UK IFA launches new life cover service for British expats

Added 14th July 2016

Unusual Risks, a UK-based mortgage and insurance advice firm has launched a new service aimed at providing life insurance to British expat living abroad.

UK IFA launches new life cover service for British expats

The firm said the new fee-based offering was created off the back of its Expatriate Life Insurance Survey 2016, which found that just 16% of UK life companies offer insurance products to British expats.

According to a survey, only 8% are prepared to accept an application for critical illness cover.

Morgan said the withdrawal of Friends Life, Legal & General, Aviva and Zurich from providing "expat friendly" service mean the firm now receives "a steadily increasing number of phonecalls from Industry professionals looking for cover for their expat clients."

“In our experience there are many financial industry professionals who rarely offer expat protection services to their clients, as many are specialists in mortgage, pension and investment planning.

“For them to conduct specific research on protection for British expatriates would be time consuming and extremely inefficient with their time,” said Chris Morgan, lead financial adviser of Unusual Risks.

The study, which looked in to 12 mainstream UK life insurance providers between November and December 2015, found that only two companies would consider providing life products to British expats living overseas.

The firm said that some insurers would require an applicant be living in the UK for more than six months of the year.

However, it identified three additional insurers offering specialist cover to expats, although this came at a high price, with premiums quoted at four times the standard price – the results of which were not included in the survey.

Exiting international markets

The findings come after a spate of UK and European insurers pulled out of international market amid the rock-bottom interest rates and slow growth wreaking havoc on their balance sheets.

Swiss-insurer Zurich is in the middle of a massive cost-cutting exercise following large losses which saw it the company sell both its Taiwanese and African units in the fast few weeks.

Last October, Aviva-owned Friends Provident International said it is abandoning all of its global operations, excluding Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, and the ‘permitted jurisdictions’ of South Africa and Qatar. 

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Monira Matin

Senior Reporter

Monira joined International Adviser in March 2016 from Informa Global Markets where she worked as a eurobond reporter for over two years, covering fixed income markets. She has previously held a number of editorial positions covering politics, insurance and technology. Monira has a degree in Journalism and Economics from City University.

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