Swiss Life product targets "global nomads"

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Swiss Life has launched a new global group employee benefits product covering the health and protection sectors for expatriates.

The Expat Select plan consists of five modules covering retirement, death, disability, health and assistance benefits.

Clients may select any number of the five features, all of which are available at varying degrees of cover, while employers will only need to complete one application per scheme, with a further one from each employee, regardless of how many segments are chosen.

Free cover limits are available and although they are not at a set level the provider emphasised it would take a flexible approach to such requests.

Speaking at the launch, Dale Fleet, business and product development manager at Swiss Life, said he believed there was a significant market available for the product to address.

"Expats have different needs from local employees," he said.

"There's something like 20 million international workers, and there may often be benefit provision for their families as well, so we can increase that number.

"We also find that a lot of people are global nomads spending lots of time away or facing additional risks often lacking a local HR force, which this product can help support," he added.

While designed with only expatriates in mind, the policy does include provision for covering senior local employees working alongside the expatriate where locally provided benefits are not sufficient.

There are also no set geographical exclusions, although coverage in hot-spot locations such as war zones or areas defined by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office would need to be reviewed.

Alex Picard, senior consultant at PMI Health Group, agrees there is a desire from clients to better support their international workforce.

"We set up PMI Global in December to hang onto our clients who are moving globally and want to do more for their employees across globe, as they do in UK," he said.

"The international private medical insurance market is fairly mature and we're looking for similar to happen on the risk side.

"UK cover has been used as a sticking plaster but it's not really robust enough, so we anticipate that's where the new market is going to grow," he added.

 

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