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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
27 February 2019EritreaReconsider your need to travel
31 May 2019ItalyExercise normal safety precautions
8 February 2019KosovoHigh degree of caution
15 May 2019JamaicaHigh degree of caution
9 January 2019GabonHigh degree of caution
21 March 2019Trinidad and TobagoHigh degree of caution
11 June 2019SudanReconsider your need to travel
29 November 2018AustriaExercise normal safety precautions
30 August 2018SeychellesExercise normal safety precautions
14 June 2019IndiaHigh degree of caution
7 May 2019New ZealandExercise normal safety precautions
10 May 2019Solomon IslandsExercise normal safety precautions
29 October 2018IrelandExercise normal safety precautions
13 June 2019CambodiaExercise normal safety precautions
6 May 2019MaltaExercise normal safety precautions
18 January 2019MacauExercise normal safety precautions
10 August 2018RwandaHigh degree of caution
22 February 2019AfghanistanDo not travel
17 January 2019Burkina FasoReconsider your need to travel
14 June 2018SwitzerlandExercise normal safety precautions
7 February 2019VietnamExercise normal safety precautions
21 May 2019BrazilHigh degree of caution
15 May 2019DjiboutiHigh degree of caution
25 May 2019AlbaniaExercise normal safety precautions
8 February 2019BhutanExercise normal safety precautions
4 February 2019JapanExercise normal safety precautions
9 April 2019PortugalExercise normal safety precautions
5 June 2019PhilippinesHigh degree of caution
20 December 2018SamoaExercise normal safety precautions
8 April 2019TurkeyHigh degree of caution
8 February 2019SomaliaDo not travel
21 December 2018The Slovak RepublicExercise normal safety precautions
14 August 2018LithuaniaExercise normal safety precautions
12 June 2019RussiaHigh degree of caution
7 May 2019SwedenExercise normal safety precautions
7 January 2019FijiExercise normal safety precautions
27 March 2019Bosnia and HerzegovinaExercise normal safety precautions
6 May 2019BangladeshReconsider your need to travel
4 February 2019LiberiaHigh degree of caution
13 June 2019PakistanReconsider your need to travel
4 December 2018CroatiaExercise normal safety precautions
5 June 2019VenezuelaDo not travel
13 June 2019New CaledoniaExercise normal safety precautions
8 March 2019SpainExercise normal safety precautions
7 September 2018BelizeHigh degree of caution
8 May 2019French PolynesiaExercise normal safety precautions
4 February 2019TongaExercise normal safety precautions
17 May 2019NamibiaExercise normal safety precautions
19 February 2019FinlandExercise normal safety precautions
13 June 2019UkraineHigh degree of caution
9 April 2019KuwaitHigh degree of caution
20 March 2019BulgariaExercise normal safety precautions
17 March 2019MalaysiaExercise normal safety precautions
7 November 2018South SudanDo not travel
12 June 2019EstoniaExercise normal safety precautions
11 June 2019Marshall IslandsExercise normal safety precautions
26 March 2019UzbekistanHigh degree of caution
24 January 2019South Korea (Republic of Korea)Exercise normal safety precautions
20 February 2019Timor-LesteHigh degree of caution
23 January 2019GuyanaHigh degree of caution
24 January 2019EswatiniExercise normal safety precautions
15 February 2019ChadDo not travel
27 May 2019NepalHigh degree of caution
14 February 2019AzerbaijanExercise normal safety precautions
13 July 2018GuineaHigh degree of caution
9 January 2019Costa RicaHigh degree of caution
7 September 2018IcelandExercise normal safety precautions
26 March 2019HondurasHigh degree of caution
1 May 2019BahrainHigh degree of caution
5 June 2019ParaguayHigh degree of caution
28 May 2019OmanExercise normal safety precautions
17 May 2019GuatemalaHigh degree of caution
6 May 2019GuamExercise normal safety precautions
9 April 2019SerbiaExercise normal safety precautions
1 May 2019MoroccoHigh degree of caution
22 November 2018SingaporeExercise normal safety precautions
15 April 2019ThailandHigh degree of caution
27 March 2019TunisiaHigh degree of caution
13 February 2019RomaniaExercise normal safety precautions
11 June 2019GhanaExercise normal safety precautions
18 December 2018SyriaDo not travel
1 March 2019Saudi ArabiaReconsider your need to travel
5 March 2019NicaraguaHigh degree of caution
14 November 2018CubaExercise normal safety precautions
9 January 2019NigerDo not travel
8 May 2019EgyptReconsider your need to travel
9 January 2019CameroonHigh degree of caution
9 January 2019The GambiaHigh degree of caution
15 February 2019Papua New GuineaHigh degree of caution
22 June 2018Sierra LeoneHigh degree of caution
1 April 2019ChinaExercise normal safety precautions
11 December 2018Federated States of MicronesiaExercise normal safety precautions
