AIG extends protection support for int’l clients

AIG Life, the UK arm of  New York-based insurance giant American International Group, said it has added to the range of products and tools it offers intermediaries who have international clients in need of protection insurance for their UK financial liabilities.

AIG originally said in April that it would be offering intermediated protection insurance to British expats living almost anywhere in the world via AIG Life’s term assurance, critical illness and whole of life products and to foreign nationals living in over 40 countries, provided they have a UK financial interest.

But today, Andy Roberts, the company’s London-based technical sales manager, said Family Income Benefit (FIB) has now been added to the range of products available to British citizens, alongside the “Key 3, Life Start and CIC Start” coverage.

International access to FIB, he noted, is being provided in response to demand from expat clients, who, although they live abroad, still have regular UK financial commitments, “such as paying for a child’s school or university fees, or a relative’s long-term care”.

In addition, Roberts said, the company is unveiling a new, “web-based information tool” that has been designed to help intermediaries identify whether their non-UK resident clients would be eligible to buy AIG’s protection insurance, and if so, which products and options would best suit them.

The tool may be found at www.aiglife.co.uk/intermediaries/international-decision-tool-start.

As it provides no underwriting information, client-specific information will still need to be assessed by AIG’s underwriters upon application.

As reported here in April,  the AIG Life product for expats was conceived originally to assist those non-doms who are destined to be affected by the then-pending IHT on Enveloped Dwellings (IHTED) legislation.

The insurer launched this as HMRC prepared to put into force a new inheritance tax (IHT) liability on non-UK domiciles holding UK residential property via an offshore company or trust.

This was put on hold ahead of June’s General Election, but is expected to finally become law in September or October, once Parliament returns after the summer recess next month. Once it is formally enacted, the legislation will be retroactive to 6 April.

‘Enveloping’ for IHT avoidance to cease

Once the legislation comes into force, individuals who are neither UK-domiciled nor deemed domiciled for inheritance tax purposes will no longer be able to avoid IHT on their properties and certain other assets by a process of asset structuring known as “enveloping”.

“The IHTED legislation was expected to have been signed into law by now, but politics got in the way,” Roberts said.

“By opening access to more products and tools now, AIG is making sure intermediaries have everything they need to support international clients who need financial protection now or who could soon be affected by IHTED.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Helen Burggraf
Helen Burggraf is the editor of International Investment. A US-trained journalist, she has worked in Rome, New York City and London, covering everything from the fashion and retailing industries to the global drinking water and water-treatment sector, private equity, and most recently, the international cross-border financial services/advice industry.

Read more from Helen Burggraf

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