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Life Insurance for Australian Expats

Can Australian expats living overseas take out life insurance with an Australian insurer?

It's possible for Australian expatriates living overseas to take out life cover with an Australian insurance provider. However, there are some important restrictions to be aware of, including:

  • Official government warnings for overseas country. Most insurers will not provide cover for expats in countries with a level 5 classification from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Training (DFAT).
  • Maximum length of time overseas. Policies will state a maximum length of time of 5 years for Australian expats overseas.

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Does life insurance cover deaths that occur overseas or abroad?

Whether or not an Insurance Provider will offer cover and on what terms is often dependent on the country that they are or intend to reside in. Most life insurers will work through reports from the Department of Foreign Affairs when determining risk levels of countries and in most cases will not insure expatriates in high risk countries (DFAT 5). Warnings on DFAT for countries range from “Exercise Normal Safety Precautions” to “Reconsider Your Need to Travel”. Reasons for countries being considered dangerous can include;

  • Terrorist threats
  • High rates of kidnapping
  • Political unrest
  • Serious crime
  • Military conflict
  • Disease

Insurers will generally consider each country on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, insurers may place exclusions on the policy depending on the country. For example, the application of a political instability clause is common for many policies. The country travelled to may also impact the length of time that an insurer is willing to provide cover for.

Issue DateDestinationOverall level
26 October 2018Czech RepublicExercise normal safety precautions
26 September 2018MaldivesExercise normal safety precautions
3 April 2018EritreaReconsider your need to travel
22 October 2018ItalyExercise normal safety precautions
23 October 2018KosovoHigh degree of caution
28 September 2018JamaicaHigh degree of caution
4 October 2018GabonHigh degree of caution
10 September 2018Trinidad and TobagoHigh degree of caution
16 January 2018SudanReconsider your need to travel
29 November 2018AustriaExercise normal safety precautions
30 August 2018SeychellesExercise normal safety precautions
14 December 2018IndiaHigh degree of caution
22 October 2018New ZealandExercise normal safety precautions
18 December 2018Solomon IslandsExercise normal safety precautions
29 October 2018IrelandExercise normal safety precautions
12 December 2018CambodiaExercise normal safety precautions
6 June 2018MaltaExercise normal safety precautions
19 September 2018MacauExercise normal safety precautions
10 August 2018RwandaHigh degree of caution
4 October 2018AfghanistanDo not travel
10 October 2018Burkina FasoReconsider your need to travel
14 June 2018SwitzerlandExercise normal safety precautions
31 October 2018VietnamExercise normal safety precautions
2 November 2018BrazilHigh degree of caution
25 June 2018DjiboutiHigh degree of caution
16 April 2018AlbaniaExercise normal safety precautions
4 June 2018BhutanExercise normal safety precautions
7 November 2018JapanExercise normal safety precautions
6 July 2018PortugalExercise normal safety precautions
29 October 2018PhilippinesHigh degree of caution
20 December 2018SamoaExercise normal safety precautions
15 November 2018TurkeyHigh degree of caution
22 June 2018SomaliaDo not travel
14 August 2018LithuaniaExercise normal safety precautions
21 November 2018RussiaHigh degree of caution
7 December 2018SwedenExercise normal safety precautions
27 November 2018FijiExercise normal safety precautions
10 April 2018Bosnia and HerzegovinaExercise normal safety precautions
25 November 2018BangladeshReconsider your need to travel
8 March 2018LiberiaHigh degree of caution
14 December 2018PakistanReconsider your need to travel
4 December 2018CroatiaExercise normal safety precautions
17 August 2018VenezuelaReconsider your need to travel
6 December 2018New CaledoniaExercise normal safety precautions
31 August 2018SpainExercise normal safety precautions
7 September 2018BelizeHigh degree of caution
5 December 2018French PolynesiaExercise normal safety precautions
19 April 2018TongaExercise normal safety precautions
16 May 2018NamibiaExercise normal safety precautions
4 July 2018FinlandExercise normal safety precautions
30 November 2018UkraineHigh degree of caution
22 June 2018KuwaitHigh degree of caution
23 October 2018BulgariaExercise normal safety precautions
19 December 2018MalaysiaExercise normal safety precautions
7 November 2018South SudanDo not travel
13 July 2018EstoniaExercise normal safety precautions
12 December 2018Marshall IslandsExercise normal safety precautions
22 June 2018UzbekistanHigh degree of caution
7 September 2018South Korea (Republic of Korea)Exercise normal safety precautions
5 November 2018Timor-LesteHigh degree of caution
15 February 2018GuyanaHigh degree of caution
14 May 2018EswatiniExercise normal safety precautions
25 June 2018ChadDo not travel
10 December 2018NepalHigh degree of caution
22 June 2018AzerbaijanExercise normal safety precautions
13 July 2018GuineaHigh degree of caution
10 October 2018Costa RicaHigh degree of caution
7 September 2018IcelandExercise normal safety precautions
30 January 2018HondurasHigh degree of caution
22 June 2018BahrainHigh degree of caution
