Moving to Australia: Can You Get Life Insurance for Non-Residents

Published: May 18, 2018

Something you might not have considered when planning to move to Australia is your life cover and income protection insurance.

Moving abroad for an extended period may have far-reaching implications for the coverage you expect from your current insurer. Check with your life insurance company regarding the maximum amount of time you, as the policyholder, can spend in Australia, before your policy is no longer valid. You generally can apply for life insurance as a non-resident living in Australia.

Do not expose yourself to unnecessary risk. Be confident that you'll be sufficiently protected while living in Australia.

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How does life insurance work in Australia?

In Australia, term life insurance is purchased from an insurer either directly or through an insurance broker (retail life insurance). In exchange for protection, you pay a premium, either monthly, quarterly or annually.

You should also be able to obtain other types of cover, including:

  • Income protection: Generally, pays up to 75% of your income if you are unable to work for a specified period due to an illness or injury.
  • Trauma insurance: Also called critical illness cover pays a lump sum benefit if you are diagnosed with one of the illnesses listed in the insurer's product disclosure statement (PDS).
  • TPD Insurance: Pays a lump sum benefit if you are totally and permanently disabled because of a sickness or accident.

You should also be able to obtain other types of cover, including:

Can you get life insurance for non-Australian residents?

As an industry standard, life insurance cover is generally only applicable to permanent residents of Australia. However, select insurers do offer non-residents cover when they meet specific criteria. These insurers have developed new guidelines for non-residents to take out life cover in Australia, in addition to generous travel guidelines for non-residents visiting their country of origin.

When living in Australia as an expatriate, your ability to purchase life cover and income protection depends on several factors.

What is required to move to Australia?

As a very popular expat country, Australia has specific requirements that you must fulfil to help you prepare for the move. To apply for an Australian work visa, you must meet health and character requirements, be proficient in the English language, have the required skill, qualification and/or work experience they are looking for and be willing to accept the Australian way of life, including obeying local laws.

Some of the criteria non-residents generally need to meet to qualify for life cover:

  • Hold a visa type which allows you to stay in Australia for at least 2 to 4 years.
  • Lived in Australia continually for at least 6 months on a temporary work visa, now replaced by temporary skill shortage visa.
  • Intend to apply for permanent residency.
  • Prove you'll remain in Australia for a certain amount of time by disclosing travel plans for the next 12 months: Where you’ll be travelling to, the date of departure, duration of each trip and your reason for travelling.
  • Disclose the country you were born in and your nationality, as well as for which other countries you have citizenship rights.

Please note that life insurance providers offer different parameters of coverage depending on your visa type. Each life insurance company will have their own selection criteria when considering life insurance applications for non-residents.

Other standard information generally required for a life insurance application includes your:

  • Age and gender
  • Height and weight
  • Smoking status
  • Overall health and family history
  • Occupation

Can non-resident Australians purchase life insurance inside super?

Yes, generally an expat living in Australia can get personal life insurance inside superannuation. However, whether your application will be accepted depends on how long you've been living in Australia, your line of work and visa type, whether you have any familial ties to Australia and if you intend on applying for permanent residency.

Moving to Australia for work

As of March 2018, the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) replaced the 457 Visa, known as the Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa with the new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (TSS, subclass 482).

If you want to move to Australia for work, your skill/qualification must be on the list of eligible skilled occupations. There are 509 skilled occupations.

The TSS Visa application involves a 3-step process:

  • Step 1

    A sponsorship application by the employer

  • Step 2

    A nomination application for a skilled position by the employer

  • Step 3

    A visa application by the proposed employee

How much does expat insurance in Australia cost?

The premium rates for non-residents applying for life insurance in Australia are usually the same as Australian citizens asking for life cover. However, it's best to consult a specialist or life insurance broker.

The average cost of life insurance policies in Australia

Cover Amount Gender Average Monthly Premium
$200,000 worth of cover Male $12.38
Female $9.53
$500,000 worth of cover Male $23.13
Female $17.66
$750,000 worth of cover Male $32.51
Female $24.76
$1,000,000 worth of cover Male $39.54
Female $30.28
$=Australian Dollars

The above average cost of life insurance was calculated on retail life insurance policies using lifeinsurancedirect.com.au’s free online comparison tool. Calculations were based on a non-smoking 35-year-old individual living in NSW.

How to apply for life insurance

While the concept behind applying for cover remains the same, different insurers will offer different benefits and features at different price points. Before you commit to purchasing a policy, shop around and compare policies side-by-side to determine which one will best suit your unique circumstances.

To compare policies simply request a quote by filling in your details above or give us a call on 1300 743 254. If you’re calling from outside of Australia, you can contact us on +61 (0)2 9929 7355. Please note we are on Australian Eastern Time Zone UTC +10:00. If you’re already living in Australia

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