Life Insurance Cover for Australian Expats
Life and Trauma Insurance
Life and trauma insurance are generally the easiest types to acquire for Australian expatriates, or those intending to travel or live overseas on a long-term basis. One of the main criteria for eligibility is that the applicant has the definite intention to return to Australia permanently, within a reasonable time-frame in the foreseeable future.
TPD and Income Protection
TPD insurance and income protection can be more difficult to manage because of the complex nature of disability claims. The management of an ongoing claim can be challenging for an insurer, especially if you live in a country where English is not the primary language. Sometimes these types of cover will be deferred until you return to permanent residency in Australia.
If income protection is offered to expatriates, it will often include a standard clause which stipulates that the claimant must return to Australia within 3 months of the diagnosis in order for the benefits to continue. Realistically, most people with a long-term disability would want to return home to pursue ongoing medical treatment in their own country.
Loadings or Exclusions
The insurer will consider the destination, duration and/or frequency and the purpose of travel. In some instances there may be loadings or exclusions applicable to the cover. For example, a social instability clause is common for countries with Federal Government travel warnings of level 3 or above:
All insurance companies use the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) travel advisories index which provides Australian travellers with a scale of warnings such as "high degree of caution" or "reconsider your need to travel". There are 5 levels and countries which have been issued current advice at level 3 or above, will generally attract an exclusion.
This clause means that the insured person is not covered in the event of death, disablement or crisis event if caused or exacerbated by an act of war or terrorism, civil unrest or political instability.
If you have no intention to return permanently to reside in Australia, in most cases cover will not be offered. However, it's still worth asking for quotes, because it's more preferable to go with a company you know and can trust to be there for you when you claim.