International Risk Management : Expatriate Voluntary Programs


"..We can assist with any of the international voluntary products listed on this
page. However, please first ask your employer about what they may already be providing.."


When most people contact us about international personal insurance, it's usually about the personal property insurance coverage. ( international personal effects ) However, we feel the liability portion of the expat renters insurance plan is 5 times as important !

If expats lose $25,000 of personal property to theft or fire, most will recover easily in one year, even if they had no insurance.

What about a $500,000 personal lawsuit against you or a family member? You're probably thinking, "my employer would cover it, right?" There are many reasons why your employer cannot cover a personal loss of any kind and they are outlined below:


1. Existing employer commercial insurance policies cannot cover personal insurance claims.

2. Employers never cover personal claims of employees in the U.S. or home country, making an exception would set a very costly precedent.

3. In 2009, employers can rarely pay for what has not been budgeted for and planned for. What checkbook at the company is going to pay your $100,000 personal damage award because of the damage your child did to a storefront?

4. Who is going to legally defend you before the local magistrate? Will your company send a lawyer at $3,000 a day? Will that lawyer be fluent in Chinese law (insert your host country)?

4. Even in the rare case an employer would be willing to possibly bail out an employee (and the only reason would be to avoid bad PR), the payment would have to be treated as income to you and taxes paid on the lump sum by you!

5. What would happen to you the expat, if the employer did not pay the lawsuit or damage award? You would either have to write a check personally for the full amount ($100,000?), or flee the country. What would fleeing the country do for your career?

All of this can cease to be a concern for about $12 per month per expatriate family.

Those living abroad need to know that if they have losses to electronics like this stereo (fire, smoke, water, theft, lightning, power surge, etc) the employer is not able to provide reimbursement for many reasons:

How much personal property do you have around the world if you include all regular property in the host country, home country, in storage, or with your spouse or children. Many people assume their employer is protecting it.

Expatriates may move $100,000 worth of personal effects just before the assignment, and almost all employers will extend moving insurance, but once the goods arrive at the destination, expatriates need to provide their own insurance.


Are you a faculty or staff member working for a college or university, and residing internationally for over 2 months, please consider the following:

Short term international travel medical insurance to supplement the U.S. plan which is of little to no assistance while abroad.

Expatriate personal security and kidnap and ransom insurance plans.

Vacant Homeowners Insurance if you are leaving a home empty for 60 days +

Medical Evacuation if going to a country with sub-par medical care. Unfortunately, this is 80% of ALL countries in the world today.

International property and liability insurance if you spend six months or more out of the country. You cannot rely on your U.S. homeowners insurance policy if you are residing abroad past a simple 2 or 3 week trip.

It's well documented that people do risky things when they travel!

Because Victoria Falls are located between Zambia and Zimbabwe, medical evacuation by air to Johannesburg is also a necessary product. In this region as many as 1 in 8 adults are infected with HIV so a stay in a local hospital and the need for local blood is not a good idea.

When you live abroad, who is covering your personal property? Who will protect you in the event of a personal lawsuit against a family member? Your employer.. no.
International belongings insurance is an essential coverage.

Leaving the Country? Vacant Home Insurance for Expatriates is now offered along side international renters insurance which includes international jewelry insurance.

If you came to our site via a link from your employer, your employer would like to make the following programs available to you if needed, depending on where you are traveling in the world, and for how long. Also, since some employers may be providing some of the insurance below already, it's your responsibility to find out what your employer is providing now, and what you need to take care of yourself working directly with us.

Expatriates and global travelers may not receive ALL the necessary insurance that they need during their global assignment from their employer. Many employees mistakenly think their employer would pay personal property losses while they are living abroad, or pay a personal lawsuit or damage award. THIS IS ALMOST NEVER THE CASE.

Many of the programs below are absolutely essential for anyone living or traveling abroad. If you need information on any of these plans built specifically for people traveling and living abroad, simply contact us using the contact form above and we will promptly email you a package on the program you request.

Program One: Expatriate Renters Insurance (Personal Property Insurance + Personal Liability for Lawsuit Protection while living outside of your home country.

You will need to insure your own personal property while you are living abroad. As little as $10,000 of personal effects insurance is available or up to $250,000 if needed. The average expatriate living abroad for one year or more takes $50,000 USD of regular property while in the assignment and this does not include valuable articles like wedding bands or rings.

