Get your address story straight

When you move abroad, post from the UK can take months to arrive. But keeping your address registered in the UK with friends is a no-no with some companies, says Chris Wicks.

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I have a number of British expatriate clients who live in far flung parts of the world, where the post can take six months or more to arrive from the UK, if it gets there at all. In order to get around this, many of them provide the UK addresses of their family members to insurers and other financial institutions instead of their actual addresses where they live. The idea is that the family member can open the post and email or fax it to them so that they can deal with it in good time.

“One of my clients has an income protection policy into which they have been paying for some 15 years but due to where they live, it will not pay out in the event of a claim”

In general this works very well. However, it can cause problems with certain types of insurance policies, which will only pay out to UK or EU resident claimants. For example, one of my clients has an income protection policy into which they have been paying for some 15 years but due to where they live, it will not pay out in the event of a claim. This has been the case ever since they moved to their new permanent overseas home. But, the insurer did not pick up on this because they provided a UK family members address. Since they have only had the client’s UK address, they have refused to refund the premiums for the period since they ceased to be eligible to claim.

The real moral of this tale is that, before leaving the UK to take up a work position overseas, it is necessary to check how this will impact on any policies that are held. It actually reinforces the golden rule of expatriate financial planning, which is always to carry out planning BEFORE any change of jurisdiction.

Don’t fall into money traps, find a financial adviser in your area to help navigate your move abroad.