Protecting Your Loved Ones Across Borders: A Guide to International Life Insurance

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As globalization continues to bring people closer, many choose to live abroad for various reasons. However, living in Japan can present challenges, including access to reliable insurance coverage. So, how do you ensure financial protection for yourself and your family in the event of a tragedy? The answer is international life insurance. International life insurance provides peace of mind and coverage for a range of risks, including death, accidental disability, critical illness, and medical evacuation.

What is International Life Insurance?

Unlike domestic Japanese life insurance which will only cover events taking place in Japan, international life insurance specifically addresses the unique risks and challenges that expatriates face when living, and travelling overseas. The types of life insurance can generally be separated into permanent and temporary policies, with benefits differing depending on the specific policy you choose. Typical options include:

  • term life, permanent life, universal life insurance for people in Japan
  • -Term Life Insurance: provides coverage for a fixed term and pays the “sum assured” if the policyholder dies before the end of the term.
  • -Permanent Life Insurance: provides coverage for an indefinite period, guaranteeing payment of the death benefit at some point.
  • -Universal Life Insurance: another type of permanent life insurance with a cash value account, allowing policyholders to reduce monthly premiums if the cash account grows to a certain amount.

The price of your international life insurance premium will depend on the type of policy, biological factors such as age and health, and lifestyle factors such as occupation and location. Permanent life insurance policies are generally more expensive than term life insurance, with higher coverage amounts resulting in higher premiums.

How to Choose the Right International Life Insurance Policy When Living In Japan

When choosing an international life insurance policy, you need to consider several factors to ensure that you select the best policy that meets your needs. Here are some steps you can take to find your ideal insurance plan:

International Life Insurance for People in Japan - Types of Life Insurance

  • 1. Determine your Coverage Needs: Start by determining your family’s financial needs and the coverage amount you require. Don’t forget to take into account future expenses such as your children’s education. Your financial planner can take you through an exercise to make sure that you calculate your needs accurately.
  • 2. Research Insurance Companies: Research different insurance companies and their policies. Look for reviews and ratings to determine the company’s reputation and financial stability.
  • 3. Compare Policy Features: Compare the policy features such as the type of policy, coverage amount, premium rates, and other benefits. Ensure that you compare policies that have similar features to get an accurate comparison.
  • 4. Get Quotes: Request quotes from different insurance providers or have your financial adviser do it for you and compare the premiums, deductibles, and coverage offered. This will help you choose a policy that offers the best value for money.

Do You Really Need International Life Insurance When Living In Japan? 

Life insurance is about protecting your loved ones and removing the risk of outstanding financial liabilities. Not only can the right policy provide financial support to surviving dependents or other beneficiaries, it can also help offset heavy taxes that can come with estate and inheritance transfers upon your death. International life insurance can be a great asset for people like: 

how much life insurance should I have for my family?

who needs international life insurance, life insurance for people in Japan

  • Parents with minor or special-needs adult children 
  • Adults who co-own property
  • Seniors who want to leave something behind for the loved ones who provide their care
  • Young adults with private student loan debt that may fall on their loved ones in the event of their death
  • Stay-at-home spouses
  • Families expecting to owe estate taxes or burial and funeral expenses
  • People with large outstanding loans like mortgages
  • Businesses that have multiple individual shareholders that would need to be bought out of their shares if they get sick or die

Applying for International Life Insurance From Japan



Applying for international life insurance might sound like a complicated process but it is actually fairly straightforward. It is important to understand the requirements, and how to go about obtaining the proper coverage for your needs. The following steps will help you in applying for life insurance for expats, life insurance for foreigners in Japan, or life insurance in Japan:

Hot to apply for international life insurance, getting life insurance in Japan for foreigners

  • 1. Get a quote: When shopping for life insurance, you should get several quotes from your financial adviser. Compare the premiums, benefits, and features of each policy before making your decision.
  • 2. Fill out an application: Most life insurance companies will require you to complete an online application that includes questions about your personal information, medical history, and lifestyle habits. Make sure to answer all of the application questions as accurately as possible.
  • 3. Do (or don’t) get a medical: Depending on the type of life insurance and the extent of coverage you are applying for, you may be required to have a medical exam before being approved. If the policy does not require a medical exam, the company may ask questions about your health to assess your risk level instead.
  • 4. Wait for approval: Once your application has been submitted, the life insurance company will review the information and make a decision about whether or not to offer you a policy. This process can take a few weeks.
  • 5. Pay the premium: Once approved for a policy, you will need to pay the premiums in order to keep the coverage in effect. Most life insurance companies offer automatic credit card payments to make it easy to keep your cover active.

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As part of the application process, you’ll be required to provide certain documentation. Depending on the amount being applied for, some people will require a medical check. Those with no adverse medical history may not need to fulfill any further requirements. However, anyone with an adverse medical history will likely be asked to provide medical reports and other relevant information. 

By collecting this information early on, you can make the application process smooth and quick. Make sure to provide all of the requested documents from your adviser in one go and without any omissions. It’s also a good idea to double-check your application questions for errors, as mistakes in your information may lead to delays and prolonged processing time.

When to Seek Advice 

International life insurance can be a valuable investment for individuals and families living abroad, but choosing the right policy can be a complex process. Consulting with a financial expert can help you navigate the intricacies of international life insurance and ensure that you make informed decisions that align with your financial goals and needs. A qualified financial adviser can help you compare policies, assess your risks, and create a plan that maximizes your coverage while minimizing your costs. By working with an expert, you can make the most of your international life insurance investment and enjoy the many benefits it provides.

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