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Questions on contracts and applications

I have insured myself abroad with a local provider. Do I still need international health insurance?

Many of our clients continue to have international, fully-fledged and private health insurance in parallel with their local health insurance. We have often experienced that many local insurances have various restrictions on benefits and that important benefits are often hardly covered or not covered at all. This gap is closed by an international health insurance like that of the BDAE Group. In addition, you can continue to benefit from the free choice of doctor and hospital in accordance with the insurance conditions.

In addition, there is the flexibility of worldwide insurance, which is a great advantage if you relocate again. In this case, the policy can be continued without any problems, which is usually not possible with a local insurance. With an international health insurance policy, you enjoy insurance cover in almost every country in the world, whereas with a local policy you usually do not. In addition, local insurance providers usually do not offer cover for home visits. With us, you have year-round cover in your home country (cumulative total up to 180 days per insurance year).

Before cancelling your BDAE health insurance, please check the benefits of the local health insurance so that you are not underinsured in the event of an accident or the onset of a serious illness.

What is the overall level of cover offered - is it comparable to statutory or private insurance in Germany?

The range of benefits offered depends on the policy you choose. Generally speaking, all products in the EXPAT series offer cover that is comparable to private health insurance cover in Germany.

Why do most of your products have a time limit?

Usually, expatriates only stay abroad for a limited period of time. Most of our insurance products are designed for these circumstances. The limited policy durations also mean that we can offer better premiums than other providers.

But for moving abroad permanently, we have developed EXPAT RETIRED and EXPAT RESIDENT - which have no time limits at all.

Do I have to undergo a medical examination beforehand?

When you apply for an EXPAT GERMANY policy, you must submit a health certificate or evidence of a previous German insurance policy if you have been resident in Germany for longer than 31 days. The health certificate must not have been issued more than 14 days before the date of your application.

When you apply for an EXPAT INIFINITY policy, you must submit a health declaration. If you are aged 60 or above, you must also submit a health certificate which was issued no more than 3 months before the date of the application. 

Is it possible to pay the insurance premium via bank transfer?

Yes. But please note that if you pay in instalments you will be charged an additional fee of 2% of your premium for biannual instalments.

Please contact us if you have further questions on this subject.

Why does BDAE charge extra for payment in multiple instalments?

Payments made in instalments create additional administrative work. To cover the resulting costs, we are obliged to charge additional fees. 

What are the terms of cancellation?

Our terms of cancellation are as follows:

  • EXPAT INFINITY: Cancellation at the latest with a notice period of one month to the end of the insurance year.
  • PRIVATE PREMIUM, EXPAT PRIVATE, EXPAT FLEXIBLE: You can terminate the insurance relationship at any time; it then ends with the expiry of the month following the termination.
  • EXPAT VISIT: is taken out on a daily basis. In the event of an early return, we require proof (e.g. flight tickets) in order to be able to prematurely terminate the contract on a day-by-day basis.
  • EXPAT ACCIDENT, EXPAT HAFTPFLICHT: Cancellation at the latest 3 months before the end of the insurance year.
  • EXPAT ACADEMIC: At the end of a current month.Expat Infinity: Cancellation period at the latest with one month's notice to the end of the insurance year.Expat Legal/Legal Plus: Cancellation period at the latest 3 months before the end of the insurance year.
  • EXPAT LEGAL, LEGAL PLUS: Notice period no later than 3 months before the end of the insurance year.
  • EXPAT RETIRED and EXPAT RESIDENT: with a notice period of one month to the end of the respective insurance year (31.03. for EXPAT RETIRED and 30.09. for EXPAT RESIDENT).
  • Corporate clients' health insurance/unemployment insurance: at the end of the current month
  • Membership in BDAE e.V.: three months to the end of the current calendar year (31.12.)

Can I cancel my insurance immediately after returning to my home country?

You must observe our terms of cancellation. There is one exception to this, under Section 205 of the German Insurance Contract Act (VVG): if you are legally obliged to take out health insurance in Germany following your return, then you may cancel your policy with us up to 3 months following the date from which this obligation applies. In this case, you will need to provide proof of the obligation within two months after we request this in writing.

What will you accept as proof of my stay abroad?

We may request the following documents as proof:

  • Passport
  • Flight tickets 
  • Confirmation of visa

How often can I renew my insurance cover?