22 May 2019United KingdomExercise normal safety precautions
27 March 2019Brunei DarussalamExercise normal safety precautions
18 October 2018TajikistanHigh degree of caution
6 June 2019ArgentinaExercise normal safety precautions
16 April 2019LebanonHigh degree of caution
12 December 2018GeorgiaExercise normal safety precautions
25 February 2019MongoliaExercise normal safety precautions
18 March 2019NetherlandsExercise normal safety precautions
30 April 2019TanzaniaHigh degree of caution
17 February 2019HaitiReconsider your need to travel
12 June 2019United Arab EmiratesExercise normal safety precautions
28 August 2018SenegalHigh degree of caution
24 May 2019ZimbabweHigh degree of caution
21 December 2018The Republic of SloveniaExercise normal safety precautions
5 April 2019UgandaHigh degree of caution
24 January 2019MexicoHigh degree of caution
18 September 2018ZambiaExercise normal safety precautions
5 March 2019ArmeniaExercise normal safety precautions
17 May 2019PanamaHigh degree of caution
8 May 2019CanadaExercise normal safety precautions
17 March 2019United States of AmericaExercise normal safety precautions
9 January 2019ChileExercise normal safety precautions
20 September 2018EthiopiaHigh degree of caution
20 November 2018Dominican RepublicHigh degree of caution
29 May 2019BotswanaExercise normal safety precautions
13 June 2019Sri LankaHigh degree of caution
6 May 2019VanuatuExercise normal safety precautions
16 May 2019Central African RepublicDo not travel
29 March 2019Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West BankHigh degree of caution
30 April 2019MozambiqueHigh degree of caution
16 April 2019AngolaHigh degree of caution
15 April 2019LesothoHigh degree of caution
17 May 2019South AfricaHigh degree of caution
15 May 2019NorwayExercise normal safety precautions
21 May 2019Kyrgyz RepublicHigh degree of caution
28 May 2019AlgeriaReconsider your need to travel
12 June 2019Hong KongExercise normal safety precautions
5 November 2018BurundiDo not travel
15 March 2019The BahamasHigh degree of caution
6 July 2018DenmarkExercise normal safety precautions
15 March 2019NigeriaReconsider your need to travel
16 May 2019IraqDo not travel
7 May 2019Cook IslandsExercise normal safety precautions
1 April 2019KazakhstanExercise normal safety precautions
24 January 2019MauritaniaReconsider your need to travel
10 August 2018UruguayExercise normal safety precautions
19 February 2019LatviaExercise normal safety precautions
7 August 2018TurkmenistanExercise normal safety precautions
15 May 2019BeninHigh degree of caution
21 December 2018MauritiusExercise normal safety precautions
29 January 2019Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)High degree of caution
6 September 2018BoliviaHigh degree of caution
22 February 2019MoldovaExercise normal safety precautions
14 June 2019IndonesiaHigh degree of caution
13 June 2019PeruHigh degree of caution
25 February 2019MadagascarHigh degree of caution
17 January 2019MaliDo not travel
5 December 2018HungaryExercise normal safety precautions
16 April 2019CyprusExercise normal safety precautions
14 June 2019PolandExercise normal safety precautions
16 August 2018LaosExercise normal safety precautions
21 May 2019KenyaHigh degree of caution
19 February 2019North Macedonia (Republic of North Macedonia)High degree of caution
30 May 2019TaiwanExercise normal safety precautions
18 March 2019MalawiExercise normal safety precautions
8 January 2019El SalvadorHigh degree of caution
15 April 2019LibyaDo not travel
26 April 2019ColombiaHigh degree of caution
29 March 2019EcuadorHigh degree of caution
17 March 2019BelgiumHigh degree of caution
7 June 2019FranceHigh degree of caution
18 February 2019YemenDo not travel
22 January 2019GreeceExercise normal safety precautions
7 March 2019JordanHigh degree of caution
17 March 2019GermanyExercise normal safety precautions
15 February 2019QatarExercise normal safety precautions
26 February 2019IranReconsider your need to travel
22 March 2019Democratic Republic of the CongoReconsider your need to travel
16 April 2019MyanmarHigh degree of caution
23 January 2019North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)Reconsider your need to travel
12 October 2018BelarusExercise normal safety precautions
31 January 2019PalauExercise 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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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?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezAugust 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?

    • Avatarfinder 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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