Written exclusively for Expat Network by Clements Worldwide
Either you are deciding to move abroad or you have already done so. Here is a list of some key items to help you ensure that you are as prepared as you can be for this new chapter of your life.
Before you move
Making the decision to move abroad can be tremendously exciting. Actually moving abroad however, can often be rather stressful. In advance to your international move having some assurances in place will help the transition to go more smoothly and leave you to focus only in what you need, getting your family, yourself, and your belongings to your new home. That’s why we have compiled a list of some key items to keep top of mind to help ensure you are as prepared as you can be for this new chapter of your life.
Finance is a key area to take care of before you head off on your international relocation adventure. You will want a way to take care of banking, perhaps by finding an international bank or a new bank in your destination country. If you will have a 401K or pension plan in your overseas job, you may need to research how to connect it with the one you have in your home country and currency, or decide how handle it if you are paid in two different currencies.
Another area to consider as part of financial planning is income protection insurance. This provides financial assistance should you be unable to work due to illness or injury.
Finally, two parts of estate planning: your will and life insurance which are designed to look after your spouse and/or family should the unthinkable happen. Giving yourself and your family a secure financial footing brings you peace of mind and will allow you to enjoy all the great things you’re looking forward to in your new destination.
A big part of any move is packing, and an overseas move has extra considerations. If you are leaving a home you own, you may be able to rent it out for additional income and to offset some of the costs of living abroad. In this case, find a good property management company to handle day-to-day issues with your tenants.
When packing, you will always need more boxes than expected. If your belongings will be shipped to your new home, did you know there are international insurances that can cover you from door-to-door while your belongings are in transit? Don’t rely on the moving company as often there are additional products available to you at a cheaper price!
By including Personal Effects/Home contents insurance you can make sure your belongings are protected once they arrive at your new home. Some international insurance policies also offer personal liability coverage so you can have peace of mind when entertaining in your new home.
Health is one of the most important aspect for you and your family when overseas. Before moving it is always wise to research the local area and ensure you have had all necessary vaccinations.
Also important to research is the standard of healthcare in your new location, as this is likely to differ from what you are used to. It may be of a lesser standard or even cost significantly more than your home medical plan. International insurance policies can offer a level of consistency to ensure you and your family can enjoy life overseas happy and healthy.
Dental work is another facet of healthcare to plan for in advance of your overseas move. Consider taking care of work you know you need, such as crowns or the removal of wisdom teeth, before you go.
After you move
So you’ve gone through the process of moving abroad – congratulations on making it through an exciting but challenging exercise! Now you’re in your international destination and there’s so much to do…in addition to learning your new surroundings and handling your culture shock, what about all the activities of daily living you still have to take care of? This quick list to help you start enjoying your new home sooner.
Whether you are commuting or wanting to see more of your destination, you’ll need a car. In addition to an international driver’s license and perhaps some different rules of the road, auto insurance is likely to be different in your new home too.
One of the areas it may differ is Third Party Liability (TPL). What is this? In insurance, the policyholder is the first party, the insurance company is the second party, and third party is someone whose person or property the policyholder may have damaged. Depending on your country of origin, you will be used to very different coverage limits and attitudes toward dispute resolution in case of an accident. It is important to know the insurance limits and practices in your host country and purchase accordingly. For example, many local TPL providers will have limited liability, meaning anything over and above that is your responsibility.
To protect yourself against unwanted costs you may want to consider Excess Liability. When you file a claim, the first policy to cover the claim is the primary policy. The Excess Liability policy picks up where the primary policy left off should the primary limit be too low to settle the entire claim. In many countries the TPL coverage limit is very low so the Excess policy is vitally important to ensure you don’t get hit with additional costs.
A good international auto policy will offer you the option to add Excess Liability at the time of purchase, so you can be completely covered in one transaction.
You have probably already researched coverage to protect your possessions while they were in transit to your new home. What about coverage now that you’re there? Did you know that some international policies will cover you on both counts? It is possible to get door-to-door coverage that protects your personal effects both in transit and inside your overseas residence. Tip: Look for a policy that offers you full replacement value on claims, not just the depreciated value. You can choose general coverage or schedule valuable items, such as laptops, cell phones, or jewelry and art.
Now you’re set – you’ve arrived at your new destination. Even though you are sure to be exploring your new territory, you are no doubt also considering what new vacation spots are on your horizon.
Take your new language skills to Paris or on vacation with you to Martinique. Do a comparative study on Belgian vs. Czech beer, or maybe visit every sight along the Mekong Delta. Wherever your travel-loving imagination can take you, be sure your insurance goes too.
Even if you have Life and Health insurance from your country of residence, you will most likely need supplemental coverage when you travel on vacation. A good short-term travel policy can set you free.