A one-time extension by a further 5 years is possible in principle for the EXPAT PRIVATE product, but only subject to the consent of the insurer. No extension is possible for the EXPAT FLEXIBLE product. However, you have the option to reapply and thus be insured in EXPAT FLEXIBLE for a further 5 years. Please refer to the respective insurance conditions for the other products and contact us if you have any questions.

What do I need to know if I live in the USA or in Canada?

Many of our products have a special deductible for the USA/Canada. In addition, you must notify the insurer in advance of a planned stay in the USA/Canada in advance.

Please take note of the terms and conditions of your policy.

Please also note that claims for the USA/Canada are handled by our service provider.

Does the health insurance abroad also apply in the event of a need for care?

This depends on the specific circumstances of the individual case and always requires a case-by-case assessment. As a rule, health insurance abroad does not cover care that can be specifically attributed to the need for care or if an insured person is staying in a care facility.

Health insurance abroad serves the therapeutic restoration of health and not the provision of nursing care. Thus, according to the terms and conditions of the contract, we must terminate the insurance if such a permanent case of long-term care occurs and cannot provide any benefits for it.

In Germany, long-term care insurance follows the health insurance system. This means that compulsory long-term care insurance is always included in the statutory health insurance (GKV) and people who take out private health insurance must also take out private long-term care insurance. If you need long-term care in Germany, the long-term care insurance automatically kicks in.

The BDAE does not offer long-term care insurance for people living abroad, so we cannot cover the risk of needing long-term care. Since Germany was very progressive and far-sighted in terms of long-term care insurance, but only a few countries worldwide have followed this example and offer long-term care insurance, unfortunately, to our knowledge, there are no alternatives for private solutions locally in the respective country of residence.

The statutory health insurances at least offer the possibility to put the health and long-term care insurance on hold (so-called qualifying period), so that waiting periods are maintained. With private providers, however, only health insurance, not long-term care insurance, can be put on probation. If you want to be on the safe side, you should continue to pay contributions to long-term care insurance.

Questions on premium adjustments

How often are insurance premiums adjusted?

We review the development of insurance claims annually and then make a decision on this basis as to whether an adjustment is necessary as of the respective insurance year. Unfortunately, it is simply not possible to predict whether premium adjustments will be necessary every year. There are years in which no premium adjustment was necessary - but there is no guarantee of this.

How high are the premium adjustments as a rule?

This is not predictable and always depends on the development of the insurance portfolio as well as on individual external influencing factors such as the development of medical costs. Of course, it is also our concern to keep the adjustments as low as possible.

Are there individual premium adjustments?

We do not make premium adjustments for individual policyholders.

With EXPAT INFINITY, we have developed a lifelong international health insurance in which we calculate the premiums more individually and fairly by, among other things, subdividing them according to age groups, selected scope of insurance and country of stay (zone model). Thus, there is still a community of insured persons, but if, for example, the costs for medical services in a certain region rise particularly sharply, individual insurance groups in the corresponding region may experience premium adjustments.

Premium adjustments due to increasing age are already fairly calculated with EXPAT INFINITY on the basis of regular predefined premium adjustments by age group. We are currently developing new international health insurance products, whose premiums are also calculated fairly according to more individual aspects.

Why are there premium adjustments?

In the case of the health insurance policies we offer abroad, the insurance premiums are calculated, among other things, with the policyholder community principle in mind. This means that the community of all insured persons in an insurance product bears the health risk of each individual in this group. In statutory health insurance, one also speaks of the solidarity principle. Increased costs are passed on to the "community", so to speak, in order to "cushion" the increased cost risk for each individual.

For the products of the BDAE GROUP this means that a so-called major loss, i.e. unexpectedly high health costs caused by individual insured persons, can lead to the income from insurance premiums no longer being in economic proportion to the expenditure for insurance benefits. In such a case, there is a risk of a negative loss ratio. In this case, the expenditure for health care costs would exceed the income.

Other reasons for premium adjustments are:

  • Rising costs in the global health system or in a specific region.
  • Medical progress and related costs
  • Increased life expectancy of insureds in life-long international health insurance policies
  • Increased use of medical services

Our goal is to provide long-lasting and stable products for the insured community. We check each individual insurance product every year for claims development and only adjust premiums if there is a need to do so.