UK insurance broker, JD Concepts Ltd, has officially launched the UK’s first insurance policy aimed specifically at people who live abroad, and their friends and family. Kinsure includes invaluable cover for emergency travel back to the UK, or to relatives living in a foreign country, should they fall ill, suffer an accident, or pass away.
More than 198,000 British nationals moved overseas in 2005, bringing the total number of Britons living abroad to more than 5.5 million. This equates to one in ten of the UK population, and predicted figures suggest that another one million Britons will move abroad over the next five years.
Kinsure is the brainchild of JD Concepts Ltd director Jeremy Coll, who set up the policy following a family emergency of his own.
The Taylor family, originally from Liverpool, is one of the first to have purchased the Kinsure policy to cover themselves and their three young children. They have lived in Spain for just over two years and like many expatriates they moved abroad for a better overall family lifestyle with more time together. Mother Joanne Taylor explains: “The commute to work had become a nightmare, and my husband Nick and I realised that it was a stressful way to spend time which we’d rather be spending with each other and our children. The opportunity to live in a sunnier climate and have a better overall lifestyle, particularly spending more time doing outdoor activities, were the deciding factors for our move out to Spain, and after much research and planning we took the step. Of course, leaving our friends and family behind was a difficult decision, but we keep in regular contact via email, telephone and more recently Skype, and try to visit each other as often as possible. We generally plan our visits around finding cheap advance flights – we’re always on the look out for a good deal.”
Over the Easter weekend of 2006 Joanne returned to the UK to visit her parents. While there her father had a sudden heart attack and within hours he sadly passed away. This was a complete shock to everybody. Joanne’s husband Nick immediately looked to book flights to return to the UK with the children to support Joanne and help with funeral arrangements. He found only one flight from Malaga to Liverpool close to the date that he wanted.
Nick explains: “We obviously needed to get back to the UK as soon as possible so I booked myself and our three daughters on to the only flight I could find. We didn’t consider cost at the time as we were just focussing on getting back and that was the important thing, but we’re still paying our credit card bill. At such short notice the flight was £220 each, with our taxi from the airport to my mother in law’s house costing another £50 – so in total we spent almost £1000. We all stayed at Joanne’s mother’s which was our only option at the time, but in hindsight it was very traumatic for the children – a hotel nearby would have been better.”
Jeremy Coll says: “If something happened to a loved one then the price of a flight would obviously not determine if you travelled to be with them or not, but cost and availability is certainly a real concern. This policy is about far more than saving money. It’s about offering the peace of mind that comes with knowing that should you need it, you would have a team of people working on your behalf to arrange and pay for your flights, accommodation and transfers as quickly as possible. At a time of stress and worry, this is invaluable.”
The Taylor family has now purchased a Kinsure policy which covers their travel and accommodation costs and arrangements in the event of anything happening to any of their close relatives in the UK. Joanne’s mother, Nick’s parents and each of their brothers and sisters have subsequently bought a policy, covering emergency travel out to Joanne and Nick in Spain if they should need it.
Joanne concludes: “We obviously hope that we won’t have a need to use our policy, but at least now we have the peace of mind of knowing that should anything happen, one phone call would sort out the travel and costs for us.”
Kinsure policies are available online and premiums start from only £29.95 a year and can be extended to cover not only ‘close relatives’ – which includes immediate family, step family and ex-spouses - but also any ‘additional persons’ that you choose to add on to the policy - distant relations, close friends and business associates.
Expatriate insurance: News update: February 2007