Health & Protection in Egypt
Contrary to what most people think, insurance services arenot a luxury, but rather a necessity. The good news is that usually your employer will be bearing the largest part of your requirement, but this is not always the case as expat packages are now shrinking to their core benefits. There are various types of insurance that provide life, medical, property, car and travel coverage available in Egypt that can help you not only stay protected while in the country, but also help you live your expat experience to the fullest. Let us walk you through the basics of insurance in Egypt.
Expats in Egypt have various options for health care insurance. Foreign workers can receive health and employment coverage via premiums deducted from employee salaries and employer payrolls. It covers employees, students and widows. The HIO may be used in any hospital in the country. The Curative Care Organization (CCO) operates similarly with the HIO but can only be used in specific regions. Most expats prefer an international private medical health insurance, which offers access to top hospitals, doctors and medical services without the hassles of long lines. These International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) are usually part of a group cover that is subscribed by your employer. Take the time to ask your HR directly on the documentation of the plan you have access to.
Property ownership in Egypt is now open to foreigners. If you intend to buy a house, which is cheaper than in the US or Europe, remember to pursue residency, prepare for a possible up-front payment and secure a comprehensive insurance. Most banks require insurance for mortgage applications.
If you plan on buying a car, you must know that third-party liability insurance is mandatory. This will cover personal injuries and legal costs in the event of an accident. Comprehensive vehicle insurance extends the coverage to fire, theft and other crimes. For these types of insurance and more, expats in Egypt prefer getting international insurance company policies from companies such as Allianz, ACE Group, and Marsh.
Importance of Insurance
Insurance is primarily a safety net. It helps mitigate the financial impact of an unforeseen event such as the death of the head of the family, prolonged illness and residential burglary. Expats in Egypt are strongly advised to secure private insurance plans to supplement any protection extended by the government or their employer. This will ensure access to the best healthcare, property or auto services in the country.
Local Insurance in Egypt
Before flying to Egypt, you should ask your employer about any life and medical insurance plan under your expat compensation package. Most expats are covered by the HIO where their contribution is matched by their employer. The HIO is then complemented by a company-sponsored medical insurance that offers comprehensive coverage including emergency repatriation. You also have the option of purchasing an international private medical insurance plan out-of-pocket. There is a wide range of international insurers that operate in Egypt.
"If you get referrals to good doctors healthcare here can be very, very good. Egypt is very Cairo-centric and most of the benefits, as well as the headaches, are there. Alexandria is much better than it was when I moved here."- Maryanne Stroud Gabbani, Expat in Egypt
Seek professional advice from an insurance broker when choosing a life, non-life and medical insurance. Ask around for recommendation of a broker, for example you can ask you HR. A broker will match your profile with a suitable plan, recommend cost-efficient features and propose viable payment options. If you don’t have an existing life insurance plan, a broker may suggest a term insurance which will cover you for a specific period or a variable insurance plan which includes an investment portfolio. You can also ask about travel insurance plans that offer protection during political crises in your host country.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions but always speak with the right professionals. When it comes to you and your family’s protection, you only deserve the best in light of the hardship some destinations still represent.
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