10 July 2018ParaguayHigh degree of caution
10 July 2018OmanExercise normal safety precautions
30 July 2018GuatemalaHigh degree of caution
4 May 2018GuamExercise normal safety precautions
22 October 2018SerbiaExercise normal safety precautions
22 June 2018MoroccoHigh degree of caution
22 November 2018SingaporeExercise normal safety precautions
8 October 2018ThailandHigh degree of caution
5 November 2018TunisiaHigh degree of caution
12 August 2018RomaniaExercise normal safety precautions
2 November 2018GhanaExercise normal safety precautions
18 December 2018SyriaDo not travel
18 September 2018Saudi ArabiaReconsider your need to travel
31 May 2018NicaraguaReconsider your need to travel
14 November 2018CubaExercise normal safety precautions
21 September 2018NigerDo not travel
18 September 2018EgyptReconsider your need to travel
4 October 2018CameroonHigh degree of caution
19 September 2018The GambiaHigh degree of caution
18 December 2018Papua New GuineaHigh degree of caution
22 June 2018Sierra LeoneHigh degree of caution
8 October 2018ChinaExercise normal safety precautions
11 December 2018Federated States of MicronesiaExercise normal safety precautions
26 November 2018United KingdomExercise normal safety precautions
28 November 2018Brunei DarussalamExercise normal safety precautions
18 October 2018TajikistanHigh degree of caution
16 November 2018ArgentinaExercise normal safety precautions
22 June 2018LebanonHigh degree of caution
12 December 2018GeorgiaExercise normal safety precautions
27 March 2018MongoliaExercise normal safety precautions
2 October 2018NetherlandsExercise normal safety precautions
30 August 2018TanzaniaHigh degree of caution
6 December 2018HaitiHigh degree of caution
1 November 2018United Arab EmiratesExercise normal safety precautions
28 August 2018SenegalHigh degree of caution
14 September 2018ZimbabweHigh degree of caution
8 October 2018UgandaHigh degree of caution
9 July 2018MexicoHigh degree of caution
18 September 2018ZambiaExercise normal safety precautions
15 May 2018ArmeniaExercise normal safety precautions
12 December 2018PanamaHigh degree of caution
19 October 2018CanadaExercise normal safety precautions
15 October 2018United States of AmericaExercise normal safety precautions
24 September 2018ChileExercise normal safety precautions
20 September 2018EthiopiaHigh degree of caution
20 November 2018Dominican RepublicHigh degree of caution
6 June 2018BotswanaExercise normal safety precautions
18 December 2018Sri LankaExercise normal safety precautions
5 November 2018VanuatuExercise normal safety precautions
24 April 2018Central African RepublicDo not travel
18 May 2018The former Yugoslav Republic of MacedoniaHigh degree of caution
14 December 2018Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West BankHigh degree of caution
9 June 2018MozambiqueHigh degree of caution
17 May 2018AngolaHigh degree of caution
8 May 2018LesothoHigh degree of caution
30 November 2018South AfricaHigh degree of caution
11 January 2018NorwayExercise normal safety precautions
25 September 2018Kyrgyz RepublicHigh degree of caution
25 June 2018AlgeriaReconsider your need to travel
19 September 2018Hong KongExercise normal safety precautions
5 November 2018BurundiDo not travel
13 December 2018The BahamasHigh degree of caution
6 July 2018DenmarkExercise normal safety precautions
1 November 2018NigeriaReconsider your need to travel
22 June 2018IraqDo not travel
10 July 2018Cook IslandsExercise normal safety precautions
15 October 2018KazakhstanExercise normal safety precautions
22 June 2018MauritaniaReconsider your need to travel
10 August 2018UruguayExercise normal safety precautions
17 December 2018LatviaExercise normal safety precautions
7 August 2018TurkmenistanExercise normal safety precautions
20 November 2018BeninHigh degree of caution
21 December 2018MauritiusExercise normal safety precautions
28 January 2018Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)High degree of caution
6 September 2018BoliviaHigh degree of caution
12 December 2018MoldovaExercise normal safety precautions
13 December 2018IndonesiaHigh degree of caution
10 October 2018PeruHigh degree of caution
12 December 2018MadagascarHigh degree of caution
4 September 2018MaliDo not travel
5 December 2018HungaryExercise normal safety precautions
28 November 2018CyprusExercise normal safety precautions
29 November 2018PolandExercise normal safety precautions
16 August 2018LaosExercise normal safety precautions
20 December 2018KenyaHigh degree of caution
11 July 2018TaiwanExercise normal safety precautions
3 July 2018MalawiExercise normal safety precautions
12 December 2018El SalvadorHigh degree of caution
22 June 2018LibyaDo not travel
6 July 2018ColombiaHigh degree of caution
10 October 2018EcuadorHigh degree of caution
6 December 2018BelgiumHigh degree of caution
13 December 2018FranceHigh degree of caution
22 June 2018YemenDo not travel
5 September 2018GreeceExercise normal safety precautions
29 October 2018JordanHigh degree of caution
27 July 2018GermanyExercise normal safety precautions
22 June 2018QatarExercise normal safety precautions
26 November 2018IranReconsider your need to travel
27 August 2018Democratic Republic of the CongoReconsider your need to travel
23 October 2018MyanmarHigh degree of caution
7 September 2018North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)Reconsider your need to travel
12 October 2018BelarusExercise normal safety precautions
31 January 2018PalauExercise normal safety precautions
21 November 2018MontenegroExercise normal safety precautions

