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 help to 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, the pay out could help your loved ones pay off the mortgage.

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.

Life Insurance Calculator

Calculate how much life insurance you may need by filling in the costs you’d like your policy to cover.

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£137,934 is the estimated mortgage debt per household in the UK.

The purchase of a home is likely to be the largest financial commitment any of us will make in our lifetime. Your life insurance should cover your remaining mortgage balance to allow your loved ones to stay in the family home should anything happen to you.

Source: Moneynerd.co.uk

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The average monthly household budget in the UK is £2,548 (that’s £30,576 per year), which is spent on transport, food & drink, utilities (gas, electricity, water etc), clothing, council tax and leisure activities.

With energy prices hitting a record high and the cost of living rising sharply in the UK, you may wish to factor in utility bills and family living expenses into your cover.

Source: Nimblefins.co.uk

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The average personal debt of UK adults has risen to £34,566 (not including mortgage debt), with credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts being the most common forms of debt.

Factoring in any debts into your life insurance cover means that, if they need to be paid back from your estate after your passing, your loved ones won’t miss out financially.

Source: Money.co.uk

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According to SunLife, the average cost of a funeral in the UK is £3,953 (with the overall cost of dying at £9,200).

Funeral costs have increased by 116% since 2004 and are a significant cost which should be factored into the amount of life insurance you secure.

Source: SunLife.co.uk

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When factoring in cover for your children, you may wish to calculate the amount based on how long it is until they reach financial independence.

This could include childcare (£7,000 per year for part-time care), school expenses (£1,519 per school year for uniforms, lunches, stationary etc), as well as an additional sum for further education (this could be a contribution of up to £5,000 per year).

Sources: Daynurseries.co.uk, Primarytimes.co.uk & Savethestudent.org

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2 in 5 adults say they are relying on an inheritance to fund their retirement.

Factoring in an inheritance to your sum assured could allow loved ones to live a more financially comfortable life. Alternatively, you could leave a cash gift to a charity of your choosing.

Source: Moneyage.co.uk

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If you’re lucky enough to have your own savings or are part of the 30% of UK residents who already have a life insurance policy in place, this can provide financial protection for loved ones.

By entering your current cover, savings or death in service amount you can reduce the sum assured you require.

Source: Scottishbusinessnews.net

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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 a great 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.

Compare life insurance quotes

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.

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