The importance of expat insurance



In today’s modern climate more and more people are choosing to uproot themselves and start a new working life abroad- the journey of the expatriate. The reasons for expatriating are many, sunnier climes, increased salaries, lower taxes or simply just the need for change.

Of course it is not always a seamless transition, both personally and financially. Moving to another country will bring much excitement, but also need much planning and thought. An important factor to note, one that may not spring to mind immediately, is the necessity of insurance.

With such a wide variety of insurance plans on offer it may be hard to decide what insurance is essential and what is peripheral. Not all expats will be travelling with an incredible salary, many of you will be budgeting and of course insurance isn’t free, all the more reason to carefully establish which types of insurance will be most important for your personal situation.

In the UK many people have a tendency to look on insurance as more a of a luxury than a necessity, in many cases the people who routinely take out insurance are probably the ones who can afford to live without it in the first place! As an expat the most important form of insurance will no doubt be for healthcare.

In many foreign countries health insurance will not be a luxury but a necessity and an absolute must, often in the eyes of the law too. Many countries will require expats to take out health insurance by law and in other countries health insurance will be the only way of securing an acceptable standard of healthcare. However healthcare can often be the most expensive type of insurance, medical inflation rises at a rate three times higher than normal inflation, leading to rapidly increasing premium costs and expenditure to worry about.

A possible solution to this is the ‘save for a painy day’ option, i.e. save sums of cash yourself in fear of medical costs. This method could limit you to just a one off emergency payment, and not cover you in the event of a long term situation or a serious illness. You could save money by scouring the market and finding the best deal that suits you. Medical insurers in the UK offer a wide variety of different packages as do insurers located abroad, for instance you can have a package that only provides insurance for serious illnesses as opposed to minor complaints. Remember that you can usually trim your premiums simply by leading a healthy lifestyle.

Health insurance is just the start though, there are still other types of insurance that you should at least consider, and especially if you have a family then life insurance is something you may wish to purchase, mainly if you are the prime earner. Other types of insurance include travel and home insurance, which can also be important depending on where you live.

It’s up to you to decide exactly which type of insurance is right for you. If you have a family and want to look after them, then prioritise health insurance and put others on the backburner. If you speak to an independent financial advisor then they will be able to assist you by looking at your financial standing and help you hunt the market for the best deal.