Does Your Life Insurance Policy Cover You Overseas?

Over the past couple of years, we have met with hundreds of individuals here in Asia that thought they had the most appropriate life insurance coverage while living abroad.  The operative word here being “thought”!  When reading through the details of their policy, we found that nearly 20% of all policyholders would have experienced complications when filing a claim in the event that anything were to happen to them while living outside of their home country.

Why is this?  Quite simply, when you purchase life insurance, your premiums, amongst all other factors are based on the location or country you currently live in.  Some countries are considered to be low risk territories and other countries are deemed to be high risk.  Many countries in Asia for example are considered to be “high risk” which may have a serious impact on the terms of your policy if purchased outside of Asia.  Insurance companies do NOT like surprises and are extremely quick to deny a claim if even the slightest term has been breached. This means that policyholders moving abroad, may find themselves in a situation where their life insurance policy no longer provides them with the cover they need.

Always Read The Fine Print

It is so important that you read through the terms and conditions of your policy before moving abroad.  If you’re unclear or unsure as to whether or not the terms hold true whilst living overseas then contact your financial adviser or a life insurance agent directly and explain your situation to them.  Doing nothing and hoping for the best is NOT the smartest idea and believe me, there’s nothing more frightening then living thousands of miles away from home without proper life insurance coverage.

The lesson to be learned here shouldn’t only apply to life insurance.  It’s important that you take a look at the details of your health insurance policy as well.  The terms and conditions may vary according to the country you live in.  For example, just because you have direct billing back home doesn’t mean that you will have it abroad.  Even if your health insurance policy remains in tact while living overseas, there’s nothing worse then showing up to the doctor’s office or hospital and expecting everything to be covered only to then be given the bill.

But I Already Moved Abroad.  What Do I Do?

If you think the above situation applies to you, don’t panic just yet.  Take a look at the details of your policy or better yet, call an insurance agent in your local area and get their expert advice.  They would be happy to sit down with you and explain exactly how the terms and conditions of your policy are affected while living  abroad.  In many cases, it may be that absolutely nothing changes.  In other cases however, you may find that your insurance policy doesn’t cover you at all.  Seeking further advice will at least point you in the right direction so you are able to take the necessary steps needed to apply for proper life cover while living outside of your home country.

Never Assume You Have The Right Cover

NEVER ASSUME that you have the most appropriate insurance coverage while living abroad.  Speak to someone and make sure you know exactly how the terms and conditions of the policy are affected while living overseas.  If you don’t already have health or life insurance then it is always best to buy a policy through a local agent in the country you currently live in from someone who understands and knows exactly what you need.  If you already have life insurance and don’t want to take out another policy just to cover you while you’re abroad for a few years, then the best thing for you would be to take out a small term life insurance policy.  It’s a much cheaper option and it’s perfect for a temporary solution.  Although it’s a small additional extra cost, it’s worth the peace and mind knowing that you’re covered both in your home country and abroad.