Updated: November 13, 2019

International Life Insurance for Expats

Are you an expat looking for life insurance? Getting the best deal can be more complicated, but you can find out how it's still possible in our guide

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Expert

Updated: November 13, 2019

If you’re a UK national living abroad, travelling abroad, or simply considering a move, you may have concerns about non-resident life insurance. And your concerns wouldn’t be unfounded – things can get a little more complicated when international borders come into the equation.

In this article, you’ll learn about expat life insurance – when you need it, when you don’t, and where to find the best international life insurance deals.

Read on to learn more about:

What is expat life insurance?

Expat life insurance is life cover for individuals with residency in a different country to the one they currently live in.

You can choose a range of term-lengths (depending on your age, this could be 40 years or more), along with selecting a policy which covers you as an individual or for your whole family.

Your personal risk profile, which is partly determined by where you now live, will affect how much you pay for your life insurance. If you live in a country that is seen as ‘less safe’ you could find it harder to get cover.

The nature of your work will also affect the products available to you.

As such, many people find that once they expatriate, life cover quotes become quite expensive and include a number of restrictions.

This is why it’s advisable to speak to a broker, even if you’ve already moved. You may have more options than you think, but it can take the expertise, connections and whole-of-market access of an insurance specialist to find them.

Give us a call on 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry – we’ll put you through to an independent advisor who can help you find the right cover for the best available price.

Our advisers are regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority and so you will be dealing with a highly trained person that adheres to strict rules of conduct.

Speak to a expert today

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When do you need it?

You might need life insurance if you have financial dependents who would be saddled with a large debt if you were to pass away. Examples include family left with a mortgage to pay or a business partner who’d be bogged down with a large commercial loan.

Expat life insurance is also vital for people who have retired abroad, to Spain, for example, but have inheritance tax liability from assets held in the UK. Getting life insurance can help manage your inheritance or taxes in a more cost-efficient way.

When you might not need expat life cover

You might not need life insurance if you don’t have any financial dependents who rely on you. The same holds true if you’re not paying off a mortgage and you don’t have significant assets in the UK that will be liable for inheritance tax.

If you’re unsure about whether getting expat life insurance is the right choice for you, it’s best to consult an expert advisor.

What are the different kinds of life cover for expats?

There are two main kinds of life insurance, term life and whole of life:

  • Term life gives cover for a term – i.e. 30 years. This cover usually comes in the form of ‘level’ or ‘decreasing’.
    • Level cover premiums remain the same over the course of the term.
    • Decreasing cover is designed to provide less protection as time goes on. It’s commonly bought to cover a repayment mortgage which decreases in size over time.
  • Whole of life gives cover that extends for the whole of your life.

Term life insurance is designed to give you cover for a specific period, such as the length of a mortgage, and it tends to be cheaper. Whole life cover is likely to cost you more, but you’ll never have to worry about it expiring.

Read more about the differences between whole of life and term insurance cover or get in touch for a free, no-obligation chat.

We’ll introduce you to one of the expert advisors we work with. Find out what level of cover you should have and how much you might expect to pay for it.

All the specialist advisors we work with are independent experts with access to all the insurance providers across the market. They will use their tools, knowledge and experience to make sure you get the best cover at the most competitive price available, taking all your circumstances into account.

How do you get the best cover?

If you have an existing policy, you might not even need to spend any extra money. If you took out a policy to cover you in the UK, it may still provide protection to you in your new country. Of course, it’s not wise to assume that your existing policy will still cover you, so check with your provider first to find out.

If you don’t already have international life insurance cover, you’ll need to carefully research the whole life insurance market to compare policies and prices. However, if you don’t already have significant experience with getting life insurance, you may prefer to get expert advice.

An independent financial advisor, like those we work with, can help determine your insurance needs and then quickly search the market to find the best policy for you. That way you won’t overpay for cover you don’t need, won’t find that you’re underinsured, and you’ll get the best possible deal.

Make a quick enquiry and we’ll connect you with a life insurance expert for a no-obligation chat.

Do I need life insurance if I’m living abroad?

There’s no one size fits all answer to this question. Getting life insurance is a personal decision and one that should be made with careful consideration of how you want your financial affairs to be taken care of.

However, if you have family, assets, or wealth that would need protecting if anything were to happen to you, getting life insurance may be more important for you to consider.

Is there UK life insurance for non-residents?

Yes. If you have residency in Britain but are not currently a UK resident there are specialist life insurance products which can cover you for protecting a UK based asset or loved one.

However, it’s important to note that if you’re not a UK resident you will likely need to work through a specialist insurer to get a standard rate. Many providers may decline due to non-residency in the UK.

We have access to brokers who are experts in this market and can help you find the right life insurance product.

Speak to a life insurance expert today

There’s simply no shortcut to ensuring the policy you take out is exactly right with terms and conditions that match your needs: only the right life cover terms ensure a fast and hassle-free payout.

A specialist advisor has tools to compare life insurance products and will check the fine print to ensure you’re getting the deal you need for the best possible price.

We’ll match you with an expert independent advisor who can find you the best product on the market for the right price. They’ll gather accurate quotes, compare the cover and tell you which life insurance product offers you the best value for money.

If you’d like to know more about life insurance when moving abroad, call us on 0808 189 0463 or make a quick online enquiry for a free no obligation chat and we’ll introduce you to one of the experts we work with.

Ask A Quick Question

We can help! We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with brokers who are experts in life insurance. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

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Pete Mugleston

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Expert

About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

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FCA Disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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