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Insurance Premium Tax Increase Will Affect 3 Million Private Medical Insurance Policies

The standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax - the tax paid each time an insurance policy is purchased in the UK – rose from 6% to 9.5% on the 1st November 2015.

This change will affect:

  • 7.3 million car policies
  • 4.7 million household policies
  • 3 million pet policies
  • 3 million private medical insurance policies

Any of the affected insurance policies with a start date after 31 October will have IPT charged at the new rate. This is likely to add the following to premiums:

  • Nearly £13 to the average comprehensive motor insurance policy
  • More than £10 to the average combined building and contents cover.
  • More than £10 to average pet insurance
  • More than £40 to average private medical insurance

The Government exempts the following products from IPT:

  • Life insurance
  • Mortgage insurance
  • Insurance for spacecraft
  • Commercial ships and aircraft
  • International railway rolling stock
  • Lifeboats and lifeboat equipment
  • Goods in international transit

Higher rate IPT remains unchanged at 20% and applies to:

  • travel insurance
  • warranties for some mechanical and electrical goods

This means that a family with two cars, a pet and medical insurance is likely to have to pay almost £100 a year more.

James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the ABI, said, "Whether you are a homeowner, driver, own a pet or buy medical insurance, millions of people across the country face being hit in the pocket by this rise in Insurance Premium Tax. Whether it’s a legal requirement or you want to buy extra cover, insurance is a financial safety net, not a luxury.

"While insurance remains one of the most competitive industries in the UK, its affordability can’t be taken for granted. Further tax increases must be avoided if insurance is to remain accessible for all.”

According to the Treasury the IPT increase will bring in an additional £8.1bn for the Treasury by 2021*. This was the second largest revenue raiser in the Summer Budget.

Insurance Premium Tax was first introduced to the UK in 1994. The rise on 1 November is the 4th increase in the standard rate since its introduction.

  • From 1 October 1994, a single rate of 2.5% was charged
  • 1 April 1997: increased to 4%
  • 1 July 1999: increased to 5%
  • 4 January 2011: increased to 6%
  • 1 November 2015: increased to 9.5%

*This is according to HMRC’s own figures summarising the impact of the move

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Health Insurance

Health Insurance

You may be a frequent flyer business traveler, student, leisure or medical health tourist. Perhaps you are an already established Expatriate living away from home on foreign shores. Where ever you are now, understanding International Health Insurance requirements is vital to safe, risk free Global travel. Accidents do happen and when you least expect it.

Insuring you have the right type of Health Insurance will mean, should anything untoward happen, you will not be faced with a large medical bill, or even worse, insufficient medical care and treatment.

Since 2009 International Private Medical Insurance Magazine has been providing Daily mission critical Health Insurance News and information about International Health Insurance to expatriates, individuals, groups, corporate clients, brokers and intermediaries.

Select the right and most appropriate International Health Insurance plan for leisure, business, educational or health travel purposes, with the help and assistance of International Private Medical Insurance Magazines Online International Health Insurance Company and Plan Guide and Directory.

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International Health Insurance

International Health Insurance

You may be a frequent flyer business traveler, student, leisure or medical health tourist. Perhaps you are an already established Expatriate living away from home on foreign shores. Where ever you are now, understanding International Health Insurance requirements is vital to safe, risk free Global travel. Accidents do happen and when you least expect it.

Insuring you have the right type of International Health Insurance will mean, should anything untoward happen, you will not be faced with a large medical bill, or even worse, insufficient medical care.

Since 2009 International Private Medical Insurance Magazine has been providing mission critical information about International Health Insurance to expatriates, individuals, groups, corporate clients, brokers and intermediaries.

Select the right and most appropriate International Health Insurance plan for leisure, business, educational or health travel purposes, with the help and assistance of International Private Medical Insurance Magazines Online International Health Insurance Company and Plan Guide and Directory.

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InterGlobal Delivers Second Year Of Low Premium Increases

InterGlobal has announced 2014 premiums below the rate of medical cost inflation for the second year in succession.

