When you are thinking of moving to a new country an important step is living there for a few months before you completely cut your ties with your home country and actually move. Renting a property for a few months and living there is the best way to determine whether the country you have chosen is actually right for you.
This approach gives you the chance to experience living in a different culture, to start to make friends and connections and spot any issues that you may have missed during the research phase. It is an important step, but not one without pitfalls.
Why some expats need travel insurance
One thing many explorer expats forget when they reach the testing stage is access to healthcare. They just do not think about the fact that living in another country means that if they get sick making a doctor’s appointment can be an issue.
Distance means that there is no access to their home country’s state facilities, but access to a doctor in the country that they are living in for a few months can also be an issue. Because they are not yet a permanent resident there, they are unlikely to have the right to state funded healthcare in that new country.
Unfortunately, many expats who are testing the waters by living for a few months in various countries do not realise that they are in this precarious situation. They often only realise that out when they fall sick and find it hard to get access to affordable medical care.
Fortunately, it is possible to cover this gap with good quality travel insurance or a specialist expat insurance policy. You just need to do your research carefully when buying your policy.
Buying the right travel insurance for explorer living
When buying a travel insurance policy you need to check how many days your policy provides cover for. Most policies, including annual travel insurance policies, limit the number of days you can be away. Never assume an annual travel policy covers you for an entire year because most do not.
Always check both the total number of days covered across the year and, more importantly, the maximum number of days you can be out of your home country and still be covered. It can be as little as 14 days, but you can buy policies that cover you for much longer trips. If you are living abroad for two or three months, you need to be covered for that entire period not just 14 days.
What is covered?
You need to check exactly what is covered. Make sure that treatment in the country that you are planning to spend a prolonged period in is covered. Also, check what treatments are covered.
Pre-existing medical conditions
Getting cover for your pre-existing conditions is extremely important especially when you are going to be away for a pro-longed period. Not all firms will cover pre-existing conditions, but many do. You have to pay extra and understand what level of cover is on offer for your pre-existing conditions.
What to do if something goes wrong
Take your time and make sure that you fully understand the level of cover you are buying. By taking this approach should you need medical help you will be able to get it.
Should you be unlucky and have issues with your accident or illness claim, all is not lost. There are good legal firms out there who specialise in holiday claims who can often help you to recover the cost if your claim is refused. However, they will only be able to help if you have done your research and bought the right type of cover in the first place.
Getting permanent healthcare cover
Naturally, healthcare is not something you should leave to chance. If you are planning to move permanently abroad take the time to find out what type of long-term health cover is available in your new country.
Never assume you will automatically qualify for state cover. If it turns out that you do need private insurance find out what is covered and what is not. Whether or not there is a good level of healthcare available in your potentially new country is a vital consideration and definitely something you can afford to leave to chance.
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