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Inside every one of us is a deep seated desire to explore 'greener pastures'. Convinced that there is a better life for us somewhere out there, or just for the thrill of it, in a moment of sheer abandon we leave behind the drudgery of our everyday routines and head abroad.
These spontaneous pursuits, whether they are because of job offers, or whether they are inspired by the desire to broaden horizons and experience a different way of living, should not be undertaken without notifying your life insurer.
"The reason for this is simple," says Lenerd Louw, CEO of 1Lifedirect. "Different countries around the world have different risk profiles and working in Iraq or Iran would clearly be deemed a higher risk than working in the UK or the US, for example."
If your stay abroad isn't going to last longer than a few weeks, then this shouldn't affect your life insurance policy, however check with your life insurer before you leave as this time period varies from one life insurer to the next.
"Most life insurers request that if the policyholder is outside the borders of South Africa for longer than 60 continuous days, they would require written notification of this to determine whether or not we will be able to continue the cover or the terms of cover" says Louw.
Failing to notify your life insurer can result in serious consequences should anything happen to you on your travels. In layman's terms, should you pass away overseas, your claim could be reduced or rejected and the premiums forfeited, thereby rendering all the money you've been investing in life insurance null and void.
"Most people don't contact their life insurers when they decide to leave the country either because they get caught up in planning the logistics of their move and forget, or because they did not read the fine print of their policy books and are not aware that life insurance policies contain this clause. Giving your life insurer a quick phone call before you leave could mean the difference between retaining your life insurance or having your policy forfeited," concludes Louw.
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