The new premiums also include greatly enhanced benefits for members. The general rise of 5% applies in all territories with the exception of China and Thailand and is expected to be one of the lowest increases in annual premiums in the international medical insurance market. InterGlobal has also reviewed pricing at both plan and location levels to deliver real savings to members in many areas of the world. The premiums are inclusive of the significant improvements to InterGlobal’s 2014 plan range announced in November 2013. These include dramatically improved cover for cancer treatment as well as substantial increases in overall plan limits and out-patient benefits.

Paul Weigall, Group Sales and Marketing Director, InterGlobal said, “Worldwide medical cost inflation is typically running at around 8 per cent a year. If these costs were passed on to planholders the price of international medical insurance would double every 9 years. This level is becoming unsustainable for employers and planholders who pay for their own insurance cover. We are working hard to control costs on behalf of our members and held our premium increases below the level of inflation for the second year in succession.”

Weigall continued, “At a time of continued soaring medical insurance costs around the world we have worked hard to deliver on our commitment to fair pricing for members. We have delivered low premium increases together with significant increases in the level of benefits for our members. In many areas of the world we are also able to offer our members year on year real savings in premiums. We believe our plans represent even better value in 2014, backed by our award winning levels of personal service. “We focus on delivering high quality service to our members from our network of local offices around the world. Our approach combines the strength of our global operations with in-depth local knowledge. This means we can inform members about the most appropriate local medical providers, while ensuring that we obtain competitive rates for treatment and manage costs for the benefit of all our members.”

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Caracas Is World’s Most Expensive Place For Expatriates

For the first time Venezuela’s capital city has become the most expensive place in the world for expatriates.

This is among the findings of the latest Cost of Living survey by ECA International, the world's leading provider of knowledge, information and technology for the management and assignment of employees around the world. The ongoing rampant inflation and severe shortages of exported goods being experienced in Caracas has led to its rise up from last year’s 7th position to top the ranking – despite large falls in the value of the bolivar. It is now more expensive for international assignees than Tokyo, Luanda and Oslo – cities that are regularly found in that top spot.

However, Caracas’ position at the top of the list may be short-lived, as building pressure on the currency could lead to a devaluation in the near future.

“Prices for items in ECA's shopping basket in Venezuela have gone up by over 60% on average since last year, and despite the government’s many attempts to manage the currency differently its peg to the USD means it remains considerably overvalued,” said Lauren Smith, General Manager, ECA International New York.

“Although a devaluation would push inflation up even higher, at least at first, the shortages of dollars and goods on shop shelves will worsen if no devaluation takes place. Companies with expatriate staff in the country will need to continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure they are granting appropriate cost of living allowances.”

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Pitcairn Island Travel Advice and Warnings

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel to Pitcairn Island. Medical facilities are limited. Pitcairn Island is a British Overseas Territory.

There is no formal British diplomatic representation. In the event of any problems, contact the Governor’s representative on island. Consular and medical assistance is extremely limited.

If you wish to stay on Pitcairn for two weeks or more, or are travelling with children, you must contact the Pitcairn Island Office in Auckland before making any plans to travel.

There is no access to the island by air. A regular shipping service operates between Pitcairn and Mangareva. Transfer to and from the island is by longboat and can be dangerous in poor weather. There are no hotels but self-catering and homestay accommodation is available.

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Cambodia Travel Advice: Next Mass Protest Will Take Place Over Three Days From 23-25 October 2013 Freedom Park Central Phnom Penh

105,000 British nationals visited Cambodia in 2012. Most visits are trouble-free but there have been reports of assaults and armed robberies against foreigners. There is a low threat from terrorism. Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to the Preah Vihear (Khaoi Pra Viharn in Thai) temple area and the Ta Krabey/Ta Moan temple area located on the Thai-Cambodian border. Cambodia held its general election on 28 July in a mostly peaceful environment.

On Monday 29 July, the main opposition party announced it was disputing the results and has called for an investigation into alleged irregularities in the electoral process. From 15 to 17 September a mass opposition protest took place in Phnom Penh and some clashes occurred between police and protestors resulting in one death and several injuries. Small scale protests are ongoing in Phnom Penh and are likely to continue. There have been frequent roadblocks.

