Making sure that you have the correct expat insurance in place can be a tricky business at the best of times, never mind when you are an expatriate in a foreign country. Expats in Malta need to check that they have enough cover in place to protect everything they might need whilst balancing this against the potential for being over-insured and therefore paying out too much for cover. As such when purchasing cover it is important that you shop around and perhaps check any existing policies that you might have already at home to check you are not choosing cover that you already have in place.
Insurers in Malta are regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and they, as an organisation are extremely concerned with consumer protection and financial stability as Malta works towards becoming recognised as a reputable offshore financial centre. When purchasing financial products in Malta, therefore, you can rest at ease knowing that you are well protected. It is always advisable, however, to check the reliability of a potential provider before you purchase a product.
Home Cover Expat Insurance
Whilst insuring your home is not a legal requirement in Malta, mortgage lenders generally require that you have adequate cover in place should anything go wrong with your home. This also means that you might have different cover needs depending on if you own your home or rent. Renters, for instance, won’t need to have buildings cover whereas it will be a requirement of your mortgage for you to be insured to the value of rebuilding your home from scratch, in case the worst should happen as this protects the mortgage lenders’ assets. As long as you have the minimum cover in place, for your mortgage lender, however, the rest is up to you. You can decide what excess amounts you are willing to pay or whether you wish your buildings cover to include any other out of pocket expenses.
Renters should not need building cover, as this is generally taken care of by the landlord. They will need to consider, however, if they should take out cover on their contents, as should homeowners. This type of cover insures all the contents within your home using a notional ‘sum insured’. This amount should represent as accurately as possible the cost of replacing your belongings should something happen to them. If you choose to insure your items at a lower price than the actual cost of replacing them then you will find that your insurer will apply a ‘call average’ adjustment to any claim that you make. So, for example, if you have contents in your home that in reality would cost €50,000 to replace yet you choose to purchase contents cover at €25,000 a figure 50% less than the true cost of your belongings, then if something were to happen to any of your belongings an insurer would only ever payout 50% of the value that needs replacing. So if £10,000 worth of contents were stolen, for instance, the insurer would only pay-out up to €5000, a 50% proportion of what needs replacing.
Personal liability cover is also something that should be considered when purchasing cover for your home. Do you need to protect yourself against any claims that could be made should a third party have an accident when on your property? Either way, before purchasing a policy you should always check that everything you need is included, that you have given the insurer accurate information, including details of any times the property is left unattended for more than one month to prevent claims being rejected.
Cover for Motor Vehicles
To drive a car in Malta you must, at the very least, hold cover against any third-party bodily injury or damage to property that can be caused. This is a requirement of the Motor Vehicles Insurance (third-party risks) Ordinance and drivers caught driving without this type of cover can face a hefty fine. Third-party cover, however, will not pay out against any damage to your own vehicle. So, if you would not be in a position to be able to replace a car yourself should you get into an accident, it might be worth-while considering comprehensive cover.
It is possible for expatriates to buy international health cover directly from their home country. This might work out more expensive but it does have benefits in that cover is usually more straight-forward and can negate the need for holding policies both in Malta and in the home country. International health cover is particularly useful if you frequently move across borders and spend some time in Malta and some time in your home country as it protects you wherever you are.
Life cover is essential if you would leave behind loved ones who are financially dependent on you in the event of your death. Businesses should also consider if they could use this type of cover in order to mitigate the risks involved with losing a key individual within the business. Expats in Malta should be careful to ensure that any life cover that they have already bought covers them within Malta.