Any death is an emotional experience for those left behind but a death whilst out of the country carries all the extra stress of potential travel arrangements and preparing to bring the person who has died home. For the families of US citizens the US Bureau of Consular Affairs is there to help; they can assist with making arrangements. In 2012 they assisted the families of approximately 11,000 US citizens who died whilst out of the country. Even so knowing what will happen regarding your life insurance is a major concern.
Will the Insurance Company pay out?
In the majority of cases, if the policy has been in place for at least two years, you should be covered if you die abroad. However, it is always a good idea to check your policy before you plan any travel and check all clauses and these do vary from policy to policy, you can find out more at GIO. This is especially important as basic travel insurance does not cover a death whilst out of the country. To get this additional cover on your travel insurance you need to ask for it to be included and pay the additional associated costs.
Most companies will not pay out if a policy holder travels to a country which is on the US State Department list of travel alerts. You may think that you should be able to travel freely wherever you want to. Of course you can but by nature there is an increased risk to you if you visit a country that is inherently dangerous. Insurance companies are like any business that has to make a profit to remain in existence. If there is an increased risk of them having to pay out early on a policy they have to mitigate against that risk. In the case of dangerous foreign travel the mitigation is not to pay out if a policyholder chooses to travel to a country that they know presents an increased level of danger to them.
How can I Get Insured if I Intend to Travel to a Country that is Considered Dangerous?
If you do need to travel to a country that is listed as dangerous it is a good idea to consider special risk insurance which is provided at a higher premium cost by some companies, most of whom specialize in this area. They can usually provide cover as long as you disclose all of the pertinent information.
What About if I Travel Frequently
As with any activity that is considered to be outside of the norm extensive foreign travel can result in raised life insurance premiums. Constantly travelling long distances increases the risk of accidental death or death related to such illnesses as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Again insurance companies have to mitigate against the risk to avoid damage to profits and remain in business. As long as you are travelling to a country that is considered safe you will more than likely be able to obtain cover but possibly at an increased cost.
Whilst cost is obviously important, compared to making sure your loved ones are provided for at a difficult time is far more valuable.