I am more than pleased with the amount of international life insurance business we’ve been able to generate and place over the last year. It is definitely not for everyone but for those who need what the US has to offer and can afford the travel to apply for and accept their policy, the benefits can be huge.
Probably our biggest exposure has been with international business life insurance where there is an overseas partner in a US business or a company executive in a US business who lives abroad. While the US business connection isn’t necessarily a requirement, it does answer the question rather easily about why the person wants to buy a policy from here rather than from their country of residence. There are countries where we can’t write due to risk or due to economic trade treaties, but the following is a sample of countries that one of the companies I work with allow business. The letter after each country refers to limits and underwriting criteria for those countries.
Antigua and Barbuda A Denmark A Mexico2 B St. Lucia A
Aruba A Dominican Republic C Monaco A St. Maarten A
Australia A Ecuador B Montserrat A Singapore A
Austria A Germany A Morocco B South Africa C
Bahamas B Greece A Netherlands A South Korea A
Barbados A Grenada A Netherlands Antilles A Spain3 A
Belgium A Guatemala C Nicaragua C Suriname B
Belize B Honduras C Norway A Sweden A
Bermuda A Hong Kong A Oman A Switzerland1 A
Bolivia C Indonesia C Pakistan C Taiwan A
Canada4 A Israel6 A Peru B Trinidad and Tobago B
Chile A Italy A Philippines C Turkey B
China B Jamaica B Poland A Turks and Caicos A
Colombia C Latvia A Portugal A Ukraine B
Costa Rica B Luxembourg A Romania A United Arab Emirates A
Curacao A Malaysia B Russian Federation B United Kingdom A
Czech Republic3 A Marshall Islands B St. Kitts and Nevis A Venezuela C
I had a call from the Czech Republic today and it happened to be a US citizen who has been living there several years. The 3 next to the Czech Republic references the fact that I can write a resident of the country but not a citizen, so he’s in good shape. It opens the door for a lot of ex patriots to acquire US life insurance. Below are instructions for agents that hold true across most of the companies that offer foreign national life insurance and foreign residency life insurance.
To have us consider a resident of an eligible foreign country, please compile a profile of your client to help us understand the reason for requesting a U.S. policy. Provide responses to as many of the following questions as possible:
• How long have you known the client and in what capacity? (Friend? Relative? Business? )
• How did you make the sale?
• Does the client own a business or property in the U.S.?
• Do close family members legally reside in the U.S.?
• Is the client employed by a U.S. company?
• How often is the client in the U.S.? For what purpose?
• What is the client’s occupation?
• Include the name, address and telephone number of a least one reference in the country of residence who can be contacted to verify the financial statements made in the application.
Confirm that all stages of the client acquisition process are completed in the U.S.
This includes: Initial contact and solicitation, completion of the application, completion of all underwriting requirements, policy delivery and premium payments. Underwriting requirements such as the medical exam and specimen collection or a personal history interview must be completed with the proposed insured in the United States. Please arrange appointments for the client at time of application. The application must be completed in person by the producer. TeleUnderwriting, TeleApplication or TeleInterview processes are not acceptable.
Provide a U.S. address for premium billing on application. A client who does not have a U.S. address for billing purposes may have the bills sent to a third party, e.g., a bank, trustee, family member or business, that can be relied on to maintain the policy status according to the policy owner’s direction. A post office box is not an acceptable U.S. address. Confirm that client has a U.S. bank account to pay premiums through. If the client does not have a U.S. bank account, one must be established before the policy is issued. Money orders, cashier’s checks and cash are not acceptable sources for premium payment.
Underwriting requirements. Fully underwritten applications including, minimally, a paramedical exam, blood and urine, personal history interview or investigative consumer report must be completed.
When you first see it all, the requirements, it can seem a bit overwhelming, but having been through this process several times now, not so. The requirements are meant to cover most scenarios and what makes it easier is that each client is only one scenario. You don’t have to meet all of the criteria.
Bottom line. Just to reiterate, this is not the life insurance answer for everyone overseas. It has restrictions and it has an up front cost of travel, but it works and works well for those who need it. It goes without saying that this is not a cost effective way to acquire a cheap term life insurance policy. If you have any questions, or want to simply see if you qualify to apply, call or email me directly. Let’s talk.