Does Relocating from UK Invalidate Life Insurance?

Elaine Brookes Steve Case

Author: Steve Case - Insurance Expert

Reviewed & Fact Checked By: Elaine Brookes

Updated: 29th June 2024

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Whether you are an expat or considering moving out of the UK for another reason, consider the many consequences.

Life insurance policyholders often do not realise that a move abroad can invalidate their cover.

They also do not consider how their lifestyle changes can cause an existing policy to become insufficient for their needs. Before moving abroad, review the cover and make the appropriate changes.

Give Life Cover Some Thought

Most people only consider their life insurance coverage during the annual premium review period. People without this cover tend to give it no thought. However, ex-pats who have dependents and move abroad or have financial obligations in other countries should consider life insurance as soon as they move from the UK.

Though life insurance is not necessary for people without financial commitments, parents, spouses, or children, others must consider their death’s negative impact on surviving dependents and financial obligations.

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Life insurance is one way to take care of beneficiaries financially. Review the terms and conditions regarding residency status when taking out a policy. Some policies will not pay out upon the death of an insured who resided outside of the UK.

Moving to another part of the world can invalidate a policy. If this is not clearly stated in the policy guidelines, contact the insurer.

Notify Life Providers of a Move

The insurance provider should be informed of all changes in residency status. A life policy may become invalid if the insured moves abroad and does not notify the insurer of this change.

This is because the individual may relocate to a higher-risk area from an underwriting perspective. The insurer may deny benefits if the insured dies before informing the provider of the new address and a beneficiary claims the policy.

Will the cost of expat life cover vary according to my location?

Yes, the price of expat insurance can vary depending on your location. In some cases, certain countries or locations may have higher costs associated with insurance coverage. These locations are typically classified as “high-risk” areas.

However, it is essential to note that expat insurance is priced similarly to insurance plans for residents of the United Kingdom in most locations.

What if I spend only a part of the year abroad?

If you spend only a portion of the year abroad, there are insurance options available to you. Generally, if your time abroad is up to or less than six months, most UK insurers will provide you with the choice to arrange new or additional coverage.

These short-term trips could include holidays, visiting family, or business trips overseas, ranging from a few days to a few months.

Many standard life insurance policies cover you when travelling to countries considered “safe” or “low-risk.”

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However, reviewing the policy’s Key Facts document is crucial to ensure that your desired destination is included in the coverage.

Suppose you intend to spend more than six months abroad. In that case, most insurers will consider you as “living abroad,” you will probably need to explore expat-specific insurance products for adequate coverage.

Moving Abroad May Create a Lifestyle Change

When people move abroad, they often change certain aspects of their lifestyles. New hobbies, new employment, a change in homeownership status, and a marital status change are several examples.

Each factor affects the amount of life insurance cover considered sufficient for beneficiaries’ financial security. The insurance company should be informed of these changes to review the cover and premium to ensure it is adequate.

An insurance company may use such lifestyle changes as reasons to invalidate a policy or deny a claim. A policy that is paid out may no longer provide a sufficient financial benefit due to taxes varying from one place to the next.

Policyholders should ensure enough cover to meet financial obligations, pay for inheritance taxes and other charges, and provide survivors with a nest egg.

Online life insurance calculators can help determine how much life is needed. Use this as a baseline figure and ask an insurance professional for a customised answer.

Compare quotes from several providers to find the best price on the desired level of coverage and notify the selected provider of changes to the lifestyle, including relocating outside of the UK.