In the first video in our expat benefits quick tips series, our Vice President of International Benefits, Tyler Ogilvie, discusses an essential concept in our industry – what is an expat? Thankfully, the answer is straightforward.

An expatriate (shortened to expat) is anyone whose work requires them to leave their home country for more than 180 days in a 365-day period.

Note that this period is not a calendar year, and the 180 days do not need to be in a row. Therefore, there are many different types of international assignments that can qualify as expat assignments.

Some examples of expatriate career types include:

The Classic Expat

The classic expat is an employee who relocates to a new country for work. Their job may have them stay in the country of assignment for a set period (2-5 years) or be indefinite. If the employee has a family, they will likely accompany the employee.

The employee may travel back to their home country for business or personal reasons but are likely outside their home country for more than 180 days in a 365-day period.

Rotator Expats

Rotator expats are employees working on a rotational schedule, like two weeks at work (outside their home country), and one week off (back in their home country). Over 365 days this employee will be outside their home country for more than 180 days for their expat job.

Digital Nomads

The digital nomad is someone who decides they want to relocate to a new country while doing their job, and who is able to work remotely. These employees who live abroad certainly count as an expat and would require specialized coverage – either from their employer, or they may need to find global insurance coverage themselves if they are a contractor or consultant.

Regardless of the type of expat your company employs, specialized benefits and insurance products exist specifically for them and their needs. These global benefits products are built to help cover the employee while outside their home country, or even when they return home when it comes to health, disability, mental health, and other factors of their well being. We will get into the details of the kinds of insurance that exist in future videos.

If you have any questions about expatriate insurance or benefits, please reach out to our VP of International Benefits Tyler Ogilvie. If you are an individual looking for coverage, produce a quote for yourself and purchase quality coverage with our trusted partners at Cigna Global.

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