Potential Expatriate Retirees Fear Political Violence, International Health Insurance Coverage

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New Survey from Global Insurance Provider Clements Worldwide Indicates Misconceptions Cloud Retirement Planning for Many

Americans appear to be foregoing retirement abroad due to fears of terrorism and potential political upheaval," said Sergio Sanchez, chief marketing officer at Clements Worldwide. "And that is unfortunate.

With a growing number of Americans retiring abroad, a poll released today by Clements Worldwide indicates that international political instability and terrorism top the list of worries among would-be expatriates.

The survey by Clements, a global insurance provider with 68 years’ experience covering individuals living and working outside of their country of citizenship, also found strong concern but lack of information about the availability of appropriate health care insurance overseas.

Asked to choose the risks of overseas living they feared most, 92 percent of respondents selected political or economic upheaval, while 86 percent picked terrorism. Eighty-nine percent expressed concern about a health crisis, while 79 percent said they were concerned about a natural disaster. When asked which factor they were “extremely concerned about,” the largest share, 18 percent, chose terrorism and 15 percent political upheaval.

“Americans appear to be forgoing retirement abroad due to fears of terrorism and potential political upheaval,” said Sergio Sanchez, chief marketing officer at Clements Worldwide. “And that’s unfortunate because our international claims data show that such risks, and the costs associated with them, pale in comparison to those created by insufficient health care coverage, or by having the wrong auto or personal accident insurance while abroad.”

In all, 24 percent of 1,179 people over age 50, and with household income over $100,000, said they are considering expatriate life within the next 15 years.

Respondents planning to retire outside of the United States were somehow less worried about the more commonplace threats of traffic or personal accidents, with just one percent saying they were “extremely concerned” about such mishaps.

Europe was the top destination considered by 59 percent, followed by the Caribbean (40 percent) and Central and South America (32 percent).

Less than nine percent of those likely to relocate are considering a new life in Asia, while fewer than three percent are looking at Africa and less than two percent at the Middle East, suggesting concern about instability in those regions.

“Risks vary based on location,” said Mr. Sanchez. “Those considering a move abroad should begin with the basics, such as comprehensive international health and automobile coverage. Then they should consider factors specific to their destination, such as personal property insurance for theft or vandalism and political violence insurance including coverage for emergency evacuation.

“Regardless of nationality, it’s critical for would-be retirees, and even currently employed professionals planning to or already living outside their home country, to reach out to a specialized international insurance broker who is familiar with their needs and the regulations that affect expatriates around the world. Having the wrong coverage can be as harmful as having no coverage.”

For instance, while access to affordable health care was the second biggest relocation concern among those planning to live abroad -- at 68 percent, second only to the cost of living (72 percent) -- a majority of respondents were not clear about what their health coverage needs abroad would be, or if expatriate coverage with access to U.S. medical facilities would be available. Respondents were also unclear as to whether they will have to become a citizen of their destination country to receive health coverage. Nearly half were unsure about this, while 22 percent said that is the case.

“Finding a suitable international health policy should not stand in the way of expatriate retirement planning,” said Mr. Sanchez. “At Clements we offer programs like GlobalCare for individuals and organizations that include unsurpassed benefits in hard currency, allow access to western-style facilities worldwide including coverage for doctor visits in the US, and English-language support. Designed to meet the healthcare needs of expats, contractors, and travelers, Clements' core plans automatically include the benefit of emergency medical evacuation at no extra cost.”

The survey was conducted online from March 19 to March 23.

About Clements Worldwide

Clements Worldwide is a leading insurance provider for expatriates and international organizations. Founded in 1947, Clements offers international car, property, term life, health, specialty and high-risk insurance in over 170 countries. With offices in Washington, D.C., London, and Dubai, Clements delivers comprehensive coverage, superior customer service, and unparalleled claims response. To learn more and quote online, visit http://www.clements.com.

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