Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

Full Bio →

Written by

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insur...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: May 19, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident life insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one life insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our life insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

The Brief

  • Most life insurance providers require domestic residency
  • Some life insurance providers consider foreign countries high risk
  • Providing a payout for death abroad depends on the specific plan

It can be difficult for those living abroad full-time to obtain affordable life insurance for expats. Most life insurance providers require a person to complete an application, assess their life insurance risk class, and sign the final policy locally.

Understanding the basics of international life insurance will help you determine if you can obtain coverage.

If you’re looking for affordable life insurance quotes for expats, enter your ZIP code to find the best rates in your area.

Why is it difficult to buy life insurance for expats?

Life insurance companies base their eligibility on risk. The riskier an applicant, the more likely the company will provide a payout before the premium is paid in full.

Life insurance companies consider living abroad riskier than living domestically because they don’t know as much about that country.

It’s not impossible to obtain life insurance if you live abroad. Many life insurance providers are comfortable with life insurance for expats if they live in what they consider a safe country.

This makes the policyholder less likely to die before the full premium can be paid.

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What happens to life insurance for expats if you move abroad?

If you move abroad after having already purchased a life insurance policy, it usually won’t be affected by your new international address.

The only exception is if the policy has international travel exclusions. But most term and whole life insurance plans don’t feature these exclusions.

Your eligibility is more likely to be affected if you are buying from abroad. Some companies are comfortable with split residency but most require the application, a medical exam, and the final signing of the policy to take place domestically.

The company will often track the IP address of an online application to ensure it’s from within the country.

While you might be able to receive a quote, how much does whole life insurance cost when living abroad?

If the company doesn’t generally offer life insurance in a country, they likely will consider it riskier. This means that they’ll charge a higher premium than a similar policy for a domestic resident.

Does life insurance for expats pay if you die abroad?

Life insurance is often purchased to protect a dependent, so a common question is if your chosen beneficiary will receive a payout should you die abroad.

Whether or not a life insurance company for expats will pay out if you die abroad depends on the specific policy.

Some international life insurance companies will provide a payout if you die abroad but exclude certain countries that they consider high risk.

If a policyholder dies abroad, the life insurance provider might require additional documentation.

In addition to the death certificate, policy document, and claim form, they might need certain tax information. It’s a good idea to contact a lawyer that specializes in international life insurance if this situation occurs.

Life Insurance for Expats: The Bottom Line

While expats life insurance is obtainable, it can be difficult depending on the company. Some providers deny life insurance for expats and others exclude those living in certain countries.

Knowing the specifics of the policy you’re considering will allow you to determine if you can receive life insurance as an expat.

If you’re searching for life insurance rates for expats, enter your ZIP code to find the best quotes in your area.