Is it possible for British expats to get life insurance in Australia?
Yes, it is possible for British expats to take out life insurance, income protection, trauma or TPD Insurance during their stay in Australia. There are a handful of general requirements that UK expats must satisfy in order to be able to buy life insurance in Australia. Generally speaking, you will need to:
- Have lived in Australia for at least six or twelve months and be intending to apply for permanent residency
- Hold a visa that allows you to stay in Australia for a period of at least two to four years
- Are engaged in an occupation that the insurance provider is willing to cover
Visas eligible for cover include the 457 (business visa for long stay), 820/801 (spouse visa), 121/856 (employer nomination), and 890 (business visa). Applicants must also come from countries classified as Level 1 and 2 by the Australian federal government. As well as the UK, other Level 1 and 2 countries include South Africa, Thailand and India.
With conditions varying around cover for expats from one insurance provider to the next, an insurance consultant can help you find suitable cover based on your situation.
When won't I be covered?
It's important to note that no cover will be provided for events that occur while you are travelling or residing outside of Australia or New Zealand unless you are away on business or holiday-related travel for up to three months in a consecutive 12 month period.
Can I keep my policy active if I become a permanent resident?
Yes, provided you do not return home for an extended period after your work contract has finished you can keep cover in place. You will need to inform your insurance provider that you have been granted permanent residency.
Will my UK life insurance policy cover me while I am in Australia?
You may be able to keep your original policy active while you are in Australia subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. Generally your policy will be invalidated in the event of a claim if your residency status has changed.
If you move and fail to notify your insurance provider of your new address, the policy may be invalidated. This is largely from the standpoint of underwriting and the risk you present to the insurance provider if you move to a country with a higher level of risk.
What are the different types of life insurance available?
There are several different types of life insurance cover that UK workers overseas can take out, each of which has its own features and benefits:
- Life insurance: Life insurance pays out an agreed lump sum if you die or are diagnosed with a terminal illness. The benefit payment can be used to help your family cover any bills, repay debts and enjoy financial security.
- Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance: If you suffer an illness or injury that leaves you totally and permanently disabled, this type of cover offers a lump sum payment. The payment can be used to cover medical expenses, pay off debts, or even fund any home renovations or lifestyle changes needed to cope with your disability.
- Trauma cover: Trauma insurance offers a lump sum payment if you suffer a serious illness or injury. This can be used to pay your medical expenses, cover any loss of income resulting from the insured event or even cover your mortgage repayments.
- Income protection insurance: If you’re in Australia on a 457 visa, your employer is not required to pay anything other than normal sick leave benefits if illness or injury force you to take time off work. Income protection cover kicks in if sickness or injury keep you out of the workforce, providing a regular stream of income to help you continue to provide for your family. This leaves you free to simply focus on your recovery.
- Other insurance options: Funeral insurance and accidental injury cover are also available.