International Employees Have Special Insurance Needs

Posted by: Ken Slaton - GBG on Wednesday, October 24, 2018

An overlooked employee group by some multinational employers are those employees traveling or working outside of the corporate headquarters.  These employees have needs for life, health, accident, disability, and international travel insurance just as those that work in the home office.

Those needs are likely not met by the insurance carrier used by the employer’s home office. A common misconception is that the home office plan provides the international protection needed!

Foreign-based employees consist of two groups. Expatriates (those working outside of their home country) or Foreign Nationals (local nationals) working in their home country for an international company.

Both of these groups can enjoy international benefit plans that are similar to their colleagues working in the home office.

There are a number of benefits to consider then for these special employee groups.

  • Employees traveling or working outside HQ
  • Foreign-based employees - expatriates
  • Foreign-based employees - foreign nationals


These special employee benefits can include:

  • Life insurance that is a flat amount or a multiple of salary. Along with life insurance is the additional inexpensive coverage of accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D). When AD&D is include in the life coverage, then “double indemnity’ is in effect. If the employee dies due to a covered accident, the AD&D and the Life policy both pay a benefit.


  • Short-term and long-term disability that pay monthly benefits if the employee is unable to work due to an accident or illness. As an alternative, permanent total disability may be available which pays a lump sum benefit that is a multiple of the employee’s annual salary.


  • International travel insurance is essential for staff that venture outside of their home country for business purposes. This low-cost coverage provides a high level of benefit in the event of an emergency (accident or illness). These plans include medical evacuation to a suitable medical facility for treatment.


  • Worldwide health insurance is the most attractive benefit and is highly sought by employees. The health program can be tailored with/without deductibles, and with/without coinsurance. The worldwide aspect means the employee is insured anywhere in the world, even if they travel or are reassigned to another country. Working in a foreign country with full medical coverage provides a level of comfort not only for the employee but also for their spouse and dependents.


Special Services

International carriers provide 24/7 customer service, online access to filing claims, and multiple language capabilities. Global medical provider networks are available that have doctors, clinics and hospitals in countries around the world. Many providers are on a direct-bill relationships with the carriers so the insured members have little or no out-of-pocket expense when undergoing treatment.

Just as the home office staff appreciate their benefits package; international employee benefits are critical in attracting and retaining top international talent. Consider their specific needs, and watch employee satisfaction and retention rise.


Ken Slaton

Senior Vice President, Global Benefits Group



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