Expat Information: Healthcare

Expatriates and other frequent international travellers have special needs for health-care and related insurance services, and a substantial industry has sprung up to satisfy them.

The list of places you may be sent - or even choose to go - gets longer every day, ranging from fully civilized and safe places like Paris to really scary and hostile regions such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Now your company may have taken out a policy on your behalf. If so, lucky you! There are in fact still many companies that do recognise the importance of insuring all of their travelling employees.

Of course, the levels of benefit offered may not seem high enough for you, so you may want to supplement such mandatory cover where it exists. Whether you are completely on your own, or supplementing your employer's cover, you can take advantage of a multitude of international brokers and insurers, and nowadays of course you can obtain cover through the Internet wherever you are.

The bottom line is that whether you are looking for private health and life insurance, or whether you are lucky enough to have found a forward thinking employer who is willing to include insurance as part of your benefits package (and remember, the time to negotiate this is before you go away, rather than when you actually need it several years down the line), international insurance is undoubtedly the most appropriate option for international travellers.

Although it is possible to insure yourself, your family and your property against almost every eventuality, in this section we will focus on the two main areas of concern for those with financial obligations and responsibility for dependents - health and life insurance.

International insurance brokers will usually offer a wide variety of policies to suit the needs and pockets of most expats, including international medical insurance, travel protection plans, single and multi-trip policies, annually renewable international plans, and group plans from a variety of providers, with a wide range of online tools to help you choose the most appropriate one.