Does life insurance cover me while overseas?

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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, updated on November 25th, 2021       

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If you are planning to travel to foreign shores, then it is important to know if your life insurance policy covers you. The short of it is that life insurance does cover Australians while overseas, but there are still a few things you need to consider in order to tie up loose ends.

Before you go overseas check the terms of your policy

Going overseas can be a long process when you have to get your documents and bookings in order. According to Quora, there were 14.8 million Australians who went overseas in 2012. In total there are 29.8 million crossings into Australia. Whether you are going for a vacation or business reasons it is important that you check the terms of your life insurance policy to see what it does and does not cover. You will have to inform your insurer if you are planning to go overseas for an extended period so that they can update your policy accordingly.

Life insurance policy terms that exclude cover for certain countries

Your life insurance policy is there to protect you and your loved ones. It is based on evaluating your level of risk to provide adequate cover. By checking the terms of your policy you will be able to realise that some insurers do not cover you if you travel to dangerous countries. Insurers use the information that is dispatched by the Department of Foreign Affairs to determine the level of risk for each country. This will then help them see if you are at risk. Insurers may place exclusions on the policy depending on the country. It will also help the insurer determine how long they are willing to provide you with a cover. Most insurers will cover you for up to 5 years.

What happens if you plan to stay overseas longer than 5 years?

If it so happens that you extend your stay to another country for more than 5 years it is most likely that your insurer would advise you to take out another policy in your new country of residence. The old policy which you have taken out in Australia will then become void. These are factors that you need to consider when deciding to go overseas. Insurers differ in how they work out their terms. This is why it is important that you speak to your insurer and getting the necessary documents ready before journeying to foreign shores.

What other covers to consider while you travel

Once you have your life insurance policy in check the next thing you can do is take out travel insurance which will keep you protected throughout your journey. Think of it as an investment for the now. Should anything go wrong during your journey such as having a trip cancelled, your luggage and personal items get lost or stolen, or you suddenly need to cover an emergency overseas medical cost your travel insurance will be able to take care of you. However, it is important that you compare travel insurance policies that come with your credit card or a policy that comes from an insurer to see if you are getting the best value for your money.

Taking out additional policies with your life insurance can be a saving grace when you need it the most. There are things that your life insurance policy does not cover that other policies cover. This can give you peace of mind and protection when it is time to use it.

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