Can Non-Australian Residents and Australians Overseas Buy Life Insurance?

If you're a non-Australian resident or Australian working overseas you can take out life insurance, but the application requirements are different.

Life insurance requirements for Non-Australian residents living in Australia

Whether you can take out life insurance in Australia as a non-Australian resident will depend on a number of factors including;

1. The country you originate from

First and foremost, only residents of specific countries that are a part of the Level 1 and Level 2 countries as specified by the federal government in Australia are eligible to buy life insurance in this country. Some countries that qualify are India, South Africa, Thailand, and Malaysia. Hence, if you are a non-Australian resident currently but you hail from any of these countries, then you may be eligible for life insurance in Australia.

2. Whether or not you have lived in Australia for more than 12 months

The second important criterion that needs to be fulfilled by is that they should be staying in Australia for at least one year. If you have been living in the country for less than 12 months, then your life insurance application is likely to be rejected by Australian insurance companies. Also, those who do fulfil the criteria of a year can help their cause further if they are already in the process of receiving a permanent resident status in Australia.

3. The status of your visa

The third important factor for non-Australian residents in order to receive life insurance cover is their visa status. In general, you must hold a type of visa that allows you to stay in Australia for at least two to four years, or more, to be eligible to apply.

Without one of the suitable visa statuses such as permanent work visa, business visa (890 visa), spousal visa (820/801 visa), or being nominated by an Australian employer to stay and work in the country (121/856 or 457 visa), a person will not be able to apply for life insurance in Australia.

Anything else?

It is important to note that these are just some of the standard requirements that have to be met by non-Australian residents so that they can take out life insurance cover in Australia. However, different insurance companies may have some specific requirements that differ from the ones mentioned above.

It is typical for insurance companies to levy higher rates of insurance premiums for residents who originate from other countries than what is applicable to Australian citizens. Also, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia has a list of countries that they consider dangerous to travel to. Therefore, if you hail from one of these countries and you need to go back to your home country periodically, then your travel schedule and habits too could have an impact on your life insurance application and cover.

Life insurance requirements for Australian expats living overseas

Australian citizens who travel overseas for work or pleasure can enjoy uninterrupted life insurance cover even when they are overseas. However, if they meet with an accident when overseas that results in a serious injury or perhaps in death, then the beneficiaries of the insured person have to ensure that they can provide sufficient medical evidence that shows which hospital the insured was treated at and what was the nature of the injuries or the cause of death.

Australian citizens who live overseas, including Australian expatriates, also have to fulfil certain criteria to be eligible for life insurance cover in Australia.

1. The country where you intend to stay for a short-term

In general, insurance providers will want to know which country you intend to live and work for a specified amount of time, usually between six months to three years (or possibly more). The insurers are then able to determine whether or not they can provide you cover based on the country's risk category from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT). Applicants that are residing in a country with DFAT 5 will generally be declined, as it is considered to be high risk.

2. Specified period of stay in Australia to maintain cover

Usually such citizens have to return to Australia once every few months or years (as specified by the respective insurance company) so that they can continue to enjoy their life insurance cover. Also, being an Australian citizen, if you live overseas for the better part of the year, or you may travel overseas during your life insurance term; then this has to be clearly mentioned to the life insurance provider so that your cover does not get compromised for want of complete disclosure.

Life Insurance Requirements for Australian Citizens

Life insurance with income protection cover is typically given to Australian citizens who fall into the age bracket of 18 to 59 years. People who are older than 59 years may find it difficult to purchase life insurance as their risk of contracting a serious illness increases with age, so does their risk of death from natural age related causes. Therefore, older people may not be able to buy life insurance past a certain age. Even if they do have an existing life insurance policy, the premiums increase with age as the chances of death also increase with age.

As for income protection cover along with life insurance, there are certain factors that govern eligibility. Firstly, an Australian citizen has to be working at least a minimum of 20 hours every week, so as to qualify for income protection cover. Secondly, they should be working in their current position for at least 12 months before they can successfully apply for such a cover within their life insurance policy. These rules apply to citizens of Australia as well as to citizens of New Zealand.

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William Eve

Will is a personal finance writer for finder.com.au specialising in content on insurance. While he cannot give personal advice to clients, Will enjoys explaining the intricacies of different types of protective cover to help individuals and businesses find affordable cover that won't leave them underinsured.

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6 Responses to Can Non-Australian Residents and Australians Overseas Buy Life Insurance?

  1. Default Gravatar
    cheeel | October 26, 2016

    Hi

    looking for a provider of Mortgage Protection Plan that covers for Australian Expat

    Thanks

    • Staff
      Maurice | October 26, 2016

      Hi there Cheel,

      Unfortunately the team of advisers that finder.com.au partners with does not have access to mortgage protection insurance. Alternatively, if you’d like to compare income protection insurance you can do so here: https://www.finder.com.au/income-protection

      Best of luck,

      Maurice

  2. Default Gravatar
    NRAY | October 25, 2016

    What are the requirements for a Nepalese citizen living in australia for last 10 years but on a student visa followed by 457 visa since 2012. Being on a 457 visa and on transit to permanent visa what conditions are to be met for life insurance or injury/income protection insurance?

  3. Default Gravatar
    cheryl | August 16, 2016

    My husband and I are moving to Perth in January 2017 on a 457 visa. We are looking for life insurance. My husband and I are non-smokers. He is 63 and I am 46 years old. Please could you send me quotes for life insurance for both of us. many thanks.

    • Staff
      Richard | August 19, 2016

      Hi Cheryl,

      Thanks for your question. finder.com.au is a comparison service and not an insurer. If you would like to receive a quote from the insurance brands in our panel, please enter your details into the form above and an adviser will be in touch.

      All the best,
      Richard

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