With talk of emerging markets and BRIC countries, more UK businesses are looking to expand abroad than ever before. Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show 127,000 Brits left the UK for a definite job in the year ending March 2012, compared to 108,000 the previous year.
While many travellers skimp on travel insurance, expat medical insurance is something worth investing in. Even in countries with an efficient health system the financial burden of illness can spiral upwards for expats without enough insurance. Expats are likely to have less of a support network than they would at home, this could mean added childcare and housework costs on top of the treatment itself.
British expats are used to essentially free healthcare from the UK’s National Health Service so can face a shock when seeking treatment abroad. In many countries the cost of treatment is expensive and often difficult to arrange, however a bigger problem is the requirement for upfront fees. Without sufficient expat health insurance the cost of treatment could be prohibitive and even in emergency cases expats may be asked to pay a large amount of the fee before any treatment is carried out.
If you are planning a move abroad in 2013 it is essential you research your insurance options carefully. There is a wealth of choice on the market and recent years have seen some developments with regards to the sophistication of policies. There are a number of short-term (< 1 year) policies available as well as policies to fit the specific requirements of the country you are relocating to.
In the long term having a good international insurance policy will cover you financially and provide you and your family with peace of mind, knowing you are sufficiently covered should illness occur.