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International Group Life Insurance How To Get Started

International Group Life Insurance: How To Get Started

avatar - Natalie Harris

Natalie Harris

Policy Services Manager

Getting life insurance for one person is complicated. Getting life insurance for a group can be twice as complex. Getting life insurance for an international group is even more tricky. 

There are multiple reasons for this. It’s difficult to find the right information about group life insurance online. There aren’t any online quote tools made for international groups. And quoting prices for an international collective isn’t straightforward. The entire life insurance process for international groups is quite nuanced, which means you’ll almost always have to speak to someone first to get a quote.

As experts in international insurance, we’ll explain how international group life insurance works and our quote process so you can get the right policy for your company’s staff.

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How does international group life insurance work?

Group life insurance works similarly to individual life insurance, but instead of covering one person, it covers a group of employees.

Unlike domestic group life insurance, an international plan covers your team across borders. As the workplace continues to evolve with technical innovation, many roles are no longer limited to fulfilling tasks and responsibilities from one country. Many people might even decide to relocate globally with a one or two-year contract. 

By offering international cover to your team, you can ensure they have coverage wherever they live. This is an advantage if your company hires a lot of expats and multinationals and is particularly popular in the tourism industry.

Offering international life insurance as part of an employee benefits package may even be the key to enticing staff to relocate to new offices when your business is expanding globally.

With international group life insurance, the employer pays regular premiums on an insurance plan that covers multiple employees. The amount paid out will depend on the level of coverage determined by your policy agreement.

With group life insurance, you can choose to insure a group of team members that has a certain level of seniority. You can also have one policy where you have different categories of employees with different levels of cover. You can get international group life insurance by:

  • Talking to a broker, who helps to compare different insurance policies.
  • Going directly to an international insurance provider like William Russell.

In certain cases, it can make sense to use a specialist insurance provider with dedicated team members who will help you choose the right plan and keep you informed every step of the way. In other cases, it might make more sense to go through a broker so that you can gather multiple quotes.

Want to learn more about international group life insurance?
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How to get international group life insurance with William Russell 

Purchasing life insurance for several people can seem quite complicated. It’s hard enough buying it for yourself! At William Russell, we do our best to make the process easy for you.

Here’s how it works when you sign up with William Russell:

  1. You ask for a quote or callback with someone on our team, who will contact you to discuss your requirements and give you a ballpark figure. 
  2. We’ll send you a spreadsheet for you to complete a census of your team. We need salary details, dates of birth, and the benefits you want (i.e., 4x salary cover or a fixed amount across different levels of people). 
  3. Choose the level of coverage (limited up to US$2m and cannot exceed 5 times an employee’s annual earnings.)
  4. We’ll create quotes and help you find the exact cover you want. 
  5. Our team will then take care of the underwriting, where we will need names and medical information from your employees. (In certain cases, we might require employees to undergo a physical medical in their local area that we can reimburse up to US$750 if they become a member.)
  6. We send you our acceptance terms.
  7. Once you agree to the terms and pay, you can start your policy.

We can set up your policy quickly if you send us the information we need in good time. Sometimes, we need medical information or a physical medical directly from your team members. How quickly we can get you set up depends on how fast you can get back to us with individual team members’ medical information or, if necessary, medical exams.

What you get with William Russell international group life insurance

These are the key features you get taking out international group life insurance with William Russell:

  • 5x salary payout for a deceased member, for up to US$2m.
  • Terminal illness coverage, with early payment to the family in one lump sum when the prognosis is 12 months or less.
  • The possibility to add on accident benefit.
  • 30+ years of international insurance expertise in 150+ countries.
  • Direct contact with dedicated specialists.
  • Regulated by the Financial Services & Markets Authority (FSMA) in Belgium and the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.

1/ Partner with experts in international group life insurance

Larger insurance companies typically focus more on domestic insurance, with an international wing as an extra. As a specialist company, our area of expertise is expats: you are our priority member!

We’ve been in business for over 30 years, providing coverage for expats, their families, and their employees. As a result, we’re well placed to help you start providing this coverage for you and your team.

2/ Enjoy flexible coverage

As a specialist firm, we can offer more flexibility in the cover we offer. Of course, there’s a limit to what we can be flexible on, but our expert team can work with you to fine-tune the coverage your team needs.

For example, if you need to lower your premium, we can reduce the cover of individual employees. You could offer your executives and directors a higher compensation benefit and a lower one for other levels of employees.

We’re not looking to aggressively upsell: we want to have you as a member for the long term. That’s why 96% of members choose to renew their policy with us year after year. 

Overseas life insurance can provide invaluable financial protection
Find out more about the types of overseas life cover here

3/ Receive worldwide coverage

With international life insurance, your employees will be covered no matter where they are because we offer worldwide coverage*.

You wouldn’t be covered if your employee died as a result of war, terrorism, kidnap, murder, any other act of violence sustained whilst your employee is in a country or region that the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has advised its citizens to leave, or has advised against all travel to, or has advised against all but essential travel to, due to security reasons (whether your employee’s presence in that country or region is permanent or temporary).

