Expats face many of the same risks they faced at home, along with others that may be specific to their new environment. It is therefore well worth reviewing your cover, recognising that existing insurance is unlikely to be valid abroad.
The most common type of insurance for expats are:
When you move your goods they will not usually be covered by home insurance during your move. The risks involved range from a mover simply dropping a box down the stairs or the removal truck being in an accident on the road to your container being lost at sea. It is therefore important to cover your move, whether you are moving across town or to the other side of the world.
Although movers tend to offer perfectly adequate insurance in-house you can often save money going through specialist providers.
As in your home country, property insurance can protect you from the cost of theft or damage to your property. If you are moving to a part of the world that is prone to natural disasters, such as flooding or earthquakes, then you may have to pay a higher premium than you are used to in order to cover these risks. However in the event of such a disaster it is well worth taking out the additional cover. You also need to consider the risks to any property or assets that you leave in your home country, including specialist landlord insurance should you be renting out your home while you are away. If you plan to leave your home empty then you will need 'vacant home insurance'.
Living as an expat you may find yourself in a country that does not provide state medical care or that you are not eligible to receive that care for free. Medical insurance is therefore vital, while many from the US will be familiar with the importance and value of health cover, those in Europe and the rest of the world may be complacent due to their own local provision or subsidisation of healthcare. Visit our Health pages for more information. International Health Insurance will cover you in any country you chose around the world.
It is an inescapable fact of life that we will all die one day. Life insurance can cover funeral costs, support your loved ones or help pay outstanding debts you may leave behind. As life insurance covers a certain event it is very different to other types of insurance as, barring any breaches of the terms of your policy, a pay-out is inevitable and so the cost and process for making a claim is quite different. If you are living abroad you should consider higher levels of cover to include repatriation costs for family members as well as the costs incurred in a potential return to your home country for burial or other funeral rites.
If you become critically ill you may find yourself unable to keep up with your financial obligations such as your mortgage payments. It is therefore important that you take out critical illness cover that can cover these and more basic day to day expenses should you fall ill.
Travel insurance can cover you for any costs that your home or personal insurance probably will not cover while you are abroad. Cover includes events such as the loss or theft or personal belongings; travel expenses arising from delays, cancelation or curtailment of your trip and medical costs. Additional cover can also protect you against the medical or logistical costs of natural disasters. Medical costs abroad can quickly escalate into the thousands or even millions! It is therefore vital that you take out adequate medical insurance that covers any activities you may be taking part in or past medical conditions that you have. You may also need additional cover if you are taking part in certain activities.
In some more volatile regions of the world it may be worth considering kidnap insurance. Kidnap insurance does not only cover the potential ransom demands but can also include skilled negotiators that will ensure your safe release. At times companies may take out ransom insurance on your behalf without informing you to avoid increasing the danger posed to you if you are kidnapped.
Follow the links above to see more detailed information on each of these risks.