Life insurance for expats

More and more people are choosing to move abroad; be it for work, education or just for a change of pace and lifestyle.

This big life change can bring with it an increased level of risk, highlighting the need for adequate life cover to protect your loved ones should the worst happen.

While there’s no such product as expat life insurance, it’s often a term used to describe the life insurance options available to expats.

But exactly what policy options are available?

We can’t secure life insurance for expats at Reassured but we’ll help to shed some light on the subject and answer some commonly asked questions in this article.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about expat life insurance…

What is expat life insurance?

Expat life insurance is simply a standard life insurance policy that accepts expats.

UK residents who have moved abroad may find it difficult to secure life cover.

This is because many UK based insurers will consider living abroad an increased risk.

Therefore, expats who are looking to secure life cover may need to do so with the help of a specialist insurer.

Expat term life insurance

Both level and decreasing term life insurance policies are available to expats through some providers.

Please be aware that not all providers will offer life insurance to expats.

Term life insurance is a form of life insurance that lasts for a specified period of time (the term).

If you pass away during this term, a pay out will be made to your loved ones.

You’ll pay a monthly premium which will be calculated at the point of application using information such as:


When taking out life insurance as an expat it’s also likely you’ll be asked questions regarding your emigration so that insurers can get a better idea of the risk involved.

If you’ve moved to a country that is considered ‘high risk’ (eg. those at war) or have a high risk occupation while living there you may experience inflated premiums.

Level term life insurance

A level term life insurance policy offers a fixed sum assured (pay out amount).

This means your loved ones will always receive the same amount no matter when you pass away (during the term).

Depending on the insurer, it’s possible to secure cover for up to 40 years.

If you were to pass away while living abroad, a level term life insurance pay out could provide the funds to ensure your loved ones could continue living comfortably or move back home.


Decreasing term life insurance

With decreasing term life insurance your sum assured will reduce over time.

If you’re still paying a mortgage back in the UK, decreasing term life insurance may be an ideal option as your sum assured can reduce in line with your remaining mortgage balance.

This means if you were to pass away, your loved ones would have the funds to pay off the mortgage in full.

The terms and conditions of the policies offered to expats will likely vary between providers.

Some providers may offer whole of life insurance to expats, however not all will provide this option.

As cover lasts for life, you’ll need to pay premiums for the rest of your life to keep your cover in place.

As it’s likely you’ll experience higher premiums due to the added risk of living abroad, this can become an extremely costly option for expats.

Comparing quotes is essential to securing cover that meets your new requirements at a cost-effective price so you may need to shop around.

How much life insurance do you need?

Enter your financial commitments to understand the level of cover you require.

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£121,687 is the estimated average outstanding mortgage per household in the UK.

Our property is generally the largest financial commitment any of us will make.

Your life insurance should cover this significant debt should you no longer be around.

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According to Money Advice Service, full-time childcare in the UK now costs £242 a week.

The loss of a parent could result in the need for additional childcare whilst the surviving parent increases their hours to account for lost income.

Your life insurance cover should factor in this additional required outgoing.

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The average level of debt (minus a mortgage) in the UK is £15,385.

Factoring in any outstanding debts in your name when arranging life insurance ensures this burden is not passed to loved ones.

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You may wish to leave your loved ones an inheritance or lump sum gift upon your passing.

Factoring in the gift amount when arranging your cover will ensure the pay out amount will be sufficient to provide your loved ones with this selfless gesture.

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According to SunLife, the average cost of a UK funeral is now £4,417, whilst the total cost of dying is £9,493.

This is a 130% increase over the past 16 years and shows no signs of slowing down.

A significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.

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If you are one of the 65% of the UK who are lucky enough to have savings, this could be used as protection if you were to pass away.

Any pay outs from existing life insurance policies and investments can also be used as financial protection for your loved ones if you were no longer around.

Factor this into your required cover amount.

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Your total cover estimate

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Let us find your best quote.

What happens to your life insurance policy if you move abroad?

If you have an active life insurance policy and are moving abroad it’s likely your cover will remain in place.

Some providers will allow you to maintain your cover if moving abroad as long as your policy was taken out a certain amount of time before your move.

If you’re applying for life insurance and disclose that you’ll be moving abroad within the next 3 months, it’s likely you’ll be declined.

However, if you’re living in the UK and plan to move abroad within a few years, it’s likely you’ll be accepted.

You’ll be required to continue making premium payments from a UK bank account for your cover to stay in place.

Terms and conditions will vary depending on the insurer, so if you’re considering moving abroad it’s a wise idea to let your provider know.

They'll be able to provide you with further details and provide you with relevant options.

Is my UK life insurance valid if I move abroad?

As discussed above, if you have an existing life insurance policy it’s likely that your cover will remain in place.

If you have a long-standing policy, it’s likely your cover will remain unaffected but it’s best to consult your provider to let them know of this change.

If you’re moving abroad and are trying to secure cover, you may be declined depending on how soon the move will be.

Each insurer will have different terms and conditions regarding providing life insurance to expats.

Does life insurance cover overseas?

As previously discussed, if you have an active policy it’s likely your cover will remain in place when moving abroad.

You’ll need to check this with your provider and you may need to provide details of your move.

If you’re looking to take out cover before moving overseas, not all providers will be able to offer you cover but there are specialist insurers who offer life cover to expats.

If you’re someone who often takes trips overseas, either for personal reasons or business, you’ll need to disclose this at the point of application.

It’s likely this won’t prevent you from securing cover but you may experience inflated premiums due to the increased risk.

Cost of expat life insurance

The cost of life insurance for expats will be calculated by taking your unique circumstances into consideration.

As usual, the insurer will need to know the following personal information at the point of application:

  • Age
  • Health and wellbeing 
  • Level of cover
  • Length of cover
  • Smoking status


As well as these personal factors, information relating to your emigration will also be considered. This can include:

  • Where you’ve moved to
  • Reason for moving
  • Your occupation while living there
  • Length of emigration

Expats who’re looking for life insurance will often be considered on a case by case basis using the above information.

It’s likely your premium will be more expensive to compensate for the increased risk of living abroad.

If you’re moving to a high risk area (those at war, in political unrest or prone to outbreaks of disease) or the occupation you’ll be employed to do while there is considered dangerous, you may be charged even more.

To secure the most affordable cover, you’ll need to compare the different offerings from various providers to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Life insurance for non UK residents

Most UK based life insurance providers will only provide cover for UK residents.

If you’re not currently a UK resident but are planning on moving to the UK, you may need to secure a life insurance policy that accepts expats in your native country.

Expat stats

  • In 2017, 784,900 British citizens were living outside of the UK in European countries
  • 33% of all British emigrants living outside of the UK in 2017 were living in Australia or New Zealand
  • With 28% of British expats living in the United States or Canada[1]

Compare life insurance quotes for expats

We hope this article has helped to answer any questions you may have about securing life cover as an expat.

Unfortunately, we can’t secure life insurance for expats at Reassured.

We recommend conducting your own research into the life cover products that are available for expats.

Each provider will have their own terms and conditions so it’s important you know exactly what you’ll be covered for when moving abroad.

Sources:

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/articles/livingabroad/april2018

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