Date: Oct 17 2019
Whether motivated by business or pleasure, economic opportunities or simply the weather, today’s high net worth individuals are increasingly becoming global citizens. According to one survey, 43% have lived in two countries or more, and a full one in five has lived in three or more countries. And that is trending upward, with the majority of respondents expecting that their children will live in more countries than they themselves have done.i
By the time you consider homes in multiple countries, and the vehicles, contents and artwork that go with them, from an insurance standpoint, things are getting complicated. To ensure that your lifestyle is adequately protected, you need a comprehensive risk management program that considers all of your exposures around the world.
Here are some of the key considerations to effectively manage the insurance complexities that come with a global lifestyle:
One Point of Contact
With a primary home in the US, a flat in London, a ski chalet in Switzerland, and a beach house in the Bahamas, a wealthy individual can find herself dealing with multiple advisors and multiple insurance carriers, each of whom is focused on their small piece of the puzzle, while no one is focused on the big picture. Does your US insurance advisor know that Employers Liability coverage is required in the UK if you have domestic staff? What happens if you take your car to Italy for the weekend? Is your prized Picasso still covered if you decide it looks better in your Swiss home? Does your advisor in the UK know that you have horses on your property in the Bahamas, which can expose your family to liability litigation?
When you have an independent insurance advisor who can help you with global concerns, they can be your single point of contact for all your questions and coverage needs, and provide holistic solutions that contemplate your lifestyle and all your assets.
Comprehensive, Consistent Coverage
Insurance contracts and requirements vary from company to company, and from country to country. The white-glove service and broad coverage that you are used to from your US carrier is not necessarily standard around the world. Your house in the US will be rebuilt using materials of like kind and quality. Shouldn’t the same be true for your other homes? Or worse – what if a claim isn’t covered at all because the foreign local policy has an unfamiliar exclusion that no one knew to look for? Are you adequately covered in the event you get drawn into a lawsuit in another country?
Look for a company with a global footprint, with solutions for providing comprehensive coverage regardless of where in the world your assets are located.
Imagine the difficulty in trying to negotiate a claims settlement in another language and another time zone. A comprehensive global program can facilitate claims handling by using a single point of contact throughout the claim process. You can work with an adjuster in your home country, and the adjuster will coordinate all claim activity worldwide, relieving you of the headaches.
A comprehensive global insurance program will have a single renewal date, a chance for a comprehensive annual review of all of your insurance needs. Streamlined billing with a single due date. Policies written in English, and a declarations page that lists all of your global locations.
The more complex your lifestyle, the greater the chance that something will fall through the cracks – you’ll be missing important coverage, an invoice will get lost in the shuffle. By consolidating all of your global exposures with a single carrier and a single program, you are minimizing the risk of that happening. Your insurance advisor and your insurance company will be able to understand your lifestyle from a holistic standpoint, and tailor a program that meets your needs. You will be able to rest easy, knowing that you have a risk management program that will protect your assets, wherever in the world they may be.
iThe Rise of the Global Citizen” Survey by Ledbury Research, 2014
Kate Murray has been with AIG Private Client Group for 13 years, where she is an Underwriting Specialist and Multinational Ambassador. Kate holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Rutgers University and a Master’s degree in Education from Boston College. She obtained her CPCU designation in August of 2015.