Life Insurance Cover for Australian Expats
Life and Trauma insurances are usually considered for Australian expats or those intending to travel or reside overseas on a long term basis.
It can be more difficult to obtain TPD or Income Protection due to the complex nature of disability claims. The management of an ongoing claim would be challenging for the insurer, especially if the person resides in a country where English is not the primary language. Sometimes these types of cover will be deferred until the applicant returns to permanent residency in Australia. If Income Protection cover is offered to expats, 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. 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.
The insurer will consider the destination, duration and/or frequency and the purpose of travel (for example holiday or business) and in some instances there may be loadings or exclusions applicable to the cover. For example a social instability clause is common for countries with a DFAT travel advice of level 3 or 4:
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 the applicant has no intention to return permanently to reside in Australia, in most cases cover would not be offered and the applicant would be encouraged to seek insurance in their new country of residence.