You don’t want to under-insure yourself but at the same time you don’t want to over-insure yourself (and pay too much money in annual premiums). When moving overseas, there are five insurance policies you will want to check, change, review or take out. We summarise them below.
1. Car Insurance
Obviously when you sell your car you will want to cancel your car insurance policy. However what many of us forget about, is retaining or obtaining a no claims certificate from your car insurer detailing how many years you have not made a claim. This is incredibly important if you plan to buy a car after moving overseas, as the overseas insurer may not give you full credit for your no-claims driving history unless you supply satisfactory evidence. If you have changed insurer from time to time, you may also need to pull out evidence of your no-claims history from each of those insurers.
(When we moved overseas we were asked to provide evidence of 20 years of no-claim driving history to get the full no-claims discount. Unfortunately we were only able to compile evidence for a subset of that period, and thus only got a proportionate discount on our insurance premium).
2. Private Health Insurance
If you remain an Australian resident for tax purposes when moving overseas, you may want to retain your private health insurance in Australia to avoid being liable for the medicare levy surcharge (if your income is above the relevant threshold).
If you are a non-resident for tax purposes, then you could consider suspending your private health insurance in Australia for the period you are living overseas. You’ll find more information on what to do with your private health insurance in this article.
3. International Health Insurance
Although Australia has a number of reciprocal health agreements in place with some countries, the coverage is generally limited to emergency medical treatment only. If you want increased peace of mind when living abroad, you should consider international health insurance. Companies like Cigna Global provide free online quotes.
4. Home and Contents / Landlords Insurance
Once you move out of your home in Australia, you will want to cancel your contents insurance.
If you own your own home and plan to rent out your former primary residence, you can switch your policy to a landlord’s insurance policy. A landlords insurance policy will cover both your home and any contents remaining in the property, and also give you the option to insure against such events as malicious damage by tenants, rent default, and loss of rent (in the event the house becomes unliveable – eg. fire).
5. Life Insurance and Income Protection Insurance
Something we all often forget about (because it might be hidden in our superannuation fund) is life insurance and income protection insurance.
If you have existing policies (check to see if you have a life insurance policy as part of your superannuation fund), then you will want to review the policy to understand any exclusions or limitations in the event you move overseas. If you are not sufficiently covered you may want to review alternative life insurance policies.
If you don’t have a life insurance policy in place, moving overseas is a good time to reconsider whether now is an appropriate time to take out a policy. A company like Life Insurance Direct compares life insurance and income protection policies from ten of the largest life insurance companies in Australia.
Disclaimer : This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute financial or taxation advice. As this information is not advice and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness for your circumstances. Independent advice should be obtained from an Australian financial services licensee before making investment decisions, and a registered (tax) financial advisor/accountant in relation to taxation decisions. To the extent permitted by law, we exclude all liability for any loss or damage arising in any way.