LIFE INSURANCE TAILORED TO YOU
Most Expats will know the benefits of having Life Insurance and understand that as an expat there is perhaps a greater need for this kind of cover. This will likely be because once you move away from your home country family ties will weaken so having independent provision in place to provide for your family becomes even more important.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LIFE INSURANCE
While most people don’t like the idea of discussing the benefits of life insurance, there is certainly an important place for it in one’s overall financial planning. In fact, without the protection of life insurance coverage, loved ones may need to drastically alter their lifestyle if the unexpected should occur.
In addition to being used for providing income and funds for a policy holder’s dependents, life insurance policies are also used by both individuals and businesses for a variety of other needs as well. Over time, life insurance has come to be used as a primary component of overall financial, estate, and business planning purposes.
In fact, life insurance is one of the most important purchases that you can ever make for your family. Without the proper life insurance plan, your family members could be left with a massive amount of debt, which can make an already difficult situation a thousand times worse. There are dozens of benefits to having a life insurance plan that you should consider.
There are millions of people without life insurance coverage, which could be one of the worst mistakes that you could make. It’s important that you understand all of the benefits of having a life insurance plan.
LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS FOR INDIVIDUALS
Although life insurance is often used for providing needed funds to surviving family members in the event of a breadwinner’s death, it is also used as a means for paying off debt. This may include payment of the deceased’s final expenses such as funeral costs and any unpaid medical bills, as well as paying down the mortgage on the family home for the policy holder’s survivors.
Other advantages for life insurance proceeds can include the funding of future education expenses for the insured’s children or grandchildren. With the high and rising cost of college tuition, life insurance can help a policyholder, to keep his or her promise to loved ones for obtaining a college degree.
Those who may be hit with estate taxes upon death may also consider purchasing a life insurance policy for the purpose of paying the amount due. Oftentimes, an individual’s loved ones are left to come up with needed estate tax funds by selling assets for below market value. Having readily available cash through a life insurance policy can rectify this situation, leaving family heirlooms and other important assets intact.
BUSINESS USES FOR LIFE INSURANCE
Life insurance also has many business purposes. It can be offered as an employee benefit by employers. In this case, employees are able to name a beneficiary of their choice to receive the proceeds.
Many sole proprietors can also use life insurance. Here, the policy may be utilized as a business continuation plan. This way, if the sole business owner were to pass away, the life insurance proceeds could be used to keep the business afloat until the business is sold or a replacement is found.
In a number of cases, the loss of a sole proprietor can mean instant business closure and subsequently, the loss of income for the dependents of the business owner. Therefore, a life insurance policy can help to keep an income stream coming in for the sole proprietor’s loved ones, as well as for the deceased’s employees.
LIFE INSURANCE FOR EXPATS
As global trade has become more liberal and business moves goods all over the world often with minimal barriers or tax, strangely for Life Insurance the opposite has happened. Most of the International Life companies have become more insular and their products are only designed for a single market. Most Life Insurance policies taken out in countries like the UK, Europe, US and other jurisdictions are not portable.
This can be a major issue as most people in the excitement of a new opportunity working abroad are unlikely to check the small print of their life insurance contract. The reality is however worrying as most contracts for life insurance are based on the life company offering terms based on the insured’s country of residence when the policy is taken out.
If a client subsequently moves abroad to another location which they consider ‘more risky’ the life company will want to be notified and will likely cancel the contract.
The other significant issue is when you move abroad, who can you buy Life Insurance through and will the product be suitable.
If for example you move to work in the Gulf States or maybe Asia there are many local companies who will offer life cover. You are however going to come up against the same problem in your home country. Once you move from the Gulf or Asia your life insurance policy will likely not be valid and you will have to start again with a higher premium.
ATLAS LIFE & ASTRA GROUP
Atlas Life was established in 2012 to provide life cover solutions in countries where cover has traditionally been hard to find. Offering simple, robust product solutions and exceptional levels of client service, Atlas Life only works with licensed financial practitioners like the Astra group.
Atlas Life insures both local and expatriate lives and works with two of the largest reinsurers in the world, namely Swiss Re and Reinsurance Group of America. Atlas Life want policyholders to be clients for life as we know that the market can be competitive and our objective is to offer products that provide real value and ensure client loyalty over the long term. Our belief is that policyholders are best served by the professional intermediary market and we service and support this key distribution channel from our Mauritius Headquarters so that our clients can be sure of receiving the best attention at all times.
Atlas Life & the Astra group help both individuals and companies cater to their insurance needs, by making sure clients get the product, which is right for their particular circumstances. The Astra group has a history of helping clients, structure life insurance products to meet the demands of different family and business needs.
This advice extends to also offering technical knowledge about setting up trusts if more complex financial planning is required as beneficiaries maybe minors. Trusts can also be a useful planning tool in more complex family situations where the insured may want to leave benefits in trust for children from a different marriage or relationship. Trusts also work in many countries as a form of estate planning to mitigate inheritance tax and make sure benefits are passed on swiftly to the correct beneficiaries.
Life Insurance can be particularly useful where you have couples from different backgrounds and religions and local laws may prevent the passing of your estate to your spouse.
The International market for Life Insurance offers Expats limited choice and the entrance of Atlas Life into the market is a major plus for those looking for this cover.
Atlas Life are unique in the market as their Life Products are flexible and can be carried from one country to another without the need to cancel and start again. Atlas has also committed to this market and offers extremely competitive premiums, which are guaranteed for the term of the plan.
This is a unique and important feature, as many life providers do not guarantee that premiums will not increase over the term of the plan and will generally review every ten years. This ten year review, will often lead to an increase in premiums, to fund the same level of cover. Not only do Atlas Life guarantee premiums during the term of the plan but they will also underwrite any change of location based on the age you took the plan out with them.
This feature is also useful as if you took out your plan in the Philippines at the age of 32 and then moved back to Australia at 40 the premium would be reassessed. On moving location and notifying Atlas Life the premium would be reassessed based on your new country of residence and the risk involved. The premium would be assessed on your age of 32, when you took the plan out, and would likely be reduced based on Australia being less risky than the Philippines.
Atlas Life and Astra are also able to offer cover to companies for their employees and this cover is also portable when employees leave. Astra believe that when it comes to financial planning that Life Insurance should form the cornerstone of sound financial planning. Working with Atlas Life we are able to provide clients a product that will not only match their need now but also where ever life and work takes them.
‘With the stroke of a pen a life insurance contract enables you to create more of an estate for your loved one’s than most people can create in a lifetime.’
The author runs the Astra group and has been offering advice and solutions on offshore life insurance for nearly 30 years.
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