4/ Speak with a dedicated policy manager

When you take out a policy with us, you’ll have a dedicated team member taking care of your account. You’ll have their direct contact, so you can give them a call with any questions.

You don’t need to deal with call centres that pass you to multiple agents, meaning you must constantly repeat yourself. With William Russell, you’ll always get a familiar person on the phone, eager to help you.

5/ Choose to add health insurance and income protection to your life insurance policy 

Having multiple policies on offer for life insurance, income protection, and group health insurance can be a lot of admin – and confusing to your employees.

At William Russell, we allow you to add international health insurance and income protection to your group life insurance plan, meaning you can offer your employees a full suite of healthcare coverage and peace of mind. This can be an employee benefit that can help recruit and retain top talent.

You’ll have the same account manager for all your policies, meaning it’s simple to review your team’s coverage and adjust it if needed at your renewal date.

6/ Engage with specialists who provide a personal touch

We want you to be a William Russell member for a lifetime. We’ll go the extra mile to give you a service that makes group life insurance simple.

You can evaluate your policy every year with your policy manager who will give you tips on how to improve your existing coverage. For example, you can enhance your employee benefits package with insurance add-ons (e.g., health insurance or income protection), or modify your existing group life insurance policy to provide greater benefits to high-level managers as your business grows.

As a specialist company, we can confirm claims decisions faster than larger providers. This means your claims process is quick and easy. We aim to assess all claims within 10 days.

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What to look out for when evaluating insurance policies

If you’ve been searching for group life insurance solutions for a while, you might be unsure of what you should be looking for.

Here are a few of the most important things to be aware of when you’re assessing group life insurance policies:

1/ Take note of which countries are excluded

Many policies will have exclusions of high-risk countries (e.g., where there is an active war, military action, or terrorism).

At William Russell, we can’t offer life cover to residents of certain regions.  Learn more about where you can’t buy life insurance.

2/ Make sure to fully understand the coverage

It might be a no-brainer, but fully understanding your group life insurance policy’s coverage is important before you sign on the dotted line.

At William Russell, we keep our coverage simple. Here’s what is and isn’t covered in our group life insurance policies for employees:

Cover Cause of death
Covered Common causes of death (cancer, heart attack, accident, illness)
Death while you’re living & working abroad
Death while you’re in your country of nationality
Covered after one year Suicide
Not typically covered Death from a pre-existing medical condition
Death from negligence, illegal activity, or drug or alcohol abuse
Death due to war or terrorism in a country the British FCDO advises its citizens not to travel to
Death not reported to us within 12 months
Death while you’re in Iran, Libya, North Korea, South Sudan, Syria or Yemen
Want more accurate information for your specific needs?
Get in touch with one of our award-winning team members

3/ Know your employees’ pre-existing conditions  

Most life insurance policies will not cover your employees if they die from pre-existing conditions. This can include hereditary conditions or longstanding illnesses like diabetes. Some providers offer you additional coverage to cover those with lifelong critical illnesses.

We may cover pre-existing conditions if we’re made aware of this beforehand. Your dedicated policy manager (the person you’re introduced to when you request a free quote) will guide you through this process to understand your eligibility.

4/ Understand the age limits

Many policies won’t offer cover for employees over a certain age. At William Russell, we’re unable to provide international group life insurance coverage to employees who are 70 or older.

Examples of group life insurance policies 

As we said, it can be tricky to get a quick quote on a group life insurance policy because it depends on many factors. But we’d like to give you a quick ballpark view of ‘typical costs’, so you can better understand the possible solutions.

Here are a few examples:

Scenario 1: 

  • A team of 12 employees, age 40, with a sum assured: £1,360,000
  • Worldwide cover  
  • Price range: approximately £23,721 per year

Scenario 2:  

  • A larger team covering 40 employees, age 40 – 60, with a sum assured: £6,200,000
  • Worldwide cover.
  • Price range: approximately £325,937.13 per year

Scenario 3:  

  • A team of 20 employees, age 25 – 35, with a sum assured: £3,000,000.
  • Individual country cover.
  • Price range: approximately £22,969.75 per year

Frequently asked questions about international group life insurance

Yes, we will need to get their full medical history and sometimes require a physical medical exam in order to do full medical underwriting. 

It depends on your plan and what the group admin (the person who chooses the plan) organises for your company. For group life insurance, we offer up to 5x salary payout to the family of a deceased employee at a limit of US$2,000,000. Of course, higher payouts on your plan will result in higher premiums. 

International life insurance is one of the most affordable benefits a company can offer employees. It’s particularly valuable for those with families and dependants. Adding coverage like international life insurance can help you recruit and retain talented team members. 

As a specialist provider, we can tailor your plan by offering different levels of coverage to different team members (although there are limitations).

Get started with international group life insurance with William Russell

Getting international group life insurance doesn’t have to be complicated when you find an expert provider. Simply get in touch, let us know what you’re looking for, and one of our specialists will help you find the right policy for your group.

Once we know what you’re looking for, we’ll help you find the right international life insurance for your team and their families.

Looking for international group life insurance?

Contact us today

*We cannot provide coverage in Iran, North Korea, Libya, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen or Switzerland.