As I ease my way into this market it is becoming clear that there are a lot of foreign nationals outside of the US who would like to own US life insurance and it is also becoming clear that it isn’t nearly as cumbersome a task as you might think.
Are there hoops to jump through? Sure. Are you going to pull any muscles jumping through them? Not if you do your homework first. Unlike US citizens it is very important for someone from another country wanting a US policy to seriously consider the acquisition cost. For US citizens the only cost is the premium to put the policy in force.
For someone from say, Bermuda, the cost of acquisition is going to be two trips to the US, acquisition of medical records and possibly third party financial justification. Most foreign nationals in the Caribbean have figured out the cheap flights so their out of pocket expense to get a policy applied for and put in force should be reasonable. Now, if you’re from Hong Kong it might be a different picture, but then, the size of the policy and the importance of having a US life insurance policy may simply out weigh that consideration.
Just to review some of the criteria common to those companies that will consider insuring foreign nationals residing outside of the US.
1. All aspects of the insurance transaction must be completed in the U.S., including solicitation, completion of the application, medical examination, inspection, and contract delivery. Make sure to allow adequate time to complete the application process and handle policy delivery in the U.S.
2. Automatic limits of $20,000,000 down to $5,000,000 (varies by company) on individuals residing in acceptable countries may be considered depending on all facts of the case, including the age and health status of the proposed insured, product applied for, the reinsurance arrangement, in-force coverage, and available reinsurance. The minimum policy face amount for Non-U.S. Residents is $250,000. In some business cases limits can be as high as $100,000,000.
3. Consideration is extended only to business owners and professional individuals working in medical, engineering, scientific, technological, or similar fields and their immediate families. High net worth individuals and company executives are also considered. Special consideration is often given to multi national or international business insurance.
4. Individuals must have a record of ongoing health maintenance with the most recent visit within three years of the applications.
5. Third-party financial documentation, no more than one year old, is required for face amounts of $1,000,000 or more.
6. A copy of the individual’s visa, passport, and national ID card (or other similar document) are required. U.S. references are required.
7. Premiums need to be paid annually from a US bank account and the policy owner needs to have a US address for billing and notices.
8. The amount of ties to the US depends on the company and the country of residence. It can vary from no business or investment ties to requirements to be a property and or business owner in the US.
Bottom line. With some of these cases successfully under my belt and the bumps in the road identified and smoothed out, we are ready to move the next level. We are able to offer products that aren’t available in other countries and impaired risk underwriting that you won’t find outside of the US. If you have any questions or are wondering about whether you can purchase a US life insurance policy, call or email me directly. Let’s talk.