Us Brits are real globetrotters. In fact, in 2019, the average UK resident was abroad for around 9.8 nights and a total of 72.6 million trips were taken. And we’re not just leaving the UK for vacation purposes, more and more of us are relocating permanently. The number of Britons leaving the UK is at a 10-year high since the recent referendum.
A job opportunity, a desire for a lifestyle change, or a need for a relaxing holiday; there are a number of things that can lead to us to pack our bags and leave the country, whether it’s a quick trip or something long term. And with so many people leaving the UK for vacation or emigration purposes, it’s no wonder you might be concerned about whether you’re covered by life insurance while abroad.
How could travelling abroad affect my policy?
In some cases, if you move away from the UK, you can run the risk of no longer being considered a UK resident and therefore, your policy might not cover you should you die. Visiting a high-risk country that has been flagged on the policy details as unsafe could also affect your cover. Should you pass away in such a country, your policy may not pay out.
There are plenty of ways in which travelling could affect you, depending on the details of your chosen policy. The important thing is to check in advance that a policy covers you while abroad before you commit to buying it.
What to look for in a policy if you plan to travel
Insurers may have different rules depending on the length, the nature or the location of your trip.
Short term trips
A short term trip might include going on holidays, visiting family or taking a business trip overseas for example. It could be a couple of days in length to a month or two. Many standard life insurance policies will provide cover when you travel to countries deemed ‘safe’ or ‘low-risk’. You must check the policy’s Key Facts document to confirm that you will still be covered when you enter your desired destination.
You might live abroad for all or part of the year. This could include expats like families relocating overseas, people moving away for work or young people travelling long-term or on a working holiday visa.
And it’s not just young people seeking greener pastures, lots of retirees wish to spend the best part of their golden years outside of the UK. The number of British citizens aged 65 and over living in other EU countries (excluding Ireland) is around 247,000.
When it comes to moving abroad, it’s not just the country you’re emigrating to that could affect your insurability. The length of time you plan to spend there or when you leave the UK could also affect it. Check an insurer’s Key Facts document to see what an insurer defines as ‘living’ abroad and to see if your travel plans could be affected by policy conditions.
Am I covered by life insurance while abroad?
Here at Choozi we work with leading UK insurance brands, each insurer has their own specific terms and conditions when it comes to insurance while abroad. We’ll tell you what you need to know, show you what’s out there and help you weigh up your options impartially, and explain everything clearly. However, it’s up to you to check the Key Facts document provided by an insurer to get more information on your cover while abroad.
What factors could affect my cover?
We can provide guidance on what factors could affect your cover but again, you must check the relevant Key Facts documents provided by the insurers.
Your life insurance acceptance terms could be affected by residency and travel plans in the past, present and future. You will answer any questions that relate to this during the application process.
It’s also important to be aware that some insurers might not cover you if something happens while you’re engaging in a high-risk activity like scuba or skydiving for instance*. Or, if you’re travelling to somewhere considered high risk in terms of armed conflict, health risks like certain diseases or infections and political instability**.
Some will offer you cover as long as you’re a UK resident at the time in which you take out the policy and you make your payments from a UK bank account***. Some insurers will continue to provide the same cover if you move abroad as long as you refer to your plan documentation for specific details of your cover and any exclusions that may apply****.
I’m unsure of my future travel plans, should I take out life insurance?
If you’re unsure if you’ll end up travelling or moving abroad, it could be best to play it safe and look for a policy that will cover all eventualities. That way, if you do decide down the line that you would like to travel or relocate, you can keep your cover and won’t lose out on any premiums paid. It’s especially important to make sure that if you’re moving, the country you’re emigrating to isn’t marked as high-risk by the insurer as your policy may no longer be valid when you leave.
If you tend to take holidays each year or you travel frequently for work, it could be worthwhile making sure your chosen policy will cover you under these circumstances.
Life insurance when travelling abroad
There are many factors at play when it comes to life insurance cover while abroad. If you’re planning to emigrate or leave the country for a significant amount of time, it’s crucial that you look into the travel conditions of any policy you’re considering purchasing. Otherwise your loved ones could be left financially vulnerable should something happen to you. All insurers will provide a Key Facts document where you can view all of their policy terms and conditions. If you would like to know more about who we work with, you can view our life insurance partners here.
*Aegon Life, Insurance Plans FAQ
** Legal and General, Life Insurance When Moving Abroad
***British Seniors Insurance Agency, Over 50s Life Insurance FAQ
****Scottish Widows, Brexit Q&A