What Protection do you need as Expat?

When you move to a new country you may lose some of the protection benefits that you had in your previous country, your new company may not offer the same employee benefits as your previous employer or your existing protection benefits will not cover you to the same extent. It is critical to review your existing protection and to explore replacement options that would offer more appropriate cover. However, as an expat, what is important to consider?

Firstly, in advance of comparing other options, consult with your new employer as you may already have an employee benefits package in place that could include different protection levels such as health insurance and death in service benefits.  Remember if you leave your employment then you will lose these benefits. If in suffering a critical illness, you were forced to leave employment, would your death in service be forfeited? If you have a serious health problems when you come to take out the insurance, then then the company may exclude you or not offer the cover.

What do you need and what is available, the main protection areas are:

Health cover

Provides insurance to pay for hospital medical bills. Your company may well generally provide a basic hospital and surgical plan with coverage up to a pre-defined limit. This is essential if you don’t have insurance or your existing coverage is poor. It is also worth considering that the majority of local company schemes don’t offer maternity as coverage.

Life insurance

Not everyone needs life cover but if you have children, a partner or other relatives who depend on your income then the answer is yes. There are two main types of term life policies. One will run for a set period such 10, 15 or 20 years. These polices pay out if die you during the policy term. The other is whole of life policy which will pay out no matter when you die.

Income Protection

If you are unable to work due to illness or injury then this will pay you a percentage of your income on a regular basis based on your occupation. Coverage for this is limited in Singapore.

Critical illness cover

This will provide a lump sum amount when you suffer a critical illness from a pre-defined list of around 30 illnesses. The majority though, come from four: cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart complications and strokes.

It’s a complex area and getting advice from an unbiased financial planner is essential.