Your clothing, furniture, electronics, jewelry, art, etc. needs to be protected as you work or travel anywhere in the world, not just in the residence country( host country). These items can be destroyed by fire or smoke, and stolen as expats are targets in many countries.

The second part of the expatriate renters insurance program is international liability coverage to protect the net worth of the individual and their family in the event of a damage award or lawsuit. Again, there is a tremendous amount of confusion when expatriates are surveyed on this topic regarding what employers are providing.

Your employer has no existing insurance policies that will pay your personal property or liability claims, and for tax reasons, cannot bail you out financially in the event of a personal loss while you are living internationally. Programs begin at just a few hundred dollars a year so please request more information.

Expatriate Vacant House Insurance - Expatriate Vacant Dwelling Insurance

A house that becomes empty or unoccupied for just 60 days will need vacant homeowners insurance. YOUR EXISTING HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICY WILL NOT COVER A VACANT HOME. It is estimated that 1 in 10 expatriates will at some time, have a house in the home country that will become empty or vacant.

We can very easily offer a quality program that will make sure your largest asset is protected, even if you are living abroad. Expatriates should be very careful here for two reasons. One, 95% do not understand the risks and assume they are fully covered by their domestic homeowners insurance policy just because the policy is paid in full. Second, most quotes for vacant home insurance are of very low quality so one must not assume the level of the coverage offered is the same as what they had while living in the home.

Expatriate Life Insurance

Group programs provided by the employer of 1x or 2x salary may not be adequate for an expatriate of high net worth with children. Existing policies written while residing in the U.S. may be cancelled or may not pay claims while one is living abroad. A special individual expatriate life insurance program is needed by thousands of expatriates working outside of their home country.

International Term Life Insurance and Whole Life insurance is available to expatriates residing one year or more outside of their home country.

Short-Term International Travel Medical Insurance

If you are traveling to Russia, China, Egypt (or most countries) even for just a few days, you may not want to rely on the U.S. medical plan, that will not be able to work with an international hospital or doctor directly in most cases, nor provide any assistance in an emergency.

Travel medical insurance offered by leading companies are easy to put in place and start at about $5 a day. If you are sitting in a foreign emergency room, there is almost nothing a U.S. health insurance plan will be able to do for you (although most will later reimburse you for your expenses after you front all the funds needed to pay medical costs internationally.) Relying on the U.S. medical plan while traveling abroad is like relying on your GM roadside assistance to fix a flat tire for you on the Audubon in Munich, Germany. You can make the call but what kind of assistance can you expect?

Expatriate Individual Medical Insurance

In many cases employers still use the U.S. domestic health insurance plan for their expatriates. You may need to supplement the employer sponsored U.S. domestic health insurance plan with an international medical insurance plan, offered on an individual or group basis, if you plan to be outside of the country for over six months.

Once someone is sitting in an emergency room, it's too late to acquire a medical plan that can provide real service internationally. Please contact us for a list of what these plans can do and what U.S. plans can't do internationally.

Expatriate Medical Evacuation & Repatriation

If you are going to a country with a low standard of medical care, it's very important to have a medical evacuation and repatriation program. These plans are already provided by most large employers so check with your employer first. These insurance plans would pay the cost to fly you to a regional center of excellence where you may need emergency medical treatment.

For example, there are over 80 countries where one would not want to be treated locally for any sort of major illness or accident. A flight outside the country may be necessary. U.S. domestic plans will typically not pay for international life flight.

Expatriate Moving Insurance or International Goods In Storage Insurance, Anywhere in the World

In most cases your employer will move your international personal property to your new country at their expense, however there are instances where you may need to insure your own move. For example;

  1. You move again after your first relocation, perhaps across town to a new apartment?
  2. You move an item that is not insured or covered by the employer. (For example, some employers don't cover pianos for an international move.)
  3. You are moving more in total value than the employer allows, we can insure the excess. Some employers will move and insure up to $50,000 worth of personal effects and you need to move and insure $70,000 for example.

Expatriate Disability Insurance

International disability insurance is available to expatriates residing for one year or more outside of their home country. If you are still under the employers U.S. or home country disability program, it may still cover you while you are abroad so check with your employer. Some home country disability plans will not cover you if you are disabled while residing internationally.

Expatriate disability insurance replaces income up to age 65 in case you are totally disabled (in a car accident for example) and can no longer work and provide for your family.