The opposition has announced that the next mass protest will take place over three days from 23-25 October. Although the protest will be based in Freedom Park in central Phnom Penh, the opposition plan to march to various embassies around the city, including the British Embassy on the morning of 24 October 2013.

You should expect road blocks, traffic congestion and a heavy police presence. There is a risk of confrontation between protestors and the security forces. Allow extra time for journeys, follow local media and avoid all public gatherings.

There have been a number of security alerts over recent weeks about small explosive devices found around Phnom Penh, the most recent on 13 September outside the National Assembly building.

There is wide scale flooding in Cambodia, including in some parts of popular tourist destinations like Phnom Penh, Siem Riep and Battambang. You should check the state of the roads and airport access before you travel and allow extra time for journeys.

Cambodia Travel Advice: Next Mass Protest Will Take Place Over Three Days From 23-25 October 2013 Freedom Park Central Phnom Penh

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Kenyan Tragedy A Wake Up Call For Expatriates With No Health Insurance

Think of a growing economy in Africa, and Kenya is bound to be high on the list. Kenyan national statistics show GDP growth of over 5% in the first quarter of 2013 and 4.3 per cent in the second quarter which put many mature Western economies to shame.

Democratic, growing and stable, the capital Nairobi is home to many regional corporate offices and has thriving European and US expatriate, student and NGO communities. Many come for the lifestyle too, which has long been recognised as relaxed and very attractive. Recently, several large Western-style malls have sprung up offering families the chance of a day out shopping, eating or going to the cinema. The Malls are busiest on Saturday mornings when local shopper numbers are boosted by large numbers of expatriates who call the Kenyan capital home.

However, Kenya has long displayed huge disparities in wealth, leading to an ever present threat of robberies, car-jackings, and home invasions. Homes are hidden behind high walls, often topped with razor wire. Home alarm systems and lockable safe rooms are essential in many houses rented to foreigners. Restaurants popular with expats are hidden from the street outside. Kenya too is a front line State in many other ways – with an army active in Somalia, Operation Linda Nchi ("Protect the country") is the codename for a co-ordinated military operation between the Somalian military, the Kenyan military and the Ethiopian military that began on 16 October 2011, when troops from Kenya crossed the border into the conflict zones of southern Somalia.

The soldiers were in pursuit of Al-Shabaab militants that are alleged to have kidnapped several foreign tourists and aid workers inside Kenya. Kenya is no stranger to terrorist attacks either. In 1998, Al Qaeda’s first major international strike was the twin bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing more than 200 people including 12 Americans.

Four years later, jihadists trained in Somalia tried to down an Israeli jet with a rocket-propelled grenade, and they crashed a truck full of explosives into a Kenyan hotel on the Indian Ocean, leaving 13 people dead. Against this background, or perhaps because of it, the country remains a popular destination for working expatriates and NGOs.

The recent tragedy of the Westgate shopping Mall illustrates brutally the importance of expatriates in the community. Of the estimated 67 dead, around six are known to be British, with a similar number of UK citizens still missing. With a heightened country risk profile, life insurers such as Friends Provident International have withdrawn life insurance for expatriates living and working there, so where does this leave those needing protection, for example in the area of international private medical insurance?

When countries are experiencing civil unrest or perhaps in the immediate aftermath of a major conflict, many expatriate health insurers will classify such situations as having a ”passive war risk” and, as a result, will limit cover available. For foreign workers of all nationalities, this presents significant problems and can act to deter workers from moving to such places to carry out vital reconstruction and development work at precisely the time when it is most needed.

Debbie Purser, managing director of MediCare International comments, “Passive war is a specific term used in the industry to describe a heightened risk which may be due to a number of factors. For the expatriate worker it is vital to check whether their international medical insurance cover is still valid or limited in any way. At MediCare International, we offer full passive war cover, meaning if you are unlucky enough to be taken ill or injured in such circumstances, your policy will still be active.”

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Expatriate Health Insurance

Compare Expatriate Health and Medical Insurance Plans, Coverage, Quotes and Companies, with iPMI Magazine. iPMIM represents leading providers of expat medical, health and travel insurance plans. Find the right and most appropriate Expatriate Health Insurance for overseas travel, global mobility and relocation