If you are traveling overseas to volunteer, spend your time at a second home or as an employee to Mexico, the U.S. State Department’s travel warning list, which is updated constantly, could affect your life insurance premiums.
According to the website, travel warnings are issued to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable, or when a U.S. embassy or consulate closes, restricting government aid to its citizens there.
For example, if there is a high risk for travel, foreign visitors from the U.S. may find themselves in a situation where there is a chance of being kidnapped or hurt when traveling by foot or land, or they may be unable to get a flight out of the country if civil or political unrest erupts.
Also, some countries are so dangerous for foreign travelers that there is a high probability that if something were to happen to them, the embassy in that region would not be able to help.
What happens if John purchases a new life insurance policy, he is a US citizen but happens to have a home in Mexico City also but does not tell the insurance company of this second residence. During the contestability period, which is two years, John is living in Mexico which is still on the travel warning list and he is killed in an robbery. Benefits from his policy will probably be contested by his life insurance company since he did not tell them of a second residence and his home is located in a warning area. John’s policy has not completed the contestability period either.
If you have owned a life insurance policy for sometime, have attained a home in Mexico within a safe area and generally only travel to the home a couple months out of the year, your life insurance may not be affected so many variables need to be identified with a qualified insurance agent.
However, according to other life insurance companies surveyed, if you are a US resident, have a home in Mexico now deemed unsafe and you try to purchase a life insurance after, you may be declined depending on the area and how the property will be used. And if not declined, you can pay higher life insurance premiums.
Every year the Global Peace Index defines the most dangerous countries with significant changes to past lists.
Since 2007 when the project was launched, Iceland has always been the safest and most peaceful country in the world.
In this year’s TOP 5 peaceful countries, Iceland (this year’s score 1.189) was followed by Denmark (1.193), Austria (1.200), New Zealand (1.236), and Switzerland (1.258). In these countries, as well as in those which ranked close by, you should not worry about your safety.
However the list of the ten most dangerous is as follows:
- Syria ranked the most dangerous due the Syrian war and estimated deaths of almost 200,000
- Afghanistan since the war began in 2001, tens of thousands have been killed.
- South Sudan has suffered extreme internal conflicts and ethnic violence
- Iraq has been affected by war that lasted almost 9 years
- Somalia whose civil war has claimed hundreds of thousands so far
- Sudan has suffered from severe ethnic challenges.
- Central African Republic due to the Bus War fighting which broke out between government, Muslim and Christian factions.
- Democratic Republic of Congo in which the wars have resulted in over 5 million deaths since 1998.
- Pakistan faces impossible terrorism issues.
- North Korea reports on severe restrictions of daily life including the freedom of association; a dictatorship of the extreme
The list goes on to include more countries that include, Israel, Egypt, Russia and Ethiopia. And, Mexico is ranked the 25th most dangerous country due to drug trafficking and organized crime that plays a major role of violence.
Make sure you understand how your life insurance can be affected when traveling or residing in dangerous countries.