Leaving the UK part 2: Insurance
Written by Carl Turner on February 20, 2015.
In my previous article I talked about the steps you must take when emigrating from the UK to get your affairs in order with regard to your tax and National Insurance contributions.
Another equally important but often overlooked step is to ensure that you are not leaving your finances exposed by your insurance to cover is still valid for your new life abroad. Moving country is an exciting but also things can and do go wrong, which is why it is even more important than usual to guarantee the wellbeing of you and your family in the face of unfortunate and unforeseen life events. Insurance is the foundation of any financial plan, protecting your assets if anything should happen to you.
It is very important to check if your current life insurance is valid when you are living overseas. Many life insurance policyholders often do not realise that a move abroad can invalidate their domestic policy cover due to exclusions for people living overseas for more than three or six consecutive months.
In addition, moving country often involves significant lifestyle changes. A change in employment, homeownership status or marital status could mean that your existing policies are no longer sufficient for your needs and you may need to adapt your cover so that it meets your new requirements. Even if your life insurance does cover you adequately abroad you should notify your insurer of the change to your residency status. If in doubt about any aspects of your policy, make sure you clarify the situation with your insurer rather than leaving anything to chance.
Wherever you are moving to, one thing is for sure, the NHS won’t be there to pick up your medical bills.
If you don’t have private healthcare in the UK, it will become imperative when you live abroad, transferring the risk of any health costs to the insurer to give you the best choice of hospitals, doctors and treatments available, not to mention offering you the peace of mind that you won’t be financially impacted should one of your family fall ill or have an accident.
If you have an existing UK health insurance policy the chances are that it will not be sufficient to cover you internationally so whatever your situation, make sure you check and get international healthcare cover in place before you leave home.
If your employer provides your health insurance check that the cover limits are suitable as some company insurance plans are only for emergency situations and aren’t as comprehensive as you would imagine.
For more information on life, health and other types of peace of mind insurance, you might like to download our free guide here.