’re looking to set up life insurance then, you need it, Right?

If you can’t get it then you’re left without cover, now there’e a big void where your old policy used to sit.

Having continuity as an expat is essential and that means insurance that keeps going.  A portable financial strategy that doesn’t leave you exposed will save you time and money in the long-run.

That’s what and international life insurance policy gives you. When you move your policy keeps on providing cover in your new country of residence.

If your health status changes, it doesn’t matter because you still have life insurance.

Which is a much better option for you. Right?

If you want to know more about getting yourself life insurance that matches your expat lifestyle and takes care of your family.

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