Who is recognised as an expat?

An expat is recognised as an Australian Permanent Resident or one with Citizenship status who intends to live and work overseas for an extended period time but expects to return to Australian is the foreseeable future.

There is usually a restriction on the duration of time that the applicant can stay in the country for the policy to remain in force. Most insurers will only provide cover for up to five years. In the event that the policyholder has no intention to return to permanently live in Australia, an insurer will generally recommend that they seek cover options available in their new country of residence.

Is it possible for expats already residing overseas to take out cover?

For Australians who are already living and working overseas, there are a number of factors that will impact whether or not they can take out cover with an Australian provider. This include:

  • Duration of time already spent overseas. Insurers will examine the period of time that the applicant has already spent in the country and how much longer they intend to stay there. As mentioned previously, some insurers will recommend they look to taking out cover from a provider in that country.
  • Occupation. An insurer will consider the nature of the person’s occupation while overseas in their assessment on whether or not to provide cover. Occupations that may be considered to carry an extra level of risk (especially in the country being applied for) may carry an extra premium loading or be rejected altogether.
  • Legal Requirements of Country. The country may have certain legislation in place that will prevent the foreign workers to purchase a life insurance policy from within their country due to licensing issues.

Other forms of life insurance for Australian expats

Who is eligible to take out expatriate life insurance cover?

Some general requirements for expats looking to take out protective cover include;

  • Applicant must be an Australian citizen or have permanent residency.
  • Applicant must have plans to return to Australian after a period of 5 years. Applicants that decide to stay overseas may be required to take out a policy in their country of residence.
  • Any additional medical examination that is required during the underwriting process must be carried out in Australia by an approved medical practitioner.

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* The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

Richard Laycock

Richard is the Insurance Editor at Finder, wrangling insurance product disclosure statements for the better part of five years. His musings on insurance can be found the web including on Yahoo Finance, Travel Weekly and Dynamic Business. When he’s not helping Aussies make sense of insurance fine print, he is testing the quality of cocktails in his new found home of New York. Richard studied Media at Macquarie University and The Missouri School of Journalism and has a Tier 1 certification in General Advice for Life Insurance.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    RayAugust 21, 2018

    I am an Australian citizen currently working in Kuwait on a residential visa, can I get life insurance for myself and wife?

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynAugust 24, 2018Staff

      Hello Ray,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Yes, it’s possible for you to obtain life insurance in Australia, but you may be subject to different application requirements. Life insurers will want to confirm the following about your personal situation:

      – Confirmation of your Australian citizenship
      – That your employment overseas (or living arrangement) is for a set period of time
      – The set period of time is generally no more than 5 years, and there is a clear date for your return to Australia

      We encourage you to use the quote engine above and fill out the form with your details, click the Get Quotes button and compare different quotes that offer life insurance for Australian expats.

      Please make sure to read the eligibility criteria, features and details of the policy, as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statement PDS/T&C’s of the policy before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you. If necessary, speak to the insurance brand to verify any details.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.


  2. Default Gravatar
    PhilSeptember 7, 2017

    My wife and I will be living in China for 3 years, working for an established international school. What options are available for life insurance for us both?

    • finder Customer Care
      MaySeptember 7, 2017Staff

      Hi Phil,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      If you’re going to enter your details into the panel above and click on the green “Get quotes” button, you’d be able to know the different brands that offer life insurance for Australian expats. Best that once you get the list and quotes, you’d contact the insurer directly to discuss your options. The article above also provides information about some important restrictions that you should be aware of when taking life insurance while living overseas.

      Hope this helps.


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