Financial challenges for American expats in Kazakhstan: challenge 4 – insurance
Written by Dermot Monaghan on January 23, 2017.
Challenges one, two and three covered investing, frozen IRAs and pensions and banking and here’s the last in this mini-series of difficulties that you might face as a US expat living and working in Kazakhstan: insurance.
Insurance is one of the cornerstones of a sound financial plan – if you’re spending time investing to create wealth you certainly want to protect it and you do that with different kinds of insurance. The problem for non-resident Americans is that as soon as they move to a new country, even temporarily, domestic medical and life insurance policies will usually be rendered null and void. You may be one of the lucky ones whose employer will provide some kind of coverage abroad or you may not. Even if you do have cover as part of a package, there are many reasons why it may not be sufficient.
For example, life insurance cover often only covers the breadwinner which leaves their spouse uninsured. Then there is the possibility of you leaving the company, moving to another country or getting fired, all of which could affect cover. In many cases it is advisable to take out additional private cover to provide fully comprehensive protection for yourself and your family.
I recently had a conversation with an American couple who relocated to Almaty six months ago. They were aware that the husband’s life insurance policy had been terminated but were under the false impression that the death in service benefit provided by his company, and a standard component of many expat packages, was ample replacement.
This is certainly not the case – death in service typically pays a lump sum of three or four times salary if the policyholder dies while working abroad for that company. In most cases this is woefully insufficient to provide for a family for any length of time once you tot up living expenses, school and college fees etc.
And what about when you do finally return home after your postings abroad? You’ll have to start from scratch with life insurance which will work out expensive because the older you get and the more likely a claim becomes, the more expensive life insurance will be. It pays to purchase early and to find an expat policy which will cover you even when you return to the States.
What is true of life insurance is largely also true of medical insurance which is why it pays to take some time to review the cover you have against what you need. If you’re moving from the States, be sure to clarify whether your policies will cover you abroad and go through any company policies with a fine tooth comb to check what you will and won’t be covered for and whether it will adequately cover the needs of your family.
All this can seem quite a challenge so why not enlist the help of an expert used to dealing with US clients in exactly the same situation as you? An insurance review is a routine process that I carry out with all my new clients and would be happy to help you. Here at Infinity we work with all the major insurance providers and have an in-depth knowledge of expat-related policies which provide excellent cover for nomad families from the States to cover them wherever in the world they roam, including when they return back home. You can contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org , call me on +7 (747) 837 0469 or skype me at dermot.m.monaghan.