Life Insurance and Foreign Travel

With the holiday season fast approaching, many people are looking to get out of dodge for a little rest and relaxation. However, past and future travel plans can have a big impact on life insurance premiums.

The factors affecting the insurance company’s decision will include the following:

  • Which country the applicant is going to and their destination in that country?

  • The purpose of their travel, is it for business or pleasure?

  • The health of the applicant.

  • The age of the applicant.

  • The frequency and duration of each visit. Usually the insurance company will look at the total number of days per year in each country.

  • Any travel warnings’ advisory or public notice posted by the Canadian government for the destination.

  • If the insured is a Canadian citizen, or a permanent resident.

Of course, companies will have various policies and questions when it comes to premiums and travel. Some may require a more extensive and in-depth questionnaire, whiles others require basic travel information regarding the applicant.

Manulife asks:

  • Do you expect to change your country of residence?
  • Do you expect to travel outside Canada and the United States within the next 12 months?
  • If yes (to question above), will you be traveling to a Caribbean or Mexican resort for less than four weeks, or traveling by cruise ship?
  • Do you have any other travel plans?

RBC Insurance asks:

  • Within the last 2 years, [has the Proposed Life Insured] traveled outside of Canada or the United Staes of America or have plans to do so in the future?

Assumption Life (ParPlus) asks:

  • Have you resided outside Canada in the last 12 months or do you have any intention of traveling outside North America, the Caribbean or Western Europe in the next 12 months?

BMO Insurance asks:

  • Have you traveled, resided, or worked outside North America in the past 12 months or have any plans to do so in the next 12 months?
  • Has anyone proposed for coverage [Children’s Term Rider and Payor Waiver of Premium] intend to reside or travel outside of Canada for more than four consecutive weeks?

Foresters asks:

  • Have you traveled outside of Canada or the United Staes in the last 12 months?
  • Do you plan to travel outside of Canada or the United States in the next 12 months?
  • Do you plan to change your country of residency in the next 24 months?

Industrial Alliance asks:

  • In the next two years, do you plan to travel or reside outside of Canada or the United States?

Equitable Life asks:

  • Do you intend to travel outside of North America for longer than a total of 6 weeks, or change your Country of residence in the next 12 months?

Empire Life asks:

  • Other than travel of 180 days or less per year within North America, European Union countries, the UK or the Caribbean, do you have plans to travel or reside outside of Canada in the next 12 months?

Desjardins asks:

  • Has the Proposed Insured traveled or stayed outside of Canada or the United Staes in the past 12 months?
  • Do you intend to do so in the next 12 months?

Canada Protection Plan asks:

  • Do you plan to travel outside North America, the Caribbean (excluding Haiti), the United Kingdom or the European Union countries for more than 12 consecutive weeks in the next 12 months?

Most insurance companies will usually ask an insured person who travels extensively to complete a travel questionnaire. Underwriting decisions can range from preferred or standard rates to a rated policy. Some insurance companies will put an exclusion if the death occurs within a specific country. This will be made known to the insured at the time the policy is issued.

In this case, the insured would have to sign-off with some type of amendment form. In the worst case scenario, the insured will be declined. The way insurance companies view travel risks vary from company to company and can also vary depending on current world events. It’s important to check with a broker who specializes in insuring high-risk clients.

Applicants who are declined for life insurance based on their travel could consider a Simplified Issue policy.  Many Simplified Issue plans do not ask a travel-related question.  Canada Protection Plan which is underwritten by Foresters Life Insurance Company and Assumption Life are leaders in this space.

Many other carriers have recently entered the Simplified Issue marketplace, including Humania, Industrial Alliance, IA Excellence and Equitable Life. 

Please feel free to contact us at 1-866-899-4849 for more details regarding life insurance and foreign travel, or you can visit our Instant Online Quote Page.

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  • messy.tou
    March 18, 2020 at 12:25 am

    thanks for the information.

  • Faraz
    June 18, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Can I get life insurance if I travel to Iran to see family twice a year

    • LSM Insurance
      June 18, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      Thanks for the note you can get life insurance but the amount and type of plan will depend on the nature of your trips, location and length of stay.

  • Jerome
    May 11, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Can I get a Term plan i was thinking $500,000. I’m going to Middle East for 3 months for work

    • LSM Insurance
      May 11, 2013 at 9:51 am

      Jerome, traditional life insurance applications have a travel question so it would depend where you are going, where you are staying large city, type of lodging and the type of work you will be doing.

      We could submit a preliminary inquiry and if it looks like you are going to declined Simplified Issue Term Insurance may be an option. These plans have No Medical Tests and a shorter series of health questions many have no travel question. But the coverage levels are more limited and the premiums are higher on a cost per thousand basis. We will you a separate email now.