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Overseas Health Insurance News: Tips for new expats from an expert

Moving to a new country can be a daunting prospect, so there are a number of things new expatriates can do in order to make the process run more smoothly.

With this in mind, Rupert Connor from Acuma told the National what his top tips would be for those deciding to take the plunge.

The first thing he recommended is to be sure. Since moving can be stressful, it is important to be certain that it is the right decision.

Visits to the country prior to relocating can help with this decision and it is important to rely on your own instinct as opposed to the opinions of others.

It is vital to think about the differences between your own culture and that of the destination country and decide whether it will suit you and your family, Mr Connor suggests.

He went on to remind prospective expats to consult their company about any benefits they are entitled to, as if your firm has initiated the move then this may well be the case.

Another key aspect of moving abroad is working out a budget so you know what is reasonable to spend every month and whether you can afford it.

Sometimes the most unexpected items can be the ones with the biggest price tag attached and failure to prepare for this can end in disaster.

Mr Connor emphasised the importance of taking out expat insurance, covering areas such as health, life and travel.

Back this up with the knowledge of local healthcare facilities so that if you or a member of the family gets sick then you know exactly what to do.

Thinking about banking is another issue and in most cases it is worth opening a bank account in the destination country.

Other questions can arise from this too, says Mr Connor, such as whether to close existing accounts at home or just tell your bank that you are leaving the country.

He also recommends taking all paperwork with you, despite how small or insignificant it may seem, as it can be time consuming and frustrating having to wait for relatives back home to lay their hands on a certificate you never dreamed of needing.

Finally, Mr Connor says that all new expats should spend time making friends in their new country and think of this as a necessary investment as opposed to time wasted as having people to rely on is incredibly important.

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