A recent William Russell customer survey has revealed that the majority of expatriates are taking the risk of not having any life or income protection insurance in place. Whilst it is generally accepted that taking out suitable international private medical cover represents a prudent investment for expatriates, it would seem that, on the whole, purchasing protection products is not considered as important. The William Russell survey was completed by over 650 expatriate policyholders from all parts of the world. When health insurance clients were asked whether they had any life or income protection insurance in place, with any insurer, 61.4% of respondents indicated that they didn’t, with a further 5.7% saying they were unsure. So, only 32.9% of those questioned had life and/or income protection insurance.
Conversely, when life and income protection insurance clients were questioned about their health insurance arrangements, just under 70% said they had health insurance in place, with a further 7.4% saying they were unsure. The results of the survey suggest that expatriates are far more likely to insure their health than make financial provision for either their untimely death, or the risk of them being unable to work due to an illness or injury. Of the findings, James Cooper, Sales Director at William Russell, said: “Although we are pleased to see that a high number of expatriates are making provision against the risk of needing expensive medical treatment whilst they’re abroad, it is worrying to see how many expatriates are not making financial provision in the event of their untimely death, or an illness or accident that would prevent them from working. International Life insurance protection is available to expatriates, and can prove invaluable to families struggling to cope with bereavement.
Also, with advances in medicine meaning that more people are living for longer with a serious illness or injury, the need for income protection insurance is now just as significant as the need for life insurance cover. The results are perhaps unsurprising when viewed alongside falling domestic figures, but they do demonstrate a real need for expatriate consumers to be adequately advised and informed about the risks of being uninsured, as when living overseas, taking out sufficient protection represents an important investment in the security of both a family’s standard of living, and financial future.
Inez Cooper, Managing Director at William Russell, adds: “We would certainly encourage insurance brokers and Financial Advisers to advise and inform their expatriate clients about the risks of being uninsured. When examining the need for life insurance, the obvious question is how would the family cope financially without its breadwinner? When examining the need for Income Protection insurance, the question of how long their employer would continue to pay them throughout a long period of sick leave needs to be asked, of it they are self-employed and unable to work, for how long could they rely on their savings? With the answers to these simple questions, an insurance solution can be found that will protect families today and into the future.”
Other noteworthy findings of the customer survey include the fact that, despite the popularity of online technology, 1 in 4 policyholders still prefer to access and view their insurance documents in hard copy format. Additionally, the ever-growing popularity of smartphones was reflected in the fact that almost 2 in 3 customers would encourage the development of a William Russell mobile application. The survey also provided an interesting insight into the social networking habits of expatriates.
Perhaps predictably, Facebook proved to be the most popular social networking service, with just under 60% of respondents indicating that they have an account. LinkedIn followed behind with 47.3%. Surprisingly, Google+ emerged as more popular than Twitter amongst the expatriate respondents – 19% use Google+, whilst 14.5% hold a Twitter account. Finally, much-feted up-and-coming service Pinterest still appears to have a way to go, with only 1.4% of respondents indicating they have signed up. The remaining 22.73% of those surveyed do not hold an account of any of these social networking facilities.
As one of the few providers to offer international health, life and income protection cover, William Russell are uniquely placed to offer expatriate individuals, families and businesses the essential insurance protection required when embarking on a new life overseas. The William Russell Global Plans are high-value international insurance plans designed to give expatriates access to all the private medical care they need whilst abroad. With a skilled team of professionals who are dedicated to helping people during times of crisis, our mission is to provide affordable, wide-ranging cover, with a caring and professional service. William Russell are constantly committed to customer care, endeavouring to always offer first-class products, backed up with the highest standards of service and aftercare.
Expatriate News: Nearly Two-Thirds of Expats Risking Life Overseas Without Protection Cover