Moving abroad? – Don’t forget to review your protection policies

19th June 2018

Are you thinking of moving abroad with your family? More and more people in the UK are leaving our home shores every year for a retirement in the sun or perhaps working abroad.

However, many do not consider how their life assurance or critical illness policies will be affected by such a move.  Ensuring you have a globally portable life/critical illness policy should arguably be top of the agenda of anyone planning to become an expat.

Consider the following situations:

Mr X lives in Hong Kong whilst letting out his UK property. He has outstanding mortgage of £200,000 on the property and he would like to assess whether his existing UK cover will be valid should a claim arise.

Mr Y is retired and lives in Portugal. He still holds UK assets and is concerned about a potential inheritance tax liability his children could face in future if Mr Y was to die whilst living in Portugal.

Mr and Mrs Z now both live in Dubai, with Mr Z being the main breadwinner whilst Mrs Z is looking after their new-born twins. He wants life and critical illness cover in the event he is unable to work, so that his income could continue to provide for the family. He discovered that British expats living in the Middle East have relatively few options when it comes to providers and policies. Besides, he is wary that beneficiaries of expats who die outside of the UK often find it difficult to make claims with insurers local to where the deceased lived.

Mr A is about to accept a job offer to work in Lebanon.  He discovered that his existing insurer is not covering war risks and he is concerned that his dependants will fall into severe financial distress if life assurance cover is not in force.

These four situations highlight the fact that expats should review the terms and conditions and exclusions of each available policy very carefully and ask as many questions as possible.  We suggest that the following issues are addressed:

–       Policy ‘portability’ and validity whilst an expat moves from country to country.  It may be that the contract will need adjusting for each international relocation.

–       Does the policyholder need to demonstrate intention to return to their home country in the foreseeable future, or is the policy truly international?

–       Are life assurance benefits paid irrespective of where the survivors are located?

–       What currency are life assurance premiums and benefits paid?

If you are considering life assurance or need to assess your existing life policies before you relocate, contact us for a free, no obligation consultation.  We will provide you with a FREE no obligation independent assessment of the options available to you.