UK expats face discrimination over life insurance cover

Published:  2 May at 6 PM
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According to a recent survey, British expats living overseas are being refused life cover by 75 per cent of insurance firms.

The majority of insurers stipulate in their policies’ small print that applicants must be UK residents and taxpayers, thus rejecting cover for expats in the EU and elsewhere in the world. Experts in the sector were shocked by the result of the survey, with most stating that UK expats abroad need a similar range of cover to those living in their home country.

Insurers such as Friends’ Life, with offices in offshore tax havens, offer expat life insurance, but it’s almost always tax-wrapped within an investment bond attracting high charges, low returns and swinging redemption penalties.The various charges and commissions can add up to more than the small profits generated, leaving the capital sum depleted.

The simple answer is to check what’s available as regards basic life insurance in your country of residence, taking a local friend with you if a lack of English language is likely to cause problems with the insurer. In most expat destinations, using a local company gets you the life insurance you need at a far lower price than at home.

Medical insurance is another problem, especially in countries where public facilities don’t stack up to the expensive private clinics set up for expat workers. The UAE is at present rolling out its compulsory expat health insurance scheme, to be applied to all non-Emirati residents.

At present, employers are to be forced to provide a compliant plan for their expat employees by a certain date, based on the size of the company. Cover will be essential for visa renewals, and the participating insurers who will provide the products have not yet been named.
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Comments » There is 1 comment

Don wrote 5 years ago:

This highlights very big issues that we have in today's world, there needs to be a transferable, transparent and recognisable system that is used by all involved in the industry world wide. After all if you are a contributing tax payer you should have all the same rights as a human being as anybody else. Discrimination even on this level is uncalled for and must be addressed for the benefit and welfare for all.

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